My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.
A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.
But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I'd rather have Tallisk's.
Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered - and Roberd and myself along with it...
©2013 John Tristan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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"Bloody Brilliant...until the last few chapters"
*Beautiful* The plot and the writing just come together and make this story at least the first 92% of the story). Simply gorgeous.
*(Memoirs of a Geisha)*During the course of the book, I was thinking how very much alike in plot this was to Memoirs of a Geisha. And if you loved that book, but love M/M and a sliver of paranormal, you will truly love this.
*Epic*The story told is unlike many of this genre. As I said before it is like Memoirs of a Geisha but a lovely twist. A rich storyline, a myriad of realistic characters, not very much sex (thought I wouldn't necessarily feel this was an asset, but with this book it might have ruined the beauty if the author didn't integrate it right), and a compelling historic world.
If you do decide to get this book, regardless if you care for Happily Ever After's, stop right before the end. You will know when. At the climax, you know, that point when everything seems to be going wrong but most authors make it all right again? Well John Tristan, the author, didn't. And usually that is refreshing. But not so with this book, it was not done in a way that fit the story. More so like the author got morbidly depressed or bored and decided happiness was overvalued and somehow would diminish the rest of the story.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. <a tale of two cities>"
In this story, with echoes of the most light and frivolous plus the most dark and cruel Dickensonian passages, we get the the happiest times of a poor boy who achieves fame and later of a love tested by revolution.
The book is difficult but proves in that, between true loves, no surface wounds can touch the heart.
This story started out so great..but the end... OMG! Did he even get completed...I just don't know... I was so pissed.. It was like the story just rushed through to find an ending... From the way the story was right up until the end...Ur gonna be disappointed.
This would have been a buy for m/m romance fans...but the end...I just can't recommend it, unless you prepare yourself to be pissed off at the end. Yes you get your HEA...but dang... I am still mad here...
What a beautiful, heart-gripping story!! I loved it!! The author transports you to a place in time that, while indecipherable in itself, is so richly described you can actually see, hear and touch it. As others have reviewed the prose is absolutely beautiful. The plot chains intrigue, vanity, despair, admiration, survival, grit, loneliness, and ultimately love… and Mr. Tristan demonstrate to be a master at it. Oh, and Tallisk’s art!! Etan’s tattoos (and his brothers/sisters) were so wonderful and captivating *bows to author* Excellent book!!!
"My favorite MM book"
Yes, I bought the ebook and wanted to be able to listen to is as well because I loved the story so much.
Etan, I bonded with him right away. He had a very hard life and did what he had to, to survive in the world. Luckily he finds his way to Roberd.
It's an emotional story and I thought the narrator did a good job of portraying emotion.
LOVED this story and the audio book version!
"Beautiful genre writing - worth a read"
I am giving this book 3 stars mostly because I doubt I will re-listen to it, though I am glad that I bought it and spent the time listening to it as a once through. My summary - Not a waste of time, an excellent narration, enjoyable for it's style but probably not going on many play on repeat lists.
I always feel like I need to caveat these sort of reviews. I go through phases where my tastes radically differ. I went through a period where pretty much all I read were "dime-store novels", and a gross Harlequin *cringe* romance novel phase, a huge sci-fi stint that melded into a fantasy gorge. As a young adult I got *way* into vampires, and I still love a lot of stuff that falls into the paranormal/urban fantasy classification. I have never found myself particularly attracted to historical fiction, though I am also not specifically adverse to it. Right now I am on a huge MM romance kick (kind of long lasting phase, to be honest.)
The point of all of that? This book definitely falls into a (fictional) historical/supernatural sub-genre that isn't really my thing at the moment. Honestly, I bought it because I'd listened to pretty much everything else available in the new releases section that I was interested in but I wanted something new rather than re-listening to an older favorite.
Although it is kind of a slow paced book, both the story telling and the narration kept me engaged through-out. It was beautifully written and it took me a long time to realize that I was, in fact, reading a somewhat novel and unique imagining of a vampire book.
There was so much *potential* in this story, but I think that it is a bit watered down at times, to be honest. It was like the author loved the characters so much that although he knew that it was his job to torture them, he didn't quite have the heart to go full-bore, then at the end he all of a sudden decided to get it all over with in one fell swoop before tying everything up in a pretty bow and attaching the gift tag to the package.
For those interested - very little in the way of sex - not nearly as much titillation as it could have had - and definitely not a light or feel-good sort of read. Even-so, and especially if you like a bit of paranormal and/or fantasy "historical" twist to your reads - Very worth the time and credit. So yeah, 3 stars - not a glowing review I guess but there it is.
I loved it from beginning to the end. I would recommend this book to everyone. Mr Tristan damn good writing.
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