Friday, November 21, 2014

title pic ARC Review: The Eagle’s Wing by Cimorene Ross

Posted by Josie Goodreads on July 29, 2013

Patience, decided Lucius, is all that is needed. Think of him as a wild animal. If patience and kindness could tame the pets he’d had as a boy, the same approach should work with this untamed creature from beyond the known world

GENRE: M/M, historical
RATING: 4 Sweet Peas!

 photo TheEaglesWing.jpgBLURB: Roman Britain: Lucius Valerius Carus isn’t naturally impulsive; when he suddenly and unexpectedly buys a slave at a market it’s because he feels sorry for a man who has obviously been maltreated in the past. However he’s taken on far more than he bargained for with Keret – intelligent, educated, and a great deal stronger than he looks. Roman society wouldn’t think twice about Lucius using Keret for his sexual pleasure – indeed, it would be astonished if he didn’t – but it’s likely to be horrified if it ever learns that Lucius has started to respect his slave, and absolutely disgusted if it discovers that he’s gradually beginning to fall in love …

JOSIE’S OPINION: When Lucius accompanies his friend Flavius to the slave market the last thing he expects to find is a new body slave, but one look into a pair of startling violet eyes is all it takes for Lucius to become the new owner of a young half-starved barbarian slave. Keret has no reason to trust Lucius, since his enslavement he’s been maltreated, raped, forced into prostitution and whipped to within an inch of his life and he is expecting the same treatment from the young Roman officer who now owns him. As Keret slowly responds to his strange, almost gentle, new master Lucius is surprised to find his new slave is a learned man; he had trained to be a doctor before his capture by the rampaging Roman Army.

When Lucius rejoins his legion he takes Keret with him and so begins a journey that sees trust and friendship develop between the two men, a journey that sees the secrets of Keret’s past gradually come to light. Can Lucius keep Keret safe, not only from those who see only a pleasure slave for their own use, but also from the ghosts of his past, and just how far will Lucius go to keep Keret by his side, and in his bed?

I adored Lucius; he’s a kind, honourable man, raised to believe slaves are human beings, not just property, an almost unheard of view for his time. From the moment he sees Keret he’s transfixed. He soon realises however that there is far more to his new slave than first appears, and the way he gradually coxes information from Keret, learning about him and gaining his trust, was sensitively done.

Keret is an amazingly strong character, he’s subdued, wary at first, it takes time for him to learn to trust Lucius, to believe he can be safe. I felt his character growth was realistic and I loved the way even Lucius’s band of reprobate troops embraced him, protecting him as one of their own. As the two men live and work together their relationship becomes so much more than master and slave, and soon the word love is lying unspoken between them.

The story starts off mainly from Lucius’s POV, but in a way that almost mirrors the way their relationship develops, gradually we get more chapters from Keret’s POV.

The Eagles Wing is Cimorene Ross’s first published novel, and it’s a long novel at just over 100,000 words. The story is quite slow moving but extremely well written. The characters and places are brought to life in vivid colourful detail. I never got bored and the writing is expressive, the author eloquently conveying the characters thoughts and feelings allowing the reader to feel immersed in the story.

There is a profusion of Latin words for names, titles and places, after all this book is set in Ancient Rome, but my brain just skipped over anything I couldn’t pronounce, and I didn’t find it a problem, but some readers may find it off putting, pulling them out of the story.

The Eagles Wing is the timeless story of two men from different walks of life growing to love one another, learning about each other. Together they face the challenges that their respective positions, and Keret’s past bring to them, there is a small amount of action and adventure but the plot moves at a very leisurely place, never really deviating from the main two characters.

It’s obvious the author has heavily researched the roman period and the level of detail shows in every page. I loved The Eagles Wing and defy anyone who loves historical character based stories about trust, loyalty and how far someone will go for the one they love not to love it too.

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Title: The Eagle’s Wing
Author: Cimorene Ross
Publisher: Manifold Press
Publication Date: 8/1/2013
Series: n/a
Cover Art: Hans Laubel
Length: 351 pages

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