A son of a forest dwelling people, Yhalen knows little of the world outside the ancestral forest, until he is captured by a band of ogres on a slave-taking mission. Only grim tales of the barbaric giants had reached the forest, but Yhalen soon learns that even the darkest fireside story only hinted at the brutality of these Northern warriors. He discovers the meaning of true fear at their hands, and only the awakening of ancient magic saves him from destruction.
Surviving ogre viciousness, he finds himself given to Bloodraven, the half ogre, half human war leader as a slave. Yhalen, refusing to bend, soon pays the price for offending prickly ogre pride.
But Bloodraven is no mindless, violent ogrish beast. Bloodraven has an agenda and Yhalen finds himself drawn in the wake into human and ogre politics, into bloodshed and cruelty and into the forbidden magic that is damnation in the eyes of his own people, but which might mean the difference between death and salvation.
I have to preface this review by revealing the fact that, while I read Pam regularly, I am not part of her average demographic, which I believe to be almost exclusivel female. I am a straight, normal-acting, mid-thirties white guy. So take it for what you will. I loved this book! What a fantastic story, through and through. A sweeping tale of epic proportions. Great characters, with the main ones being fully fleshed out. You really feel at the end of the book that you understand these characters and their motivations. I really feel like this book would have a great shot at mainstream acceptance, were it not for the fact that it features at it's core, a M/M romance. The general public at large simply isn't ready for this type of story.....yet. Perhaps in another decade or so, but not yet. The violence in this story is very graphic and not for the faint of heart. War and combat and violence are dealt with in starkly frank terms. There is a lot of loss and sadness in this world, but also... More > much to be joyous about. The political machinations in the later chapters I found to be especially engrossing. Pam is also great at describing vistas and landscapes and she paints a beautiful picture in your mind's eye of the terrain as the journey progresses. And the sex. Good God. I'm not really into M/M sex, but she also paints quite a picture in this department as well and it can be rather breathtaking. The scenes featuring intercourse between the two protaganists are stunning in both their ferocity and their tenderness, as well as their passion. In the start, Bloodraven pretty much rapes Yhalen, and the youngster hates him for it, but as time progresses, Yhalen starts to understand Bloodraven's drive and determination and comes to fall for him. This leads to him desiring the ogre to take him and their lovemaking is intense, very graphically depicted. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great fantasy story. Just know what you're getting into, with plenty of bloodshed, violence, machiavellian scheming and hardcore male-on-male sex. Enjoy!< Less
Pam has been one of my favorite authors for more years than either of us want to count... And Bloodraven is my favorite of her novels. Admittedly, I am most definitely NOT squeamish and I throughly enjoy the struggles and brutality wrought upon her beautiful young hero. Yhalen proves to be strong and resourceful - as well as magic. He and Bloodraven develop an intricate and fascinating relationship as the book unfolds.
An excellent medieval fantasy novel! Yhalen is one of a peaceful forest dwelling people. His life is shattered when ogres attack his people and take him as a slave. They torture him brutally, and only the sudden awakening of his blood magic saves his life. The ogre leader fears him and gives him to a rival, as a slave. Bloodraven is half-ogre/half-human and has a political agenda unknown to Yhalen. At first he treats Yhalen only as a means of sexual release. But, Yhalen will become integral to his plan when events go awry. At first, Yhalen hates him, but those feelings begin to alter as Bloodraven puts his own life at risk to protect Yhalen. The relationship between Bloodraven and Yhalen begins in rape. But, since this is a fantasy novel with magic and creatures not real, their eventual feelings for one another are believable, especially when they face life and death situations together. As Yhalen asserts his dignity and will, the dialog and banter between the two becomes engrossing.... More > There is a lot of hot sex, but also some disturbing violence, torture and rape that could bother some readers. This medieval type realm and magical world is well developed and the characters fully fleshed out. There's a quest, battles, political machination...in short a full story. This is not an M/M romance - this is a full-length fantasy novel which happens to have an M/M relationship at the core. This self-published novel is more expensive than traditional publications, and has a few typos, but well worth it. An oversized, perfect bound softcover. Highly recommended!< Less
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