11 January 2015

Slave Eternal by Nasia Maksima

 When novice gladiator Lucan is stolen from his patron house and enslaved by the wicked Stratos to be a pawn in a dark scheme, he finds himself fighting for his life in the cruel Spectacles of the arena. His only hope is to undertake training under Hektor Actaeon, the arena’s greatest champion.

From the moment he meets Hektor, Lucan’s life is changed. He expected to be trained. He expected to win glory in the arena. He never expected to fall in love. With every challenge, Lucan rises in power and glory, and what begins as a desperate bid for survival quickly spirals into a whirlwind of lust and love as he fights--both for his life and for an impossible future with Hektor.

But Hektor is harboring his own dark secret--one that could very well keep him from loving Lucan in return. Even worse, the menace of Stratos’s plan looms over them, sending them into the arena in a final battle to the death. Against each other.

Can Lucan and Hektor overcome Stratos's dark designs and the cruelties of the arena, or will their secrets drive them to ruin in the final battle against each other?
So I’ve read a few books lately that are fantasy that I’ve really loved. I think I’ve been converted. Some were the typical fairy, wizards, dragon types of fantasy, but there’s another genre that seems to be taking hold that I am falling madly in love with: historical fantasy. Slave Eternal falls wonderfully into that category. It’s set in the time of the gladiators, but has its own unique take on the Roman slave/gladiator/ master relationship. I adore this book.

Since this is about gladiators and fighting to the death in the ring – it’s a given that there will be blood, gore and violence. If you have any doubts as to the degree of said violence, let me warn you - this book is not for the squeamish, so if that’s an issue for you – then stay away. There’s also tons of dubious consent, so prepare yourself for that. (It’s about slaves. You know? To be expected. ) Finally, there is a lot of sex. A LOT. *fans self* Very extra scorching hot rough sex. Which I also adored. In essence, this is about tough men who fight and fuck, but manage to fall in love in a not-in-your-face romancey sort of way.

The fantasy element of this story centers around ‘slavecraft’ which involves a mark that binds the slave to their master. Supposedly, only true love can break the bond. When Lucan is stolen and enslaved by the evil Stratos to be his slave and a gladiator – his world is destroyed. He’s sent to train under the champion fighter, Hektor, and sure enough – their forbidden attraction grows into love *weakening of the knees* That bastard Stratos pairs the men up in the ring to fight to the death, so the tension and drama in this story definitely ratchets up at that point.

I’ve read a similar series in the past that I loved – same theme of the lovers having to face each other in the ring with lots of smutty, taboo sex beforehand – and that was part of the reason I wanted to read this one. I’m soooooo glad that I did. Not only was it unique in its own right from the aforementioned series, but I absolutely fell in love with these characters. I daresay it had an even darker edge to it.

Overall, if you like dark, intense, graphic, smutty novels with a thread of romance – this is the absolute perfect read for you. I’m already planning on stalking this author for Book 2. I give Slave Eternal an enthusiastic 5 Lizard Claws.


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