Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Beyond the Rift
Author: Alana Ankh
Series: Elemental Lovers #1
Heroes: Behnivyr ‘Ivy’ erethe/Kristelien Fezenda
Genre: M/M Fantasy
Length: 260 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 27, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Across the centuries, the Nikari, a race of vicious elemental mages, have built an empire, bringing an entire continent to its knees. The course of history seems set… until one innocent Andari mage changes everything and claims a greater prize—the heart of the Nikari emperor.
Behnivyr ‘Ivy’ Erethe knows his duty is to wed another Andari Pure-Blood. Craving one moment of freedom before his loveless bonding, he escapes his father’s suffocating protection and goes to a masquerade ball, only to unexpectedly meet a mysterious Nikari named Kris. Kris makes Ivy ache with a need he barely dares to acknowledge. One kiss, one dance—and Ivy’s life changes forever. Unbeknownst to Ivy, Kris is actually Kristelien Fezenda, the Nikari emperor. Forced to make a difficult choice, Ivy picks love over duty and becomes Kris’s concubine.
Poorly prepared for the whirlwind of emotion Ivy summons inside him, Kris now faces the hardest battle of his life. In a ruthless world where all weakness is exploited, where allies become enemies in the blink of an eye, where love can mean death, he will have to defeat more than his own personal demons to breach the rift between him and Ivy.
Sneaking out to attend a masquerade party, Ivy is determined to have a good time but he doesn’t expect to meet a handsome Nikari named Kris, especially not when he’s immediately drawn to the man. A night of fun and a tiny bit of passion changes everything for Ivy, though. And when he learns the very Nikari he had the best night with is also the Nikari Emperor, he’s more than ready to leave his life behind for Kris. But Kris has a duty to his people and when his desire for Ivy challenges that, will the two be able to make a relationship last or will Ivy’s sacrifice be for nothing?
It’s no secret that I’m a fantasy lover or that I love arranged marriages (even though this story involves a broken arranged marriage), complex worlds or enemies to lovers so when I saw the blurb for this book, I was eager to get my greedy little hands on it! Needless to say, I absolutely loved it. It hit every single one of my buttons and more. It has an amazingly specific world that deals with inter-dimensions, elemental magic, and different races. I loved that it was so detailed but also had the variations in physicality and culture. Then there’s the hierarchy and the deceit that is in all politics. It was just beyond intriguing and captivating for someone like me who craves these types of stories.
As for the characters, I absolutely adored Ivy and Kris. Kris is so dominate and possessive compared to Ivy’s more ethereal and innocent nature. They’re complete opposites but the connection between them is very strong. I also liked that Ivy had hidden depths; he wasn’t just a meek concubine, he had his own thoughts and ideas that he could contribute. Plus, I really loved that Kris struggled so much with his feelings for Ivy. It was hard for him to accept Ivy as more than a concubine because if he did that, it would mean sharing Ivy with everyone and being so possessive, he didn’t want to do that. It came to the point, though, that he had to make a decision: to love Ivy to the fullest and accept him completely or let Ivy go. It was interesting to see the development up until that point and all the events that caused that eventual decision.
I absolutely adored this book but the one thing I wish it had more of was Ivy and Kris getting to know each other better. Towards the end, you start to see that when Kris ‘courts’ Ivy but I wish that had been more shown and drawn out instead of told.
All in all, this was a great fantasy story that had a mix between suspense, romance and a bit of mystery. I adored both Ivy and Kris and I’m really enjoying where the storyline is going. I’m also loving the nightwolves! I really hope there’s more to come of them! It’ll be interesting to see what Shuri uncovers in the next book. Plus, I’m looking forward to him getting a man of his own 😉
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*