I’ve had issues.
From what I’ve read so far, authors tend to overwrite dark fantasy, whether drowning the reader in purple prose or outdoing the plot lines and the complexity. For the most part of this story, Draven’s prose is flowery but I’ve read worse, the intrigue is simple, the sub plots make sense and my eyes didn’t glaze over.
Not one single dark scene worked for me, because the author poured out overwritten ominous descriptions that were just that. Descriptions. The language failed to evoke and set an atmosphere. The main plot revolves around an evil god plotting the world domination, and although I followed the action closely, it didn’t grip me. I know that "Master of Crows" is more romance than dark fantasy, but I didn’t shiver, I didn’t look over my shoulder, and I didn’t bite my nails, dammit!
Also, Grace Draven should learn dirty talk. Her sex scenes were a major turn off because she obviously has problems with naming girly bits. Medical terms are not erotic.
Still, I liked Silhira, Martise, Gurn and the foul-smelling Cael. I liked their camaraderie, their domestic moments in the kitchen, I liked them teaming up, I liked that Silhira would rather leading a farmer's life than being a powerful mage, I liked that Martise doesn’t play difficult. The romance is simple and I enjoyed it alongside the humour. It went a little over the top in the end, but hush! I’m quite content with it, which is not so bad considering that I had given up reading m/f romance.
So, 3 stars for characters who can sign “sewage-sucking-excuse-of-a-baseborn-bilge-rat”, who simply answer “yes” when asked “lie with me”, who only want to live and harvest oranges, and I’m open to suggestions for dark fantasy stories.
Letter Z for Zoo in the A to Z reading challenge. Crows on the cover, a hound, horses, goats, worms, a leviathan and a moronic ex. Easy!