There are more things in the world than are dreamt of in your philosophy, dear reader. And I am going to say this, though – this series is not for everyone. But it’s not like anything I’ve read recently, and that was enough to keep me intrigued.
Lycans are descendants of the Sumerians, of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and Tristan is one of them. Along with the more common werewolf mythos, Lycans also have a Twin Flame – one perfect soulmate – to match them throughout their lives as their souls are reborn. Unfortunately, for Tristan, his Twin Flame is literally poisoning him from the soul out.
After having to make the horrible (and lifetimes altering) decision to cut his soul from his Flame’s, Tristan is broken and empty, cared for by his childhood friend, Ushna. Together, the two of them have been hunting rogue Lycans and other problems for the Lycan council. But after Ushna goes Lupe (think the Wolfman), and Tristan is the only one who can approach him, secrets of the past emerge that alter their lives forever. Tristan and Ushna now have to negotiate a world of politics, gods-come-to-earth, unexpected children, and surprise followers for their brand new pack, along with assassins, magi, and anything else that you can think of. Oh, and their new relationship, without their Twin Flames. Because sometimes the person chooses better than the gods.
I do need to point out one thing that severely impacted my enjoyment of the series – male pregnancy. Now, we are in a magical, paranormal world where the gods themselves interact with mere mortals, but seriously? The explanation is twofold: 1, Tristan is no longer a male (he’s not female either, but something in between), and 2, there is no way either Tristan or Ushna could deal with Tristan impregnating someone (which he must do, to carry on the family line). I’m still wondering where artificial insemination has gone in this world. To be fair, without this the series would have gone up a letter grade, no problem. And that’s my own fault – I didn’t read far enough into the descriptions from the individual titles, and the awkwardly explained male pregnancy just jumped out at me from nowhere.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…
Other than the male pregnancy issue, I enjoyed the series. The writing could use a little more polish and better editing, perhaps, and I’m starting to tire of the first-person narrative. However, the story is captivating, the action and the pacing are really well done, and the characters are interesting enough to keep me reading. It’s an interesting world, though much of the world-building seems to happen as you go along (just in time for it to be relevant!), and the individual books themselves are fast reads. For the most part, they start where the previous one leaves off, which definitely pulls you to picking up the next shortly after putting down the first.
As for Tristan and Ushna, well, I actually really love them. They have both been dealt a crappy hand by fate, but they keep going through everything. Every twist and turn of the story, they are there for each other, and in the brief glimpses we get of their past, this isn’t a new situation. It’s lovely and heartening to see. Tristan moves from crisis to crisis just dealing with things the best he can (fully admitting when he makes mistakes, by the way, which I adore), and Ushna? Well, he may be my favorite part of the series. He’s strong and supportive, and utterly devoted to Tristan. And it looks like we will be expanding our couple to a trio in the next book…
There are a few loose strings, things that are talked about early on in the series and then seem to disappear, but with another book and novella coming out, there’s still the opportunity to pick up those missing pieces.
So yes, not for everyone. But I am definitely going to read the next book. If poly relationships aren’t a turn-off, and the thought of male pregnancy that doesn’t entirely make sense didn’t make you close this review already, you should give it a shot. It’s certainly an interesting and different, addition to the M/M paranormal world.
The series in order:
Twin Flames – $0.99
Songs of the Earth</> – $4.49
A New Beginning – $0.99 (Currently FREE on Amazon)
Dreams of the Forgotten – $5.25
Starting Fires – $0.99
Surrounded by Crimson – $5.25
A Child’s Wish – $0.99