Author: Connie Bailey
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Connie Bailey
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/28/2015
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Gay Romance
When Sheyn, a headstrong young aristocrat, disobeys his parents and travels to the far east, he passes through Kandaar, an isolated country of strange customs. He is abducted, transformed by a mysterious ritual, and sold to a barbarian king as a pleasure slave. When the king is killed by Kashyan the Bastard, dispossessed prince of Clan Savaan, Sheyn becomes Kashyan’s possession.
The Bastard expects Sheyn—now called Pearl—to behave as an obedient pleasure slave, but compliance is not in Sheyn’s nature. Nor does Sheyn’s ordeal stop at being held captive by people he considers savages. The Red Temple covets Sheyn as a living gateway to the demon realm and plans to use him to summon the God of Death.
Kashyan loathes Sheyn, and Sheyn despises Kashyan, but when the Red Temple kidnaps Sheyn, honor compels Kashyan to rescue his slave, and he starts a war in the process. If they hope to stop the Red Monks from bringing hell to earth, Sheyn will have to accept Kashyan is more than an uncivilized brute, and Kashyan will have to admit there’s more to his Pearl than a pretty, arrogant exterior.
The Bastard’s Pearl is an epic tale of love and betrayal, good and evil, and all the shades of grey. It had tremendous world building and imagery. It is a fantasy story through and through even though there is not one sign of an elf.
Sheyn was a hard person to like at first. He had so many prickly edges and his arrogance had no bounds. What was done to him was terrible and yet he managed to make it through and soften some of those edges. I seeing him come into his own. Kashyan was a good man on the edge, betrayed before and unwilling to be so again. Together they found peace.
There was a few times in the book that I was brought to tears, unsure if this would end happily or not. My faith in the author was well placed though.
The voice in this book is omnipresent. It took a bit to get used to hearing everyone’s thoughts but it worked for the story.
There are a few things here and there that bothered me, but over all I really enjoyed this story. I will definitely check out more of this author’s work.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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