Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Shadows and Light by Cari Z.

I'll admit I had my doubts about this one.. I don't usually read BDSM, and this one sounded like one through the synopsis. But it's Cari so I HAD to give it a go and I'm SO glad I did. It was different, and though the relationship between our two MCs was very defined as the book starts - an apprentice and his master, as the book progressed and things change between them and all around them their relationship changes as well. It was BEAUTIFUL seeing Rafael grow and evolve, becoming a man who has a life to live for.

The whole story is told from Rafael's POV. He lives in a city controlled by "High Ones" who used to be regular men before they drank from a magical substance (the blood of Erran) and became more than just immortal - also very powerful with enhanced abilities. As a little boy he was selected to be the apprentice of  Xian a very known and appreciated Assassin. He hoped to please his master and be turned by him to be a High One as well, but he mostly wanted to warship Xian. He was obsessed with him, enamored with him. He wanted to be by his side no matter what. But when the test came he failed and was thrown to the lower city to fend for himself. For the first time in his life he was left master-less, all alone without the one man who meant the world to him. 

5 years later he has taken the abilities he has learned as Xian's apprentice and he has become an assassin of High Ones. That's the only thing he has in this life now. Besides a close friend he sometimes takes comfort with. But it's not enough. He can act as though he is over his master but truth be told - he YEARNS to even see him again. After killing one of Xian's newer apprentices he finds the opportunity when Xian puts a contract on his head.

But fighting Xian is impossible, not only because he is so skillful and powerful but because Rafael can't bring himself to truly harm the person who have meant to much to him so when he is captured he realizes just how much NOTHING has changed. He feels the same for Xian, and when Xian explains to him WHY he failed and what the current situation with the High Ones is, it's easy for Rafael to follow his master's plans of escape.

The escape itself wasn't easy but it wasn't that difficult considering the plans Xian had for this exact day. The most difficult thing is dealing with Xian's withdrawal from the powerful blood of Erran. The fountain was drying, there was no time left as it is, and with Rafael on his side HE now has a reason to become mortal again after centuries of being a powerful High One.

Being on the road with Xian and later on caring for him changes everything between Rafael and Xian, well, accept for their love for one another. Rafael was easily saying how much he cared for Xian, but Xian was different in his use of words, but his actions spoke loud enough in my eyes.

This book is quite the ride. It has a lot of action but also a lot of tender moments between our MCs even if a lot of them included pain and restraint. It was obvious both saw these measures as something absolutely different than I could ever imagined. Their life, experience and training as assassins made them who they were and while they started as a master and apprentice once they left the city they became Xian and Rafael. The change was something Xian was ready for as it seems but for Rafael it was a journey, one I really enjoyed reading.

This was really such a great read. Highly Recommended!

Read on:
23-26 December 2018

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