Title: The Bastard’s Pearl
Author: Connie Bailey
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 324 Pages
At a Glance: The Bastard’s Pearl is a rather difficult read at times, and sometimes Sheyn is a difficult man to like, or even tolerate.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: When Sheyn, a headstrong young aristocrat, disobeys his parents and travels to the far east, he passes through Kandaar, an isolated country of strange customs. He is abducted, transformed by a mysterious ritual, and sold to a barbarian king as a pleasure slave. When the king is killed by Kashyan the Bastard, dispossessed prince of Clan Savaan, Sheyn becomes Kashyan’s possession.
The Bastard expects Sheyn—now called Pearl—to behave as an obedient pleasure slave, but compliance is not in Sheyn’s nature. Nor does Sheyn’s ordeal stop at being held captive by people he considers savages. The Red Temple covets Sheyn as a living gateway to the demon realm and plans to use him to summon the God of Death.
Kashyan loathes Sheyn, and Sheyn despises Kashyan, but when the Red Temple kidnaps Sheyn, honor compels Kashyan to rescue his slave, and he starts a war in the process. If they hope to stop the Red Monks from bringing hell to earth, Sheyn will have to accept Kashyan is more than an uncivilized brute, and Kashyan will have to admit there’s more to his Pearl than a pretty, arrogant exterior.
Review: The Bastard’s Pearl is the story of Sheyn and Kashyan, one a spoiled aristocrat prince and one a bastard prince. It’s the story of a caustic, self-righteous prince made low, and an honorable, decent man receiving the recognition and hard won power he deserves.
We enter a land made by gods, who then fought and divided that land, and so, the people who live there as well. Sheyn is kidnapped from his philosophically forward country and brought to the backwards land of Kandaar, where he is transformed into a pleasure slave, or daaksi, and meets Kashyn, who is his one true mate. Their worlds clash and collide as they attempt to understand one another and the customs and ways of which they have each been taught. In the end, they each learn the value of service and devotion over self and love of country over all.
Connie Bailey has created a complicated mythical world in which these two men meet and ultimately, fall in love. It’s a rather difficult read at times, keeping up with all the words and new language vocabulary. Sheyn is a difficult man to like, or even tolerate, at times as his sarcasm and pretentiousness can be off-putting. In the end the gods are happy, the men receive their HEA and their respective countries become allies, so if you are a fan of mythical worlds and fantasy, then this book would be a good read for you. If you are not a fan of sarcasm, then I would pass this one by.
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