It is the twilight of mankind. Depleted by generations of war with a race of dark beasts, humanity stands on the brink of extinction. The outlands are soaked with the blood of the fallen. The midlands are rotting with decadence and despair.
Elfkind, estranged by past crimes, watches and waits for nature to run its course.
And then the two collide.
Ayden's life has long been guided by two emotions: love for his sister, and hatred of all things human. When he's captured in battle, he is enslaved in the service of a human prince, Freyrik Farr. Freyrik's always known elves to be beautiful and dangerous, but never has one affected him as deeply as Ayden. Teetering on a dagger's edge between duty and high treason, Freyrik discovers that some choices can change a life, and some an entire world.
Between prejudice, politics, pride, and survival, Ayden and Freyrik must carve a new path, no matter how daunting. For nothing less than the fate of both their peoples rests on the power of their perseverance - and their love.
©2011 Rachel Haimowitz (P)2016 Riptide Publishing
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"Amazing story and fantastical characters"
Not quite what i expected but the color and depth of the characters is compelling. Narrated very well by Craig Beck this is a real page turner from start to finish. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed.
"Excellent high fantasy; great narration"
Loved, loved this high fantasy mm listen. This is an enemies to lovers story between an Elf and Human. With 300 years of hatred, their romance was hard fought. First between themselves, as Ayden fought it fiercely, and then with the human population. There is brutality, war and even humor in this story, but mostly a great romance. It took a while to get into the story, but once I was there, I couldn't stop listening.
Fair warning, this book ends on a cliff hanger picked up in Book 2. Although I would love to hold out for the audio version as this narrator was really fantastic, I don't think I can. I anticipate more heartbreak and pain, but I need these guys to have their HEA.
"A Different Sort of Story"
Elfkind and humans...what an interesting premise for a story. Throw in ferals, massacres, palace intrigue, barbarism, and a field of scarecrows and you have the making for a great story. In the midst of all of this you have Ayden and Freyrick , a pair that should not be together but find love in the chaos. I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and was a bit perplexed at the end because of course, it leaves you hanging. One must rush out to get the next part of the series. Rachel Haimowitz's writing draws you into the tale and the narration of Craig Beck makes you want to stay for it all. A great escape...
"Cliffhanger endings are stupid!!"
You can leave a book open for a sequel without a cliffhanger ending. Also, Crescendo does the same thing. Not ok.
General pros/cons. The world is unique and I like it a lot. I adore Ayden. Freyrik needs to grow a pair. He blithely stands by while bigoted attacks are constantly leveled at Ayden. He says he doesn't like it and would like to change the bigoted human culture, but does nothing. That's cowardice. I don't know. I like him best in this book and I still don't love him.
Overall, the book is good. The writing is medium-strong. The cliffhanger ending though, the bigots that never get their cummeupence
"Epic story line with a master narrator"
Wow. This is an EPIC story. It’s got war, betrayal, love, loyalty, politics, slavery, new worlds, magic… just about everything!
The world building is complex and the love story is very, very slow burn. Though Ayden gets captured fairly early in the story, it’s not til the last third of the book that our MCs cross the line into intimacy. As a result, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this ends on a cliff-hanger and continues into book two where it culminates.
The author creates the space for this alternate reality by not only describing the world, but through the dialog, phrasing, and word-choice, she also brings to mind a fairy-tale like sequence.
Because this is a time of war, there is a lot of violence in this and there are times it’s hard to read/listen to what happens to our MCs and others.
I think that fans of fantasy romances will absolutely adore this and those of us who aren’t crazy about high fantasy will soon realize that the world building is done in such a way as to feel “real” and not intimidating in it’s newness.
I’m not going to go into the description of the story, there are reviews out there that re-tell what happens, but I will say that it starts off slowly and builds rapidly – keeping our MCs in near constant action.
I am not a high fantasy fan, generally. I chose this because of the narrator. I love Craig Beck and have been utterly charmed by each of the narrations of his I’ve listened to. I knew – if anyone- could make me love this genre, it’d be him.
Well, he succeeded! He’s a truly gifted narrator and absolutely brings the story to life. I really enjoyed listening to him – his pacing, intonation, and accents are wonderful.
I can safely say that I recommend this to both fantasy lovers and those with less love for the genre.
4.5 of 5 stars for both the audiobook and e-book.
"What a great story"
I really enjoyed this story. It was very interesting, quite new and different for me, and I look forward to book 2.
so rivited was i , that when the last sentence of the chapter was uttered i found my self screaming over and over again. how dare the writer end the book at this point. .... i must get the follow up book without delay.
"Gritty, Passionate Enemies to Lovers Fantasy Rom"
When Ayden saved Freyrik's life is probably the moment that really gripped me even though it wasn't the most intense or passionate in the story by far. It was the evidence of a turning point for them.
Freyrik. I thought the deep, gravelly soldier type voice suited Freyrik. He caught the emotional nuances of this character best I thought.
No, not one, but several- Ayden forced to beg a hated human to protect his sister, Freyrik nearly breaking each time he had to go back on his word to Ayden, and those last few scenes had me so riveted I barely breathed.
This is an enemies to lovers slave romance, but it stays on the consensual side of things. It ends on a cliffhanger, but resolved much of the immediate plot thread up to that point.
I received this book from Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Wow, what a great story and performance. As an avid reader of the gay fantasy genre, I was expecting little variation on the feminine elf/masculine human trope, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the two main characters were highly developed and complex. While there is not a lot of sex, what is there is sizzling and is made all the sweeter by the organic development of the characters' love for one another. For a story that starts out love/hate, I felt that the romance developed in a believable and natural way that didn't feel like Stockholm Syndrome (lol) as it does in some novels.
I'm really looking forward to the second part. I'm not sure if the one star reviewer below me realizes that this audiobook was only just released- I'm sure audible will sell the next volume soon. Recording, producing, and editing takes time. :)
"Ripoff! Cliffhanger ending and Audible doesn't have the second book"
I spent an entire day listening to this twelve hour book only to find out at the end it was a cliffhanger and Audible doesn't have the second book which continues the story. I am disgusted with Audible for selling book one when they didn't handbook two and not revealing book one, this book, was a cliffhanger.
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