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Kestrel's Talon by Bey Deckard

Kestrel's Talon

by Bey Deckard

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FGMAMTC Blog Review
4.5 stars

Kestrel's Talon has a historical fantasy, epic tale feel. Inside is a wholly developed world with separate peoples, laws, gods, mythologies and histories. There are castles, magic, slaves and mysteries. It's full of unique characters with differences in background, social status, physical stature, sexual identification and so on.

The story begins with Kes. He's a slave at a pleasure house. For a captured soldier, this is a very tough pill to swallow. One day from across a crowded marketplace, Kes shares a moment of eye contact and connection with a fellow slave that will change his life forever. Talon has a powerful skill and an unbroken spirit. Count is the third piece of the puzzle, a Master. He's reticent and strong, feared by many and known truly by few.

This story has action, mystique and romance. It's erotic in parts and full of riddles and symbols. KT is able to pull the reader's heartstrings while calling to their inner problem solver. Also, this book is great at effortlessly expanding boundaries in sexual orientation. Give it a try. Maybe it's the exotic novel that's missing from your life.

***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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  ToniFGMAMTC | Jan 19, 2017 |

4 Hearts--
Bey Deckard's, Kestrel's Talon (The Stonewatchers, #1), is a fantasy based romance that stars a triad that find themselves themselves and try to heal along a twisted path. In this fictional world, there are slaves, civil unrest among those who are slaves and freemen alike, telepaths, religion/mythology, lost cultures and a QUILTBAG cast of characters.

If I had known what all was going to be introduced *cough*namely psychics*cough*, I'd...probably not read it as soon as I did. But the premise intrigued me and the main characters actually won me over by the end. So if an anti-psychic reader can say it wasn't all that bad and kind of cool, you might want to check this out.

Kestrel is an ex-soldier, now forced into slavery in a pleasure house. He comes from a bigoted country when his sexuality is against their religion. Now in the Holy Empire of Pren, where slaves are the lowest of the low, his fountain of hope is all but run out. Until he locks eyes with a young ginger haired slave by the name of Talon. Talon is infectious and his master, a gentle giant with a reputation, Count Strade, purchase Kes and change what he knew as his life forever.

This story is long, 135K. And I will admit, the first 20% took me days to finish. It was interesting but not what I expected. I went in thinking it was going to be a dark, kinky tale between two slaves. But instead there was an extra partner, an asexual partner that threw my preconceptions out the door. The next 70%? I consumed in less than a day, I couldn't wait to find out what's next. The tale might take some time to get to a point (and when the paranormal part with shifters came to play) I couldn't get enough of it.

This book would work best for fantasy lovers, but it's not for everyone.

Let's get the triggers out front and center - rape (off page) and physical violence (between partners). I wouldn't necessarily call this story dark. I thought the tone was cool, angsty in spots. But not something I'll be afraid to read in the dark alone. Though there was a few spooky bits...oh if they were only longer. I've read darker work from this author, this is a 1.5 out of 5 on the dark scale for me.

The setting was hands down the winner for me. This author is wickedly talented with setting a scene, creating a landscape and describing the smells, colors and environment. It's 5 Hearts for me.

The story is swimming in 3.5-4 Hearts pool. The plots and side plots were good, the execution was mostly solid. I don't mind flashbacks, this story has an abundance. And sometimes the branching out to a flashback and jumping back to present time could be a little jarring in spots. Or the flashback scene here and there would end a mite early. Overall, solid but it's a beginning. I want to read the entire story and then review it on a whole. Kestrel's Talon is supposed to be the base of the triad's relationship.

The characters were 4 Hearts - I don't have a definite favorite of the throuple. Each guy brought something different to the relationship.

-Kes is struggling with his recovery, struggling with his lot in life especially after such horrific conditions. He is so angry, it's justified to me. I think the author did a good job of showing why he reacts the way he does and is so possessive of his spot of happiness. Imagine if you've never had any bit of hope and then a ray of sunshine is forcing themselves into your pocket? Reactions will be bumpy.
-Talon, the nubile, naive ginger slave whose innocence (and he's not innocent the least) brings a sense of newness that is refreshing. I didn't want anything to go wrong in his world. And I hated that he was a slave (not a sexy slave - but slave with no say in the world he lived in) But his perspective on life was a nice touch. There was no ounce of jadedness to be found here.
-Count Strade or Grimma, he was the enigma for me. And definitely not what I'd imagine to go with his looks. His back story, was shared in sections throughout the story. So he's the one the reader gets the most information on. He's sweet and interesting.

The secondary characters were the ones that really helped move this story along. I think my favorite character (including the leads) so far is Hessa. And she doesn't even speak!

The story ends on a sweet, loose end note. A soft cliffhanger, if you will. There isn't as much action, more setting the groundwork of more to come. I have questions and hopes for the future of this series. I want to know about Talon's ancestry, Kes' too. What is up with the telepathy stuff? Too many question marks at the end for me and not enough periods. ;D

This story has potential, it gives more than decent framework. But I had quibbles.

- The villains/bad guys - I want retribution. Badly. Especially for the one who took advantage of the ginger.

- This triad...I'm about 75% sold on them. It might be because not all parties are equals, the hypersexual to asexual ratio or though this is super novel, I don't feel like I got enough of a sense of each character. Or it could be a combination of the three. Something about this throuple just doesn't seem rock solid. They are new partners to relationship: there is infighting, insecurities, jealousies and stupid decisions. But I'm not sure if they're hearts are all in it because they ALL wanted to or there wasn't any other choice.

-The last 10% - it was a lull for me. I understand this is a beginning all 135K of this novel. But the last 10% seemed rushed, a little too sweet and just a little anticlimactic after all that happened in the last 90%.

Though this story is long, other than my slow start, this story was pretty easy to zip through. I definitely would read more of this series. It's more on the cerebral plot heavy than swords dashing and dukes flying. I didn't know how much I liked it until reflecting on the cool twists and turns...and I'm not telling you because it's one for fantasy lovers who don't mind flashbacks and a plot slow burn to discover for themselves.

A copy provided for an honest review. " ( )
  SheReadsALot | Jun 20, 2016 |
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