Guest Reviewed by Gyn
Title: A Taste for Poison
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Series: Memory of Scorpions #3
Genre: MM Historical Fantasy
Length: 265 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Even a king gets stung when he reaches for a scorpion.
After barely surviving an assassination attempt, King Adrastes is a changed man—one who mistrusts even his allies and friends. He readies his Empire for war against an enigmatic enemy, the Elder of Vededrin, but not everyone approves. While courtiers dare only to whisper dissent, an outrider called Death foments rebellion in the mountains, aided by a prophecy that promises he’ll stop the Black King.
Kendras—former lover to Adrastes and leader of the Scorpions—is sent with his elite mercenary force to bring Death to justice. But when Kendras learns who’s hiding behind the mask, he must choose between his lover Graukar, newly-appointed general to the king—and King Adrastes himself.
With no man to call master, the Scorpions could flee the danger and intrigue. But Kendras cannot abandon the man he once loved—or the man he’s growing to love—without first uncovering the real threat to the Empire.
This. Is. Voinov! Although there weren’t nearly 300 Scorpions in this story, it was much like the epic film about Sparta and the men who fought and died there. A Taste for Poison builds upon an amazing world where men live and die by the sword and are bonded together by their experiences. This third book in the series continues the story of the Scorpions and their officer, Kendras, as he continues to follow his heart and sense of right. Unfortunately they often pull him in separate directions, especially where Adrastes, his former lover and current war-mongering emperor, is concerned. Finding a way to save Grauker, the man Kendras loves with all of his might, from a traitor’s fate without hurting Adrastes in the process is the focus of this part of the series.
If you’re a fan of hot and hardened men who wield swords and have a deep sense of honor than this series and this book are for you! If you’re a fan of Voinov’s writing than you already know the following:
- He builds rock solid and intricately woven worlds. It’s sometimes brutal and sometimes heart-wrenchingly beautiful, but it’s always true to the story and the characters. Physically, the world in A Taste for Poison is super cool for fantasy/history lovers. There are kingdoms and great ships, inns and camps full of soldiers. We follow Kendras and his Scorpions across the lands and through nail-biting battles. Voinov spares no descriptive details, allowing death and violence to play their parts as well. The political world is expertly woven together as well and I loved the balance of trust and betrayal amongst the story.
- His characters are tangible on so many levels. I know I’ve mostly focused on Kendras, as he is the main character, however there are so many other men and women in this story that are not any less developed or real. I always, without a doubt, find myself wanting more about the side characters in Voinov’s stories. There’s Widow and Shadow, both darker and dangerous. Amrash absolutely enthralls me and I would love to see more! The Scorpions themselves are strong personalities throughout the story. Speaking of, no one does a better job at establishing bonds of loyalty and brotherhood than this author. The deep connection amongst the men and women in this story adds an intensity to their relationships and choices that magnifies every part of the story.
- The romance is often not a focal point of the story but underlies a lot of it. If you’re looking for lots of hearts and flowers, walk away. If, you’re looking for a powerful love story that doesn’t follow a cliché formula than pick up the book and read on!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*