A son of a forest dwelling people, Yhalen knows little of the world outside the ancestral forest, until he is captured by a band of ogres on a slave-taking mission. Only grim tales of the barbaric giants had reached the forest, but Yhalen soon learns that even the darkest fireside story only hinted at the brutality of these Northern warriors. He discovers the meaning of true fear at their hands, and only the awakening of ancient magic saves him from destruction.
Surviving ogre viciousness, he finds himself given to Bloodraven, the half ogre, half human war leader as a slave. Yhalen, refusing to bend, soon pays the price for offending prickly ogre pride.
But Bloodraven is no mindless, violent ogrish beast. Bloodraven has an agenda and Yhalen finds himself drawn in the wake into human and ogre politics, into bloodshed and cruelty and into the forbidden magic that is damnation in the eyes of his own people, but which might mean the difference between death and salvation.
This book is available on Lulu.comThis book was interesting... It was extremely graphic. There were many many many violent scenes that made my stomach turn. Poor Yhalen went through so much and still he had spirit. That was something that pissed me off though. Not the part about Yhalen having spirit, because I was so happy he anaged to struggle through it all, but that people kept telling him that he couldn't imagine the abuse that human slaves of ogres went through, and I was like YES HE CAN!! And even after he told Bloodraven about it Bloodraven kept telling him to lay low because he couldnt imagine the trauma of being tortured by ogres. It made me so mad.
I think there was a lot of miscommunication between the characters, but somehow despite all of that they got along extremely well. Even though Yhalen was forced into the relationship and he was extremely prideful, they still managed to find a balance that didn't cause too many problems. I thought that was a really amazing thing to have because it stopped things in the relationship from getting too dramatic. I like drama, but sometimes in forced relationships it gets too extreme for me.
This was a very long book. I am not entirely sure how I felt about that because I thought the characters were incredibly interesting, but I also at times was thinking, man how much longer is there. There is also the fact that the least expensive version of this book was in PDF form, which for some reason made the book feel even longer than it already was. I did love the story though, with the violence aside, I thought it was a really touching story about how they found common ground and began to build a friendship and relationship off of it. Sure, Bloodraven was really pushy about sex, but he was always worried about Yhalen's well being and was always trying to think of ways to make life easier for Yhalen.
I really liked the character Bloodraven. I feel like we learned more about Yhalen, because he went through the most brutal trials, but I wish that we had gotten to learn more about Bloodraven's life. When he was disowned by one of his only real friends I thought I was going to try, but at the same time i kept thinking it was worth it because Yhalen always ended up putting Bloodraven first, while Bloodraven's ogre friends never really cared about him that way. I liked Bloodraven's personality, how he thought Yhalen was amusing and didn't want to break him, how he seemed to care about who was hurt by his actions and how responsible he was. It was a wonder that he turned out to be such a caring person when he was raised among the ogres. I thought one of the most touching scenes was when he was trying to get Yhalen to use his magic and kept telling him to make the dog attack him, and Yhalen said he couldn't because the dog loved Bloodraven. And Bloodraven was floored because love isn't a concept known in ogre life, and Bloodraven mourns the fact that they will never know love.
I really loved these characters and the story and I really love how they ended up so happy but I loved the most how Yhalen got revenge in the end. Ogres treated humans like trash and brutalized them, tore them apart and laughed at it, and then they just came across the wrong human, and when they tortured him, he snapped and then they got a taste of their own medicine and they hated it. And so I hope that in this world the humans are safe from the ogres in the future.
I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars