by Rosalyn Kelly4 out of 5
She thinks it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning.
“Trouble will come from the east. A wolf will claim the throne.”
Legendary warrior Ramya has successfully reigned over Peqkya as Melokai for twelve years. Prosperous, peaceful, and happy, her people love her… or so she thinks.
But Ramya’s time is up. Bracing herself for the gruesome sentence imposed on all Melokais who have served their purpose, she hears instead a shocking prophecy.
Is the sudden appearance of a mysterious cave creature from the east the trouble the prophecy speaks of? Or is the threat something darker, more evil? And what of the wolves… does the ferocious war with their kind mark the end for Peqkya?
Before Ramya can answer, she and her fearless warriors must first crush a catastrophic rebellion that threatens to destroy her and devastate her beloved nation.
Ramya has led the Pekya people successfully for years, but new threats are rising from all directions. Now, she must choose between what she wants, and her duty as Melokai.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Ramya is the head of a tribe of cat-like people, where women are in control. All males are treated as servants and slaves, as they have proven themselves incapable of having any responsibilities.
The Pekians are full of traditions, and are a very proud people. Their women are fierce warriors, trained from a young age. They have a community that is built on sharing and helping each other, and everything seems to be working smoothly.
There are various other races in the world that Kelly has created, and they are so original and creative. With the blind cave-dwellers with translucent skin; the desert-dwellers that are part-camel, with their humps; the wild wolves that have evolved to stand upright; the midgets in a distant land; and of course, good old humans.
There's a wonderful, well-rounded feel to this imaginative world. Not only with its races, but the histories and territories.
There is a lot of sex in this book. I have to say this, because there is, more than I was expecting! It is very sex-positive for the most parts, and the Pekian females are confident and at ease with their sexuality.
There are a couple of instances of rape (just to warn anyone who is easily offended by that sort of storyline), one where the male cammers attack a female Pekian; and several instances where the female Pekians demand sex from their males (males aren't allowed to refuse, and if they fail to give pleasure, they are killed in a slow and torturous fashion).
It was... interesting to how Pekya viewed sex abuse, depending on the gender of the victim.
This is a strong debut, but you can tell it's a debut.
Kelly hurries to share as much of her world as possible, and I struggled to keep up.
Throughout the narration, there were a lot of characters that took turns to carry the story, and I found it hard to connect or root for any particular one. Not many of the characters stood out, and their voices weren't unique enough, to pull my attention back in when the story returned to their particular adventure.
The ones that stood out most were Prince Ammad, and Ferraz. They are both very selfish males, in very different roles. Both allow their pride to make them malleable, and I really disliked them. (A good thing, dear reader, they are bad guys).
I was quite keen on the Melokai, Ramya; but found her reaction to the Fert Queen to be a little hard to believe. This strong, independent warrior of a woman, who had spent her whole life serving Pekya; suddenly became giggly. When the Fert Queen leaves, we also see Ramya become moody and act in selfish and blind ways. I missed my tough Ramya!
Anyways, moving on. The ending. OMG the ending. Kelly really kicked it up a gear! I was hooked during the final battle; and shocked; and impressed. No spoilers, you have to read to find that out!
Overall, I think it was a 3.5 out of 5 for me.
This was a strong debut, and I look forward to more of this author's work.