Title: Before the Storm
Author: Marian Perera
Series: Eden Trilogy, book 1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2010
Length: Plus Novel
I received an ARC copy of this ebook just before my holiday in March, and let me tell you, that beautiful cover isn’t the only thing rocking around here.
Alexis, the woman who is more than her position.
Lord Robert Demeresna, the man who is far more than his reputation.
First impressions? I’m back reading Stephen Lawhead, or even the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin. Marian has done a fabulous job on this fantasy–and yes, while it’s a romance, and the romance progresses nicely through the entire book, it’s not an erotic romance with multiple sex scenes every other page. And that’s just fine. The story doesn’t need it.
Alexis is the most highly prized mare– a servant offered by her owner to sate his loyal followers lusts as he sees fit. But that’s not who she is. She’s a woman of extremely high intellect, and strength of character. When she’s given by her owner Stephen Garnath to the man who’s reputation as a bloody tyrant exceeds her current cruel master, she doesn’t panic. Instead she keep her eyes and ears open, and while attempting to flee for safety she discovers truths that aid the entire world in the war that soon threatens.
This is a long book–but in the lines of a good epic it moves smoothly from step to step. Just as Frodo left the Shire with only one goal–to get the ring away from his friends and homeland, so Alexis starts off with only one goal. Slowly but surely the plot builds in layers–magical destinies, scientific inventions creep into the world. The people of her new owner’s land settle into the tale one step at a time. I really enjoyed being able to take in the land in bite-sized pieces. To be able to try and balance in my mind the twists I could see coming and the delightfully unexpected. For example, there is a trap laid near the start of the book, but you’re not sure until it springs what exactly the consequences will be.
If you enjoy high fantasy, and a truly well written world to sink into, I recommend this story. I’m looking forward to seeing how Marian continues the tale in the next of the trilogy.
Whore…gift…and unexpected ally.
Eden Trilogy, Book 1
In Dagran society, Alex is the lowest of the low—a “mare”, an object to be used by the nobility. When her owner, Stephen Garnath, gifts her to his greatest rival, she begins plotting her path to freedom. Nothing and no one will ever control her again. Not her degrading past, and certainly not her growing attraction to a man reputed to be an even crueler master than Garnath.
Robert Demeresna is instantly suspicious of such a generous gift. Yet she comes to him armed with only her sharp mind—a potent weapon he can use to defend his people from the enemy. And underneath, an unbreakable spirit that besieges the walls of his heart.
Slowly, Robert chips away at Alex’s defenses, striking sparks that make her begin to believe even a lowly whore like her could be worthy of him. Until Garnath springs a trap so cleverly hidden, war is unleashed before either of them sees it coming. A new kind of war fought with steam engines, explosives—and magic with a killing edge…
Warning: Contains violence, steam engines, steamier sex and multiple explosions of the unstable chemical variety.
Marian’s book is available from MB&M:
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