Feared by a priesthood
Coveted by a god
Tempted by a slave.
Master of Crows
Master of Crows, book one
ebook, 276 pages
Published July 13th 2009 by Amber Quill Press, LLC
What would you do to win your freedom?
This is the question that sets bondwoman, Martise of Asher, on a dangerous path. In exchange for her freedom, she bargains with her masters, the mage-priests of Conclave, to spy on the renegade sorcerer, Silhara of Neith. The priests want Martise to expose the sorcerer's treachery and turn him over to Conclave justice. A risky endeavor, but one she accepts without hesitation--until she falls in love with her intended target.
Silhara of Neith, Master of Crows, is a desperate man. The god called Corruption invades his mind, seducing him with promises of limitless power if he will help it gain dominion over the world. Silhara struggles against Corruption's influence and searches for ways to destroy the god. When Conclave sends Martise as an apprentice to help him, he knows she's a spy. Now he fights a war on two fronts--against the god who would possess him and the apprentice who would betray him.
Mage and spy search together for a ritual that will annihilate Corruption, but in doing so, they discover secrets about each other that may damn them both. Silhara must decide if his fate, and the fate of nations, is worth the soul of the woman he has come to love, and Martise must choose continued enslavement or freedom at the cost of a man's life. And love.
Silhara, a mage of great power, suffers from a dark god's single-minded focus to enslave his will. This god, Corruption, tempts him with unrivaled riches and glory to the point where Silhara succumbs to asking the aide of the Conclave, a priesthood bent on seeing Silhara declared a heretic and put to death.
He asks for a ward to help him pour through the tomes of recorded spells. Someone of power. Someone who can help him destroy a god. What they send him is a slave with a power stubbornly buried and, once awakened, proves to be the one thing that could ensure she remains a slave forever.
Silhara knows full well that Martise is a spy. That part he doesn't mind. However, he curses the Conclave in that they could have at the very least sent an attractive one. While Matrise's looks may be plain and dull, her voice alone is enough to make a man come. (Silhara's words, mind you.) It does not, however, save her from her new Master's cruel teaching techniques. When he's not levitating her towards the ceiling, or casting demons after the poor girl, Silhara sets Matrise to accomplish household chores as well. She tends the livestock and assists him in harvesting his orchard of orange trees. No magic allowed, even if she had any to utilize.
I didn't care for this book as much as my last read from Ms Draven. And it's all because of the leading men. While you couldn't help but love the selfless, duty bound Brishen from Radiance, Silhara was a man you wanted to like, ...while he takes every opportunity to make sure you don't come anywhere close to actually achieving the feat. He was arrogant. He was cruel. He was self serving. He was nothing I could see any right minded girl falling in love with.
3 out of 5 stars.