Title: The Servant
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 5 hours and 8 minutes
Category: Fantasy, Fairy Tale
At a Glance: As usual, Greg Tremblay did an outstanding job of narrating!
Reviewed By: Kim
Blurb: After saving his younger brother’s child, Daemon Shar is cursed by a witch and runs far from home, a stray who will seemingly never be anything more. But destiny is hard to outrun, even for a man who is now more cat than man beneath his robes and cowl. A chance battlefield meeting between he and Ehron, a foreign lord, gives him purpose amidst the darkness of his accursed life. Soon Daemon finds that his true nature cannot be corrupted no matter the form he inhabits.
As Ehron’s consul, Daemon plots and plans to shape his new lord’s future so that he may leave it blessed when he runs away yet again. But he never counted on his soul hungering for Ehron’s brother Gareth or for his past to catch him by the tail at last.
Review: I love Mary Calmes’s stories, and I love Greg Tremblay for his narration abilities, so when I saw that these two had combined their talents for a story that has been sitting on my TBR shelf forever, I thought this was the perfect time to finally delve into The Servant.
To begin with, I could tell when I first started to listen to this novella that it’s one of the author’s earlier works. It started off slowly and I had some trouble following the gist of the story because of all the world-building that was going on, but that’s all I would say that I didn’t like about it. The plot and romance was pretty interesting once I broke through the language barrier.
Valian (AKA Daemon Shar) exiles himself from his country after being curse by a witch. Judging by the cover, it’s not too hard to tell what the curse entailed. Constantly wearing a black robe that covers him from face to toes, he eventually ends up becoming the personal guard to Ehron, a man he helped rescue from a rather nasty prison.
When the war ends, Ehron returns home with Daemon by his side—and this is where the storyline turns kind of cute because Daemon plans to move on, but Ehron is giving him some guff about leaving. So, Daemon comes up with this scheme to introduce Ehron to Llyan, daughter to the Archlord Cerus. And, as luck would have it, Ehron and Llyan hit it off to the point where Ehron wants to marry Llyan. Sooooo, just as Daemon starts to make plans to leave, Gareth, Ehron’s brother, lets Daemon know that he’s a tiny bit enamored of him. Gareth is in the closet, but the man in black attracts him. Daemon’s voice and intelligence and the mystery of what is under the cloak draws him out of the closet to make a move on him.
I did love the part when Gareth is talking to his brother about his attraction to Daemon, and wondering why Ehron was so accepting of him being gay. I thought Ehron’s explanation was very touching. And it’s after Daemon goes after thieves that have stolen a valuable sword and returns wounded that Gareth finally gets to see what the cloak has been hiding….
As usual, Greg Tremblay did an outstanding job of narrating! The truth is, I don’t think I could have finished The Servant or gotten the same perception without his narration; at least, not when I first started listening. It’s why fantasy can be a hit or miss with me—I have trouble following a story with strange sounding words, cities and names (even with a glossary) while reading. It’s why I never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy; I found myself totally confused after the first two chapters and gave up. I liked the movie versions better.
Anyway, I’m thankful that Mary Calmes writes in a format that I’ve had no trouble becoming addicted to.
You can buy The Servant here: