Reviewed by Elizabetta
SERIES: Secrets of Socendor
AUTHOR: Mychael Black
PUBLISHER: Samhain Publishing
Book One: The Lost Son
LENGTH: 96 Pages
BLURB: One warrior, one sorcerer, and a legacy that will change their lives forever…
Secrets of Socendor, Book 1
In the world of Socendor, humans are forbidden from using magic and elves keep their distance.
Kalen Ysindroc has risen far from his humble beginnings as a blacksmith’s adopted son. Now the king’s general, he investigates reports of magic-wielding half-human, half-elven lithings sighted along the kingdom’s borders. It would be a lonely life, if not for the company of his best friend and long-time elven lover, Micheil Theirauf, the king’s sorcerer.
An attempt on Kalen’s life makes it clear to Micheil that there’s more afoot than random breaks in the land’s defenses. His lover is plagued by dreams no human should endure, and Micheil’s probe into Kalen’s subconscious reveals a past neither of them expected. And a future Kalen can’t escape.
Suddenly, everything Kalen never knew about his life is laid bare. A father possessed of terrible magical power. A half-brother who could be the family Kalen never had–or the catalyst that will rip Micheil out of his life forever…
This title was previously published but has been revised.
The world of Lost Son is full of colorful inhabitants that includes elves and other mysterious and fantastical beings. Magic abounds but humans shun it and only elves are allowed to practice it. We have neighboring countries under an uneasy truce and with the danger of evil invaders set to tip the balance. These invaders, or “lithings,” half elf-half human, with ebony skin and hair are important characters to the story. With their use of poison and magic to augment their weapons, they are worthy adversaries. There is a whisper of dragons in the land, too, so ensorcelled weapons could come in handy.
The lost son is the progeny of the feared and powerful lithing leader, Breasal Vondrasek and an eleven queen. Breasal is known to be “the greatest sorcerer the world has ever seen”. His son, of mixed elf, human, and lithing blood, was secreted away for his own protection, and raised by foster parents. Lost from his home world and, of course, knowing nothing of his lineage and inherited powers. Meanwhile, Breasal has been killed in battle, but his other son, Braen, having taken the crown, is intent on using magic to “call back” his father’s spirit. To this end, he is also looking for his half-brother. Why? It remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, in Akuron, the humans are lead by King Andrion. At the head of his army stands General Kalen Ysindroc, strong, square-jawed and brave. Kalen is a decorated, highly respected warrior. His lover, Micheil, is the Kings’ seer and secretly, an elven sorcerer. It seems that elves and their magic are not welcome in this kingdom; so while Kalen is aware of Micheil’s background, it is kept hidden. Kalen and Micheil are given the task to ride out with a small troupe of men to investigate the lithing disturbances. The two lovers, veritable energizer bunnies of lust, fuck and suck their way through the land. There is, in fact, so much… physical exuberance…that it interferes with the plot, dragging the flow… the story flow, that is. Understand, they are determined and inventive lovers— at one point, even sharing a horse (that is, seated on the same horse) won’t get in the way of their consuming passion. Just when it seems things are getting somewhere in the story, there is a sex break.
It doesn’t take much to figure out who the “lost son” is and because this is a major detail, it remains for the author to give us something really compelling to chew on. While the world building is good, there’s a lot of confusion: information not always disseminated in the clearest way, a lot of characters who don’t get fleshed out, and some abrupt scene transitions. These, added to the way too frequent sex scenes, affected my rating of the story.
BUY LINK: Samhain Store :: Book Store
Book Two: Dragonblade
LENGTH: 122 Pages
BLURB: Winning this battle requires a faith stronger than steel…
Secrets of Socendor, Book 2
Legends tell of a dragon-forged weapon so powerful, it possesses the ability to traverse time itself. Knowing the havoc it could wreak, the dragons sealed it deep beneath the mountains.
No one was meant to find it, let alone wield it.
General Kalen Ysindroc, leader of the human king’s armies and the long-lost son of Socendor’s most feared wizard-king of old, is in a race against time. His half brother, Braen, is searching for the sword as a means to return their father from the grave. Kalen must not let that happen. Joined by his elven lover, wizard Micheil Thierauf, he sets out on a journey beneath the mountains to stop Braen from doing the unthinkable.
As secrets come to light that test Kalen’s faith in every way possible, including his trust in the man he’s loved nearly all his life, the right path is as clouded as the murky, dragon-blood-tainted waters of the Ebon Sea. And Kalen is forced to make a decision that could very well be his last.
The story continues with deepening concerns about the infiltration by the mysterious lithings into Akuron. We get more of Braen’s quest to raise his dead father’s (Breasal) spirit using magic. It seems this magic can only be had with the help of “Dragonblade” a mythical sword entrapped in stone (of course) and hidden away in the mountains. Kalen and Micheil’s mission is now to find and claim the sword in order to thwart Braen’s plans. The race is on. Along the way, it becomes clear that Kalen has his own hidden depths… and his dreams of dragons grow stronger.
Dragonblade moves along at a better pace than its prequel and with more story building. Kalen and Micheil are still wild-for-each-other randy-lads but major developments occur more in balance with the love-making. Adding to the interest are some nice action and fight sequences, some fierce dragons, and Braen, in particular, gets more character development. Kalen and Micheil are fine as lovers but I wish we had a chance to get to know them as people outside their relationship and see their bond tested more. The plot does thicken, however, and my reading enjoyment increased accordingly.
Readers who love sword and sorcery-type fantasy stories may want to give this series a try. Be warned, though, that Dragonblade has an HFN ending as our two heros and Akuron are left in dire straights.
PRE-ORDER LINK: Samhain Store
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