I’ve grown so bitterly pessimistic I’d be surprised if ANY Starks are alive at the end of the series. I’d love for Jon, Arya, Petyr, Davos, Sam, Sansa and Bran to all be alive… and Rickon. I mean I am expecting the absolute worst for all of my faves, Sansa, Petyr, Bran, Arya, Jon (who is not permanently dead), Jaime, Jorah and others especially – I mean I know we have a soulless sadist writing this series. My expectations are detached and rather low, like I expect the worst possible scenarios out of all fan theories since according to GURM some fans have figured out ASOIAF. I just can’t trust an author like GURM like I did J.K. Rowling. I mean, she killed a ton of people during the last book especially and now I just pretend Sirius Black isn’t dead. That Severus Snape, and Cedric Diggory’s death got me the most.. and I am still not over them. I was almost expecting Harry, Ron or Hermione to die near the end… when Dumbledore did it left a hole in my soul. But I just feel if Arya, Bran, Jon or Sansa die it would be like if Harry, Ron, Draco or Hermione died. Worst case scenario one of them does die, I would just pretend canon never happened and they are alive in some AU with Snape, Sirius, Dumbledore, Remus, and other characters I love that had been killed off. :-( Still, I just can’t put my trust in GURM though J.K. Rowling broke my heart many times. Maybe, because GURM seems to enjoy the tears of his readers in a sadistic manner.
So my Kindle took my enjoyment of fantasy and erotica, put them together, and for once didn’t recommend something ridiculous like dick wizards. I saw that the reviews and ratings for this one was unusually high, so I bought it. HOLY SHIT. I seriously stayed up till dawn on Saturday reading “Master of Crows” by Grave Draven et al. One of my new favorite books.
What I really like, and practically ALL books have a problem of this, is it didn’t make their main characters unbelievably pretty while also saying “no but really they’re totally uggo ya’ll”. If I have to see one more girl who cries because she has a perfect hourglass figure instead of being a stick and having shining red tresses instead of blonde, I’m going to burn everything. In too many books it’s like I’m watching a movie with perfectly made up actors instead of real everyday people. It takes me out of the story something fierce.
But NONE of that shit. And OMG, is that ACTUAL ETHNIC FEATURES I SPY? And a not totally Weternized fantasy? YEEEEEESSSSS! Silhara of Neith is a wiry brown asshole with a hooked nose. Martise of Asher has mousy brown hair and is generally average to the point of being drab and unnoticeable, which makes her the perfect spy. The house servant Gurm is a mute who uses sign language to call you an asshole. Their characterizations are wonderful–the author doesn’t seem afraid to go too far or make mistakes like some authors do. But they also don’t act like morons for no reason either.
And the reason they can’t just immediately bone the shit out of each other is fucking real. It’s not some contrived “i’m not good enough for him/her it would be shameful” bullshit. Legit, they could fucking die. And the actual plot is incredibly engaging, not just a side-note to justify threading a bunch of scenes with unresolved sexual tension together, which is usually what happens when you combine erotica with something else. And I am picky as shit with fantasy. I love the idea of fantasy, but really, I can count the books that I think have pulled it off well on one hand. The world is believable, fresh, and complex enough.
When this book ended, I wanted to cry. It’s unfair. Grace Draven only has a couple of books and none of them seem like they’d be as cool as this one. FUCKING FUCK THIS BOOK