Author: Shira Anthony
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/12/2013
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Menage/Poly
Mermen of Ea: Book One
Taren Laxley has never known anything but life as a slave. When a lusty pirate kidnaps him and holds him prisoner on his ship, Taren embraces the chance to realize his dream of a seagoing life. Not only does the pirate captain offer him freedom in exchange for three years of labor and sexual servitude, but the pleasures Taren finds when he joins the captain and first mate in bed far surpass his greatest fantasies.
Then, during a storm, Taren dives overboard to save another sailor and is lost at sea. He’s rescued by Ian Dunaidh, the enigmatic and seemingly ageless captain of a rival ship, the Phantom, and Taren feels an overwhelming attraction to Ian that Ian appears to share. Soon Taren learns a secret that will change his life forever: Ian and his people are Ea, shape-shifting merfolk… and Taren is one of them too. Bound to each other by a fierce passion neither can explain or deny, Taren and Ian are soon embroiled in a war and forced to fight for a future—not only for themselves but for all their kind.
Stealing the Wind is a magical epic fantasy tale, and a wonderful start to the Merman of Ea. series.
Orphan slave Taren Laxley knows nothing about his past, he’s never felt the kiss of his mother, or the arms of his father, he grows up believing himself abandoned by his parents, sold into slavery, all he knows is that he longs for the sea, has an affinity for the sea he doesn’t understand. The sea calls him, taunts him, and haunts his dreams. When he catches the lustful eye of Captain Jonat Rider of the pirate ship Sea Witch Taren finds himself kidnapped by the captain’s men. Waking up on board the Sea Witch Taren is amazed when Rider offers him his freedom for three years served in Rider’s bed, a bed he already shares with his quartermaster Bastian. Taren, seeing a chance to fulfill his dream of a life at sea embraces his new life eagerly, finding with Rider and Bastian a home and security he never had before.
Years later when Taren dives overboard to save the life of a fellow sailor during a storm he finds himself rescued and then imprisoned by the enigmatic and mysterious Captain Ian Dunaidh, of a rival ship, the Phantom. From the moment they meet the two men are strangely drawn to each other, like they are two halves of the same soul. Ian, after showing Taren his true nature, returns the Phantom to his home island of Ea’nu where Taren is accused of being a spy and thrown into prison by the ruling Council.
As Taren struggles to survive the brutal questioning of the Council Ian has to decide on his own path, whether to follow his own destiny and help Taren, or do nothing. As decisions are made and age old secrets are revealed it becomes clear that the forces of darkness and light within the Ea. are being placed into position for a new fight. Can Taren and Ian survive the coming storm and can they build a future for themselves and free the people of Ea. from tyranny and oppression.
The world building in Stealing the Wind is grand and impressive; the reader is swept along on an epic journey of wonder and delight as the world of Ea. is gradually exposed, and like all worlds’ darkness and evil lurk beneath the surface. Taren comes across as initially shy and naive, a stoic survivor. He blossoms into a fine young man under the care and tutelage of Rider and Bastian, developing a dignity and a strength of character that sustains him as his faces his pre-ordained destiny. Ian Dunaidh is a much more complicated character; much older than Taren he’s seen the worst side of Ea., he’s wary and conflicted as to what Taren is to him, what the bond between them means. Fighting within himself he is torn between what he wants, what he can have, and duty to his kind.
From the moment I first heard about this book I was captivated by the premise, the promise of merman, pirates, legend and fantasy was too much to comprehend but the story certainly lived up to its promise. Stealing the Wind is a superb novel, full of intrigue, mystery and adventure. The writing is smooth and flows along beautifully, the characters are rich and colorful, the world Shira Anthony creates is mysterious and dark, full over legends and prophecy. The plot draws the reader along, never letting up, teasing with its hints of what’s to come. I found myself glued to my Kindle not wanting to do anything but read, yet also not wanting to finish too quickly, I wanted to savor the story, revel in the universe unfolding around me. For anyone who loves fantasy, magic and the sea stories of legend I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
This review was originally posted on Mrsconditreadsbooks.com, which is no longer online.
The Merman of Ea. series is a trilogy. Book 2, Into the Wind, was released in May and was reviewed by Beverley. You can read her review here:
Book 3, Running with the Wind is due out on 8th June. To read Beverley’s review of this new release click here
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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