Author: Cari Z
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/15/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World
A fight to the death against his former master turns into a chance for Rafael, an assassin denied the immortality he lived to achieve, to learn the shocking truth about the fate he was spared.
Rafael wanted nothing more than to serve his immortal master, Xian, a High One of Clare, who taught him from an early age how to be an assassin. But after failing the final test, Rafael was turned out into the Lower City, abandoned by the one person he thought he could count on.
Years of hatred and thoughts of revenge have fueled Rafael’s quest for vengeance, but when the time comes to strike at Xian, he hesitates and is taken prisoner. Rafael expects to die, either at Xian’s hand or at the hand of Myrtea, his sadistic mistress.
Instead Xian heals him, spares him a brutal interrogation and tells him the dark truth driving the ruthlessness of the High Ones—the source of their immortality is spent. Soon the city will devolve into chaos as High Ones battle one another and the rebelling denizens of the Lower City for power and resources. Xian wants to spare Rafael that pain, just as he spared him the pain of becoming a High One a decade earlier.
Their only chance for survival is to escape Clare before civil war breaks out. Even if they make it out of the city, though, there’s no guarantee that Xian will live through the agonizing process of becoming human again. The only ones they can rely on are each other…if Rafael can bring himself to once again trust his former master, the only man he’s ever loved.
How to review this without being major league spoilery ?
Rafael was trained as an assassin by Xian for over 15 years, and a deep bond ensued between the two, the ultimate aim if the training being that Rafael would become immortal as well. But Rafael is cast out and left to fend for himself. For five years he is a hired assassin, managing the emotional pain he feels by engaging in physical pain. Then he kills an immortal and whole series of events is triggered.
Rafael is a truly engaging character, he was wildly in love in with Xian, but nothing happened between them other than masses of UST, and while he has a friendly sexual companion who can satisfy his pain/ sex needs he is still emotionally fixated on Xian. After killing the immortal, Rafael and Xian are brought together again, and for reasons that Xian doesn’t explain initially, escape the city of Clare to find Xian’s sister.
The journey is both physical and emotional, and as the secrets of the immortals come to light Rafael must learn to trust Xian once again, and also believe in a more equal and honest relationship.
For a short book it’s packed with action and romance, from the first pages where Rafael works for the dastardly Daeva, a proper bad guy, to the end. And because of this I was worried that the characters would lack depth, but that wasn’t the case, I was emotionally invested all the way through.
As a general rule I don’t read a lot of books that involve pain as pleasure, unless I really trust the author, as it’s not my thing – but here Cari Z captured the balance so well.
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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