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Publisher's Summary

My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.

A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.

But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I'd rather have Tallisk's.

Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered - and Roberd and myself along with it...

©2013 John Tristan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bloody Brilliant...until the last few chapters

If you could sum up The Adorned in three words, what would they be?

*Beautiful* The plot and the writing just come together and make this story at least the first 92% of the story). Simply gorgeous.

*(Memoirs of a Geisha)*During the course of the book, I was thinking how very much alike in plot this was to Memoirs of a Geisha. And if you loved that book, but love M/M and a sliver of paranormal, you will truly love this.

*Epic*The story told is unlike many of this genre. As I said before it is like Memoirs of a Geisha but a lovely twist. A rich storyline, a myriad of realistic characters, not very much sex (thought I wouldn't necessarily feel this was an asset, but with this book it might have ruined the beauty if the author didn't integrate it right), and a compelling historic world.

Any additional comments?

If you do decide to get this book, regardless if you care for Happily Ever After's, stop right before the end. You will know when. At the climax, you know, that point when everything seems to be going wrong but most authors make it all right again? Well John Tristan, the author, didn't. And usually that is refreshing. But not so with this book, it was not done in a way that fit the story. More so like the author got morbidly depressed or bored and decided happiness was overvalued and somehow would diminish the rest of the story.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. <a tale of two cities>

In this story, with echoes of the most light and frivolous plus the most dark and cruel Dickensonian passages, we get the the happiest times of a poor boy who achieves fame and later of a love tested by revolution.

The book is difficult but proves in that, between true loves, no surface wounds can touch the heart.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

What happend!!!

This story started out so great..but the end... OMG! Did he even get completed...I just don't know... I was so pissed.. It was like the story just rushed through to find an ending... From the way the story was right up until the end...Ur gonna be disappointed.

This would have been a buy for m/m romance fans...but the end...I just can't recommend it, unless you prepare yourself to be pissed off at the end. Yes you get your HEA...but dang... I am still mad here...

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ella
  • Midwest USA
  • 01-03-16

My favorite MM book

Would you listen to The Adorned again? Why?

Yes, I bought the ebook and wanted to be able to listen to is as well because I loved the story so much.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Etan, I bonded with him right away. He had a very hard life and did what he had to, to survive in the world. Luckily he finds his way to Roberd.

Have you listened to any of Shannon Gunn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It's an emotional story and I thought the narrator did a good job of portraying emotion.

Any additional comments?

LOVED this story and the audio book version!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Beautiful genre writing - worth a read

I am giving this book 3 stars mostly because I doubt I will re-listen to it, though I am glad that I bought it and spent the time listening to it as a once through. My summary - Not a waste of time, an excellent narration, enjoyable for it's style but probably not going on many play on repeat lists.

I always feel like I need to caveat these sort of reviews. I go through phases where my tastes radically differ. I went through a period where pretty much all I read were "dime-store novels", and a gross Harlequin *cringe* romance novel phase, a huge sci-fi stint that melded into a fantasy gorge. As a young adult I got *way* into vampires, and I still love a lot of stuff that falls into the paranormal/urban fantasy classification. I have never found myself particularly attracted to historical fiction, though I am also not specifically adverse to it. Right now I am on a huge MM romance kick (kind of long lasting phase, to be honest.)

The point of all of that? This book definitely falls into a (fictional) historical/supernatural sub-genre that isn't really my thing at the moment. Honestly, I bought it because I'd listened to pretty much everything else available in the new releases section that I was interested in but I wanted something new rather than re-listening to an older favorite.

Although it is kind of a slow paced book, both the story telling and the narration kept me engaged through-out. It was beautifully written and it took me a long time to realize that I was, in fact, reading a somewhat novel and unique imagining of a vampire book.

There was so much *potential* in this story, but I think that it is a bit watered down at times, to be honest. It was like the author loved the characters so much that although he knew that it was his job to torture them, he didn't quite have the heart to go full-bore, then at the end he all of a sudden decided to get it all over with in one fell swoop before tying everything up in a pretty bow and attaching the gift tag to the package.

For those interested - very little in the way of sex - not nearly as much titillation as it could have had - and definitely not a light or feel-good sort of read. Even-so, and especially if you like a bit of paranormal and/or fantasy "historical" twist to your reads - Very worth the time and credit. So yeah, 3 stars - not a glowing review I guess but there it is.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great narrator!

I absolutely love Shannon's narration, he can make such distinctive voices that sometimes it makes me question if there are more than one person narrating. I listen to an average of three books per week and of all the narrators I've listened to he is by far the best! I could listen to him read the dictionary and find it entertaining. As for this book, I found the content interesting, I'm not a big fan of a one POV but the main character is very compelling and easy to follow along and love.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Delicious, slow, burn!

***4.5 Stars***
Well, if that wasn’t one hell of an emotional rollercoaster ride narrated by the one and only Shannon Gunn!

I went into this without even reading the blurb. All I knew was that Shannon Gunn was the narrator and that my friend, Michaelle, loved this book.

Talk about slow, slow, slow, slow burn. So slow you’re not quite sure there is anything smoldering. Yes, this took a long time to set up, but like any long con, the bigger and more solid the play, the bigger the pay out. That also means that sometimes you have to lose a little, or a lot.

In this book, after a huge emotional investment, the losses, small and big tore me apart. You may be wondering what the hell I’m talking about. Long cons, pay outs. WTF, Eugenia, what about the book?

OK, so this is a fantasy book. The world building here is phenomenal. This is a world in which the very wealthy have a lot of power. The wealthy in this case happen to be the Blood, and they live for a long time. They have fangs. The word vampire is never used, so I’m not going to either.

The Blood love beauty and in this world, such beauty is seen on the Adorned. These are beautiful individuals, fully tattooed by Masters, and displayed at feasts and parties. Each Master has a Blood patron and infuses the ink with minute bits of their special blood. This blood makes the tattoos come alive. Pretty damned cool, huh? Writhing snakes, crashing waves, etc.

This is a story of one boy who is chosen to be Adorned by a Master. The boy falls in love. Spoiler! So does the Master. Bad things happen. People get hurt. People die. It’s a fucking rollercoaster of feelings because, really, it feels like ANYONE could die. And characters do. They also get HURT.

So remember that slow burn you invested so much time blowing to life while listening to Shannon Gunn’s sexy voice? This is where it blows up in your face and you want to run and hide and protect yourself, but you don’t. Because you’re safe in the land of romance and know that something good has to come at the end of all the hell you just went through.

Thank god for romance land, ‘cause darling, Shannon Gunn talks you down from the cliff, and holds your hand as he talks to you all the way to HEA.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story

Not what I expected, but I listened straight through, loving the characters and the story. I’m so glad I did.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Enid
  • Gurabo, PR United States
  • 01-18-17

Heart-gripping!!

What a beautiful, heart-gripping story!! I loved it!! The author transports you to a place in time that, while indecipherable in itself, is so richly described you can actually see, hear and touch it. As others have reviewed the prose is absolutely beautiful. The plot chains intrigue, vanity, despair, admiration, survival, grit, loneliness, and ultimately love… and Mr. Tristan demonstrate to be a master at it. Oh, and Tallisk’s art!! Etan’s tattoos (and his brothers/sisters) were so wonderful and captivating *bows to author* Excellent book!!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVED IT!!!!!

I loved it from beginning to the end. I would recommend this book to everyone. Mr Tristan damn good writing.