Chasing Sunrise is why I love fantasy. In this case it is placed by the publisher under urban fantasy but I prefer the term alternate reality. This novel covers some really big issues but makes them thought provoking and if not more palatable maybe more understandable by placing them in the realm of fantasy.
Author: Lex Chase
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Darkmore Saga: Book One
On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Sevon copes with the unrelenting abuse by dressing in women’s finery and casting an image of graceful nobility. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, he possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust. Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance.
On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.
The dedication reads
For those who suffer in silent darkness and fear they will never see the freedom of light. Let hope be strength. Chase the sunrise.
It is only through thinking after finishing the novel I realised what this truly meant. This is a novel about three different races who are all interconnected. The Aisa immortal beings who feed on humans and believe me we are not talking sexy blood drinking. After the prologue of the novel, humans are kept as and called livestock. The Shifters divided according to inner beast, an honourable, loyal race and finally Humans. Although, Aisa are basically human before being awakened to their immortality and gifts. The Aisa are divided into several breeds and the main character in this novel, Sevon, is the highest and rarest of the Aisa and by birth, King of the Aisa’s land of Darkmore.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, as half the enjoyment is learning about this new world and the societies within it. There are Veils/shields between the worlds of the Shifters, the Aisa and Humans but only the Shifters have knowledge of the continued existence and history of all three races and as far as we know Sevon is the only one who can break through the veils.
Sevon, although a superior being and son of wonderful honourable and royal parents, has been manipulated, abused and lied to since he was a toddler by the evil Lord Dominic Ravensgrove, after his parents are killed. He doesn’t know the truth about his father the King, or the lineage of his mother. Sevon’s story is a story of domestic abuse although exaggerated for the sake of this fantasy story. The emotions, manipulation and confusion in Sevon’s mind is real. His abuser is extreme but uses techniques and strategies that translate to domestic abuse in our society. This is not necessarily an easy book to read, but it is an enriching one.
The description of the worlds, the rituals and social norms, right down to clothing is really lush. Often in stories that include a type of vampire, shifters and alternate worlds, the descriptions can overwhelm characterisation, not so here. I empathised with the characters. I loved Jack, Sevon’s long lost shifter friend, and his adopted family. I hated Dominic, admired and cheered for Bianca and her Armigers. My opinion of Sevon wavered throughout the events in the book, which made him an extraordinary being who kept my interest. I really couldn’t put this book down it is an enthralling read and I cried towards the end.
I nearly lowered my rating, as the abuse and description of violence in Chasing Sunrise is quite graphic, and there is a lot of it. I can’t in all honesty say the violence wasn’t gratuitous in some parts and in an ideal world I would have taken some of it out. However, there does tend to be more violence in some Fantasy reads and it isn’t what stays with you by the end of this novel. I also wanted to assure readers who enjoy alternate reality reads that this one is first class.
I have just read that this is book 1 in a Darkmore series. I will definitely be queuing up for book 2.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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