Author: Kate Sherwood
Narrator: Dorian Bane
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 12 hours and 36 minutes
At a Glance: A wonderfully written and narrated novel filled with romance and intrigue.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: As an elite Sacrati fighter in the mighty Torian military, Theos is blessed with a city full of women who want to bear his children, and a barracks full of men proud to fight at his side and share his bed. He has everything he needs—until he captures Finnvid on a raid.
Finnvid is on a secret mission to prevent the Torian invasion of his homeland Elkat. Being enslaved by Torian soldiers wasn’t in his plans. Neither is his horrified fascination with the casual promiscuity of the Sacrati warriors. Men should not lie with other men—and he should not be so intrigued when they do. He definitely should not be most intrigued by the leader of the soldiers who captured him and plan to invade his home.
For Theos, everything would have been easier if the infuriating, lying, bewildering Elkati had never come into his life, but he can’t stay away. When betrayal and treachery threaten both their nations, they must work together to stop a war that could destroy their homes forever—even as they begin to question everything they’re fighting for.
Review: I read Sacrati when it first came out in e-book and was amazed by the wonderful world-building, romance and political intrigue of this non-magical fantasy. Though the e-book is 400+ pages I couldn’t put it down, and immersed myself in the world Kate Sherwood created. As soon as I saw there was an audio out, I snatched it up. I’ll admit, when I first heard Dorian Bane’s narration I wasn’t sure about it, since it didn’t match with what I had in my head for the characters, but after about the first fifteen minutes I was S-O-L-D.
Sacrati is amazingly well written. The plot and world building is unique, the pace done well, the information given is necessary to the overall story, the world-building phenomenal, and the characters are realistic (given their world, of course).
The story follows two different empires which have two completely different ways of living. Theos comes from the Torian Empire, where sex is embraced in all its facets, women are given freedom and honored, and men are expected to be soldiers. The Torian Empire, where Theos lives, thrives as all citizens are fed, clothed, and have a role to play. They lead somewhat simple lives, but poverty doesn’t really exist.
Finnvid’s homeland, Elkat, has more similarities to what I picture Victorian England was like; where men marry women, arranged marriages are a common occurrence, same sex couplings are considered unnatural, servants and commoners were looked down on and considered less.
Theos, an elite soldier known as Sacrati, and his subordinates capture Finnvid and a group of his soldiers on their land, and thus begins a fantastic journey into how they go from enemies to lovers. And boy is the journey satisfying. Though there are sex scenes, the book is not overly saturated with sexy times, and when there is sex it is necessary for the progression of the story; to understand the societies, or the relationship of Theos and Finnvid. The plot is the overall focus, with plenty of scheming, misunderstandings and characters decisions impacting the outcome.
The story is broken into three parts, and we get Theos and Finnvid’s perspectives, thoughts, struggles, and feelings. Their difficulties in understanding each other’s cultures and beliefs, the “a-ha” moments where they realize that perhaps where they come from is not perfection, and see where improvement could happen while ultimately helping each other to change and mature in their thoughts. All the while chaos is erupting around them, and they are pawns in a game they don’t quite understand or have all the facts to know how to proceed.
Dorian Bane’s narration I felt was extremely well done. After I got over how it wasn’t quite what I had pictured, I realized his version of Theos was better, and he captured Finnvid perfectly. He managed to give different inflections, making it easy during dialogue to separate who was speaking. I didn’t feel as though he was rushing and reading to me; I felt as though he was performing and did a splendid job.
If you are a fantasy fan who also enjoys a book with with political intrigue and plot twists, I highly recommend this audio.
You can buy Sacrati here: