Review: Betrayed By Desire
Betrayed By Desire by E.S. Tilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Seven races, a prophecy, an errant god and a dark force bent on corruption. What isn't in this book? The story begins with six prologues. The reader immediately learns about a menacing villain trying to obliterate the god Kyron's existence. The prologues hop around and give a bit of a frame work, but it's confusing. The story finally begins with Kyra the assassin. She is completing one final job before she retires from the Red Pelican assassin's guild. Her contact is Tahrek, another assassin.
This story is disjointed. The story goes off on tangents side stories and then suddenly plops the reader back into the main storyline. While these little detours provide good back history and world building, it's cobbled together in a rather clumsy manner. The story is definitely non linear nor is it a multi-thread weaving into a cohesive pattern. It resembles a puzzle where the pieces are forced together when it should not be. It leaves most readers frustrated and perhaps a bit confused. If this wasn't for a review, I would not have finished this book. I would have given up and written it as a "did not finish". If I had done that, I would have lost out.
Ms. Tilton creates an interesting war torn and dystopic world. The seven distinct races are variations of frequently used paranormal creators. There are shape shifters, faeries and angels to name a few. The attention to detail for each race before and after the catalysmic event is very thorough. It's an overwhelming information dump at once. What happened to each race is useful to know. My recommendation is to weave the pieces in bite size chunks as the story progresses. Rather than a chapter summary, a reveal of before and after as each race interacts with Kyra and Tahrek would be better. This is an example of how a good editor could have helped polish this rough diamond. Another point is the rapid changing point of views. This is jarring and takes the reader out of the story. It jerks a reader out because passages need to be re-read in order to understand who is narrating the story. Lastly, why are there so many prologues? There should be only one prologue. The rest of the prologues should have been written as chapters with a date and time stamp. Other books in this genre do the same. Or the details in the numerous prologues can be provided in flashbacks throughout the story.
Despite the jumping around and random history lectures, the essence of this tale is really quite good. There is conflict, two flawed main characters and a quest. It contains elements required for a great fantasy novel. Kyra is a strong female lead who is mysterious. Her abilities are perfect for her chosen profession. Yet she's not without issues. Tahrek is a wonderful male lead. His tortured past is moving even though it's still shrouded with mystery. Their interaction together is fabulous. The character building in this story is well done. The emotions the two characters feel for each other works very well. Even the secondary characters are a pleasure to read about. The problem is there are so many characters all trying to fight for a bit of airtime. It's almost too many characters which takes the focus away from the main characters and the main plot.
This book is rated for mature audiences. I'm not quite sure why. The sex in this story is quite mild. Even the rough sex part is glossed over within a few pages. While the sex is fine, this book would work great without it too. In fact a couple of times when sex does occur, it feels forced rather than a natural progression in the storyline. This forced feeling is not in reference to the requiring bonding between Kyra and Tahrek. The bonding actually made good sense and fit in quite well. Overall this story is barely kinky which is why it is a 1 Sting rating. The story still rates a 3 paddle overall because the concept and characters are really quite good. There are still questions left unanswered which entices a reader to read the next book. This fantasy tale is recommended to readers who enjoy intrigue, strong characters and angst.
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