In the ancient kingdom of Marhavad, noblemen dominate the lower castes, wielding mystic weapons, known as shartas, against any who oppose them. For generations the rule of Marhavad’s kings has been absolute. But now the line of succession is divided, and whispers of revolution are heard in even the royal palace.
Keshan Adaru, an outspoken man of unearthly charms, welcomes these changes. All his life he has foreseen an uprising that will shatter the castes and end the tyranny of the old laws. His visions have driven him but now, at the brink of their fulfillment, he finds himself obsessed with Prince Jandu Paran-- a man whose entire family must be destroyed if the kingdom is to be freed.
Tarek Amia would gladly see Jandu Paran brought low. Born the son of a charioteer, Tarek has no love for the royal princes who have slighted and insulted him all his life. Only Keshan’s philosophies have elevated him from the brutal ranks of common soldiers. Tarek owes Keshan his devotion, but he is a pragmatic man and when he discovers Keshan’s reckless affair he realizes that Keshan may have to be sacrificed for the sake of his own revolution.
Young Prince Jandu Paran has never concerned himself with court intrigue. His life has been dedicated to the lordly art of archery and mastering the immense powers of the shartas. Handsome and arrogant, he is sure that no man can surpass him and yet Keshan Adaru’s mere touch brings Jandu to his knees. But his desire for Keshan is more than forbidden; it threatens to destroy Jandu’s pride, position and family. In the midst of this turmoil, an unspeakable event forces Jandu to redefine the meaning of honor and loyalty.
And now, as armies arise to war, each man must decide where his allegiance lies and what he will sacrifice in his heart and on the battlefield.
Comment: The best m/m book I've read so far this year! Totally amazing. I recommend it to everyone who likes m/m and a bit of fantasy. I even contacted the author to say so, something I don't usually do.
This out of the way, now to my comment...well, I don't even know where to start, everything worked out for me in this story. Even the things that let me sad work within the story.
Basic things first: the story is divided in 3 parts (you can have them all in ARe, if you want) and each one follows a step in the main character's lives. I won't explain as it would spoil things and this book deserves to be savoured without influence. I only read the general blurb in the author's site before reading and thankfully I could appreciate the story completely.
The world is a bit of fantastic as there's references to magic and demons in a different dimension but seriously, I'd say it's more of a historical but with the detail it shows the influence of the indian caste system, so it's not a free and happy world in the west...it's a different kind of society but I think this was one of the things that made me read it in the first place, because it got me curious how it would suit the story.
The two main characters are Jandu and Keshan and both have a very solid way of seeing the world and what to expect from it, but during the whole story they grow up and they face things and end up changing their POV's on what is really important to them. I loved their romance, I think it's very well balanced and believable.
One strong point in the book is the secondary characters and how they all seem real. There are some who are more villains than others but everyone has something good and something bad about them...just like a normal person. I think the author must have had lots of work creating anf balancing them so none looks too uch of anything.
I like the writing a lot, the story flows and I wanted to keep going but I had to sleep and work...but I was thinking about the story the whole time.
I don't even know how to describe the feelings I got while reading without explaining things and it would be a spoiler, so, please someone read this and come back so we can talk! I felt happiness, I laughed and I cried because it hurt to think about some things...But we can see all the effort she put into this novel and I'm really happy to have read it. I think this is really a very good novel. I ended it at night just before going to sleep and I couldn't for a long time because I was thinking about everything. The way it ends..somethings broke my heart, but there's a HEA, don't worry. A very good HEA, with lots of lessons learned before, but still a good HEA.
If nothing better comes along, I'd say this is THE BEST m/m book I read, for sure.