Valentine Strange, late of his Majesty's 21st Benhali Lancers, needs money. Happily, the wealthy Holy Orders of Harappu are desperate to retrieve the diadem of the Goddess Purya from an ancient temple deep in the mountainous jungle-an area Strange knows well from his days quelling rebellions. The pay is too good and the job seems too easy for Strange to refuse. But when Master Aleister Grimshaw, a dangerous witch from a traitorous lineage, joins the expedition, Strange begins to suspect that more is at stake than the retrieval of a mere relic.
Grimshaw knows an ancient evil surrounds the diadem - the same evil once hunted him and still haunts his mind. However, experience has taught him to keep his suspicions to himself or risk being denounced as a madman. Again.
Harried by curses, bandits and unnatural creatures, Strange and Grimshaw plunge onward. But when a demonic power wakes and the civilized world descends into revolution, their tenuous friendship is threatened as each man must face the destruction of the life he has known.
©2010 Blind Eye Books (P)2013 Josh Lanyon
I think my disappointment with this book is primarily due to the fact that this is not really a MM romance book. It is a MM fantasy/adventure book and the MCs happen to be gay and bi. Mr. Lanyon's books are usually great relationship books with a great mystery woven into the background. In this book, the relationship is ancillary at best, just adding an interesting layer in the story. Maybe it is just the opening book to a series, I'm not sure, but he definitely does not focus on the relationship. That is not to say it is not a good story, it is, just not what I was looking for. The story is loosely based on colonialized India under English rule. It has witches, demigods, crazy monks, etc. I enjoyed the story and the writing is beautiful as always. The narrator was excellent. I just like my MM romance with a lot more romance.
I love the book, and David Lazarus' narration is perfect! It has a certain cadence that really fits in well with this fantasy story, the adventure, the quest, the characters. I felt like someone was really telling me a story, and not just narrating the book.
Aleister Grimshaw for complexity, and Valentine Strange for optimism :-)
The scene where they stop for a swim is one of my favorites, very sweet. Then there are some funny scenes, which make me smile every time i remember them, there's a long scene which made me appreciate Strange's character, and there's a particularly suspenseful one towards the end of the book.
Lady Hyde, so she can tell me all about her magic.
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