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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ghost: Wolf's Own #1 
by Carole Cummings
Dreamspinner Press
Male/Male Fantasy Romance
5 Stars

Dwelling in the land of Ada and defending magic users called the Jin, Fen Jacin-rei is a trained assassin and an Untouchable, one whose mind hosts the Voices of the Ancestors, spirits of long-dead magicians. His fate should be one of madness and solitude, yet Fen Jacin-rei desperately clings to his sanity and ferociously protects the family he loves. But how does Fen do it? Kamen Malick has every intention of finding out.

When Malick and his own small band of assassins ambush Fen in an alley, Malick offers Fen one choice: join us or die. Determined to decode the intrigue that surrounds Fen—and to have the Untouchable for himself—Malick sets to unraveling Fen’s past while Fen delves into the mysteries surrounding Malick.

As Fen’s secrets slowly unfold, Malick is drawn into a crusade that isn’t his, one surprisingly similar to his own quest for vengeance. Yet irony is a bitter reward when Malick discovers the one he wants is already hopelessly entangled with the one he hunts

Review

This is how all fantasy novels should be: a fantastical world with its own culture, history and religion that lets the imagination take flight. Where gods walk among mortals and either help or hinder.

Fen Jacin-rei is an Untouchable of his people, the Jin, those who are cursed to hear the voices of the Ancestors and in the process lose their sanity. At the birth of Fen and his twin brother, a strange magician bargains for Fen's life and in return he won't harm Fen's mother or twin.

Taken in by the magician Asai in early adolescence, Fen thinks he has been saved at last and falls in love with his captor, for in effect that is what Asai is, although Fen doesn't know it yet.

Trained as an assassin by Asai, at first Fen does everything Asai tells him and kills those people Asai wants him to, but as the years pass Fen realises Asai is not truly what he seems and he is not so sure of his master's agenda anymore.

When he meets Malick and his band of assassins in an alley, Fen is almost killed, despite his own skills and he has no choice but to join them or die.

But who is Malick really and what does he want from Fen?

This book was just absolutely wonderful. From the world-building, to the characters, everything just comes to life.

Malick falls in lust with Fen the first time he sees him, and he is a bit of a wild one, sowing wild oats wherever he can. Fen intrigues him and as Fen continually rebuffs his advances, that makes him even more determined to have him.

Gradually though, Malick comes to see Fen as something more than an object of his lust and as the book progresses, you realise he has fallen in love but just doesn't realise it yet.

Fen is guarded and lets no one in, but somehow Malick sneaks under his defences and their first love scene is so passionate and so poignant, for it's only when he's with Malick that the voices in Fen's head stop for a while. But he doesn't want to trust it, feels he can't trust anything after he was betrayed before.

I felt a real connection to Fen, he is so damaged that you want to reach in an hug him and tell him things are going to be fine, even if you don't know whether or not that is going to be true.

The writing is beautiful, with just the right amount of poignancy and action.

I loved it and I don't think any review can really do it justice, you have to experience it for yourself.

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