Reviewed by Morgan
Title: The Servant
Author: Mary Calmes
Narrator: Greg Trempblay
Genre: MM Fantasy
Length: 5 Hours, 8 Minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 18, 2016
Available at: Amazon, Audible and iTunes
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: After saving his younger brother’s child, Daemon Shar is cursed by a witch and runs far from home, a stray who will seemingly never be anything more. But destiny is hard to outrun, even for a man who is now more cat than man beneath his robes and cowl. A chance battlefield meeting between he and Ehron, a foreign lord, gives him purpose amidst the darkness of his accursed life. Soon Daemon finds that his true nature cannot be corrupted no matter the form he inhabits.
As Ehron’s consul, Daemon plots and plans to shape his new lord’s future so that he may leave it blessed when he runs away yet again. But he never counted on his soul hungering for Ehron’s brother Gareth or for his past to catch him by the tail at last.
Review: This is a fantasy – something that is not my main genre of preference. I am a huge Mary Calmes fan but I had avoided this story for a long time because it’s just not my interest. When I saw that Greg Tremblay narrated the audiobook, I figured – well, I love listening to pretty much anything he narrates, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy the audiobook even if I don’t love the genre.
Well… I think that it’s like anything else in life – with practice comes ease. If I was a “fantasy” reader, I might have found the pacing and style familiar and would have maybe fallen into it more easily. As it was, listening as I do in fits and starts – in the car, doing laundry, grocery shopping, etcetera, I found that if I hadn’t listened for a couple of days, I’d be lost again and would have to start over to find my place.
Greg does a great job with all the voices – there are so many – but I couldn’t keep up with all the different names and though he gives everyone a distinct sound – it got all jumbled in my head. I think that if I had read it first and maybe listened to it second, I would have understood it better – but – for me coming at it as an audiobook first – it was too much.
I was forced to go to the book version of the story to try to make sense of the names and places and only then was I able to return to the audiobook and have it work for me.
The story is full of exotic names and places and high drama and intrigue. We have magic and curses and murder and revenge… lots of things going on with a huge cast of characters.
If you are a fan of complex fantasy with a really sweet romance – it was terribly sweet how these guys loved one another despite the odds – then I can really recommend this to you. Greg Tremblay is a fantastic narrator and he does such a great job giving this amazing cast of characters voices and emotion.
If you are a fan of Mary’s contemporary romance – this may not appeal. It’s very different. It’s more in line with her Change of Heart series than anything else, but I loved that series and I just couldn’t get into this.
As for me – I’m just not the right audience for this. I wanted to love it as I love Mary and Greg (especially paired together) so much – but I just was overwhelmed by the strange names and stilted speech and the exotic locations – I wanted a map and a list of characters with pictures so I could figure things out!
In any case – the right audience will love this, I’m sure of it.
Overall Impression: It was good
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*