Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Alexios' Fate by Kayla Jameth
Author: Kayla Jameth
Purchase at Breathless Press
Purchase at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Mina Carter
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf
Seduced by a king, pursued by the god Apollo, and wooed by his slave, can Alexios escape his fate and find love?
Mature King Lykos has a sexy confidence that turns Alexios' head. Seduced by Lykos, Prince Alexios discovers a world of men he's never known before.
Meanwhile his slave Galen has gotten tired of waiting in the wings. He sets out to woo Alexios and win his heart.
Even Apollo can't leave Alexios alone. The young prince finds himself pursued by a god and in danger of a perilous love.
How will Alexios follow his heart when he unwittingly wins the favor of a god? Can Alexios escape the fate of Apollo's past lovers and have the man he wants?
I’m not sure this story should be regarded as a romance, because there are a number of elements that argue for a very gay historical. Alexios, our lead character, is on the cusp of manhood and his father the king has a number of decisions to make regarding his future.
The history is strong in this book: the author clearly knows and loves the period and the culture, and does her best to make us understand the times. The degree of detail in the setting and the actions is deep, letting us understand why certain events unroll as they do, and why Alexios seems to be in bed with nearly every male character in the story.
The son of a petty Greek king, Alexios is to be mentored by another king of the region as befits his rank. His first choice comes with some baggage: his father does not approve. Some of the other choices are attractive politically and abhorrent personally, but Alexios may not have the final say. He’s aghast at the idea of marrying years earlier than normal, or at all, and he’s interested in exploring a relationship with his slave, Galen. This is the only romantic arc, but it’s in low relief. Galen has no POV scenes, and very little to say. Those who know the period or some history will smile with recognition.
Gods meddled in the affairs of mortals on a nearly daily basis in these times. Our other POV character is Apollo, who precipitates major plot points and leaves something for a future age because of his meddling.
The style hearkens back to some of the less inspired translations of the Odyssey: I would have been happier with 157 “wine-dark seas” than the very passive construction that pervades the book. Body parts act independently, persons are acted upon with no particular agency, and emotions are strangely absent. We do get a flat rape scene and equally passive healing power of cock, but until Apollo threatens to upset everyone’s apple carts, nothing sets the pulse to pounding. Even the pursuit promised in the blurb comes across as mild interest.
A vast knowledge backs this story, but the style needs to catch up. I’m willing to accept the MC experimenting sexually with an assortment of partners as just part of the times, his growth, and the plot, but I need to be emotionally moved more. 3 marbles