Monday, August 10, 2015

Grace Draven - Master of Crows

What would you do to win your freedom? This is the question that sets bondwoman, Martise of Asher, on a dangerous path. In exchange for her freedom, she bargains with her masters, the mage-priests of Conclave, to spy on the renegade sorcerer, Silhara of Neith. The priests want Martise to expose the sorcerer's treachery and turn him over to Conclave justice. A risky endeavor, but one she accepts without hesitation--until she falls in love with her intended target.
Silhara of Neith, Master of Crows, is a desperate man. The god called Corruption invades his mind, seducing him with promises of limitless power if he will help it gain dominion over the world. Silhara struggles against Corruption's influence and searches for ways to destroy the god. When Conclave sends Martise as an apprentice to help him, he knows she's a spy. Now he fights a war on two fronts--against the god who would possess him and the apprentice who would betray him.
Mage and spy search together for a ritual that will annihilate Corruption, but in doing so, they discover secrets about each other that may damn them both. Silhara must decide if his fate, and the fate of nations, is worth the soul of the woman he has come to love, and Martise must choose continued enslavement or freedom at the cost of a man's life. And love.

Comment: I've previously read something by the author and I liked it. When I had the chance to suggest this tile for one of my book clubs I didn't hesitate because I was confidant this would be a great read for us all. I was proven right because, for me it was amazing. I hope the others will love it too.

This is the story of Martise, a young woman, slave to a powerful man. In this world of magic and powers, Martise is Gifted but she doesn't know how to make her power come forth. Taken to the Master of Crows with the excuse that someone as powerful as him could help her in exchange of her work in his house and business, Martise is actual a spy on behalf of her owner to uncover evil deeds done or planned by the Master of Crows.
Silhara, the Master of Crows faces a hard task, defeating a God. Corruption wants to seduce and use him if only he succumbs. Silhara knows Martise is a spy but he still accepts her in an attempt of gaining something against the group of magicians who want him dead.
What these two didn't know was that a bond between them will grow and the other will be so much more than they ever imagined.

I truly loved this story. I think it's really amazing and very well written, in my perspective. As it happened with the other book by the author I've read, this one also presents a believable couple whose romance develops at the perfect pace.

All the practical reasons about the plot aside, I have to confess I loved the romance. I think this author really understands how a romance should work and in a way, it almost seems she knows precisely how I like to see a relationship develop and how suitable the couple must be for each other.
My absolute favorite thing about this story is precisely how the two protagonists meet, are wary of each other but something compells them to become closer. The time between they meet until they finally become intimate is filled with sexual tension, with poignant scenes, with little scenes where they start to feel good in the other's presence, where they start to have feelings for each other. In a way, their romance feels real and believable because we see things happen in the time it takes for things to change. There's no insta-love, no fast run for sex without care. I really appreciate stories where the couple can take time to care for each other, where we can see how they start wanting to be together but there's no polite talking about it, as if it were just a means to an end, nor a rushed step towards something that would feel cheap. I really, really love romances where we see things happen before they have sex.

Of course all this would mean nothing if the characters themselves weren't appealing individually.
I liked Silhara because despite everything others said about him, he has honor and in the end tries to make a sacrifice that saves all of those he holds dear. He's fascinating because he has a warm soul despite the evil attempts of the God Corruption to overtake him. He is loyal, caring and has a simplicity to his way of life, his actions that show how great he is despite the awful things from his past that could have made him be something very different. He's a great hero.
Martise is an almost perfect heroine. She is in a difficult situation but she isn't giving up on honor and rightness for personal gain. She is fair and she recognizes something good not only in Silhara but in his life. She makes some harsh but understandable decisions about herself and I liked her even more for that.
Together, they are amazing and both their personalities seem to be a match.

The plot has some slower moments and some less than appealing scene jumps. I kind of understand why, it does allow for us to see more things, to see characters in different scenarios, but it can drag the action a bit.
Nevertheless, be assured everything works out in the end. Nothing is sugary perfect, but the HEA happens beautifully and I'll cherish this story for a long time.
Can't wait to read more by the author!
Grade: 9/10


  1. I love that cover. It's so evocative of the mood of the book, which I also loved as much as you did. I have 2 more Draven books on my K that I really need to get around to reading.

    1. Which ones do you have to read, Phyl?
      I also read Entreat Me and liked it but this one was better!
      Thank you for stopping by!

    2. I have Entreat Me and Radiance. It's good to know you liked Entreat Me!

    3. I did, but this one is better in terms of plot.
      I'm so curious about Radiance, many readers have loved it!