Author: Lex Chase
Publisher: DSP Publications
Length: 280 Pages
Category: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal
At a Glance: Dark paranormal fiction with a splash of erotica and a dash of torture. Perfect for those really dark motherf***ers.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: 2nd Edition
The once glorious aisa kingdom of Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Sevon endures unrelenting abuse and is used as a scapegoat by Lord Dominic Ravensgrove, who rules Darkmore from the shadows. Coping by dressing in gowns and jewels, the effeminate king relishes the scraps of freedom he is given to be himself.
As a verkolai, Sevon possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift provides a chance for escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. When Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous shifter land of Priagust, he manipulates Sevon’s desperation for his people’s survival. Out of options, Sevon has no choice but to cooperate.
On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men abduct a shifter named Jack. Despite being tortured for information, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s history unsettles Sevon, and a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame the beautiful king’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom.
As war looms, Sevon fears Jack’s kindness is another trap. Conflicted, Sevon wonders if he should risk chasing the sunrise or remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2014.
Review: I’m not going to lie; this was a hard book to read at times. Our main protagonist, the young king Sevon, has been controlled and mislead since he was a child by his lover and sole advisor, Dominic, who ultimately betrayed and killed his father. But Sevon doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know Dominic doesn’t actually love him and is only using him for his own political gains and power, and it takes Sevon a painfully long time to figure it out. He’s finally only able to do so when his boyhood friend, Jack, comes back into his life after having escaped the coup when the old king was killed many years ago.
Sevon’s character was difficult in many ways to accept, but probably the hardest part was the possibility of Sevon being used for fetishism. Sevon is often referred to as being feminine. He’s the only character in the story who wears women’s panties—none of the female characters seem to wear women’s finery or undergarments—and he’s paraded around in ball gowns, impossible shoes, and is submissive in almost every sense of the word. There are heavy sexual undertones to his manner and dress, and with the juxtaposition of those traits to his lack of power, his being brainwashed, and then being physically and mentally abused… it was hard to swallow. The violence around his uniqueness and circumstances very much bothered me. I have read other books of this ilk, and perhaps the theme was intentional. If so, I’ll confess my own bias and admit it was a bit too much Nietzsche for me.
The world was interesting. There are other realms: the shifter realm, the vampire realm, the human realm, and countless more. They all have their own dimensions, hidden from each other by magic, and among the races who inhabit these realms there is fantastic variation. In the vampire world—Sevon’s world—humans are used as cattle. From his point of view they are little more than livestock, but when we, as the reader, are able to see what they are saying, and through dialog and action eventually understand their motivations, we come to the conclusion that humans being a lesser species may be another one of the lies Sevon was told so that he could be controlled and, possibly, so that all the vampires in this realm could feed without remorse. For those who feel remorse, that is.
Jack hails from the shifter realm. When he comes into the story, he provides Sevon with another point of view, and that perspective allows Sevon to overcome his destructive training and his abuse. This is book one of a series, and with what Sevon has gone through, part of me wonders if it’s all a little too late. Will he become a monster from his victimhood, or use his inherited power to save the world? Time will tell.
You can buy Chasing Sunrise here: