Book Reviews

Curse of Salar (Masters and Mages 3) by Alexis Duran at Loose Id

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Magic / Royalty/Nobility / Wizards & Witches / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Alex on 30-March-2016

Book Blurb

In the kingdom of Jahar, the rule of mages has been overthrown. Prince Dezra Luzan is being held prisoner in the ancestral palace. In order to stay alive, he pretends to be a drug-addicted wastrel, trusting no one, not even his lovers. Into his lonely existence comes a man who should be his sworn enemy; Captain Rayn Nevar. Dezra is irresistibly drawn to the rough soldier and his longing for a simple sexual encounter quickly builds into a dangerous obsession.

Captain Rayn Nevar knows he should stay away from Prince Dezra, but his desire for the beautiful young man overrides all common sense. Rayn soon finds himself protecting the prince from a plot to destroy the last of the mages. When treachery leads to Dezra's escape, he is at last free to unlock his long repressed powers. Only the arrival of a mysterious monk with powers greater than Dezra's stops the prince from using sorcery to destroy all who stand in his way, including Rayn.

As Jahar edges toward another war between masters and mages, Rayn must question his devotion to his increasingly deadly lover while Dezra must decide if ultimate power is worth the ultimate sacrifice.

Book Review

This third book of the ‘Masters and Mages’ series is quite compelling and, in my opinion, more ambitious than the previous installments in the series, which I absolutely adored. The first half of the richly-detailed story is devoted to the torrid relationship between two new-to-the series characters: captive prince, Dezra Luzan, who harbors dormant magical powers, and Rayn Nevar, a captain escorting visiting dignitaries who are allies of the prince’s captors.  The chemistry between Dezra and Rayn is stuff-of-legend fabulous, but magic, massive trust issues, and a harrowing political climate make this story much more than a clever otherworld romance. Be prepared for riveting adventure, and wonderfully imaginative scenes of passion and sorcery of the “go-deep” epic variety.  Plus, the reappearance of M’lan and Jamil, leading characters from the first two books, transform this absorbing tale of one man’s destiny into a true spellbinder. Innovative!

What made this story stand apart for me is that initially the characters weren’t all that likable. Prince Dezra’s pretense of being an indolent wastrel addicted to drugs and sex, coupled with his inner voice of suspicion, first read as cowardice to me. But the slow reveal of the reasons behind his fear and his valiant fight to find his true self despite harboring a tremendous supernatural demon, eventually won me over. Plus, I really love the characters of M’lan and Jamil so their inclusion made me take a kinder view toward the prince. Uh-huh, because M’lan thought Dezra worth saving, I was swayed to reconsider my constant Kirk-to-McCoy voice of “Get it together, Bones” that accompanied my journey with Dezra throughout the initial half of the book. I still consider Dezra a most fragile and arrogant prince, and freely admit that his gorgeous appearance and satyriasis-like sex drive also figured into my gradual love of him as an intriguing anti-hero.

Captain Rayn Nevar was splendid both as a courageous warrior and heroic lover. Okay, at times I wanted him to smack the prince upside his head… but given that Dezra held the power to smite him from the Earth, in this case patience was indeed a virtue.

The storyline definitely churns up some emotion and is more than the sum of its simple-complex plot. I weighed in on some tough morality questions, all the while wondering if the prince would find the spiritual fulfillment he needed to rule both the magic within him and his kingdom. The author’s skill at world building rose another notch with this book and I happily wallowed in an ethereal land of dusty valleys, rocky terrains, and majestic mountains, when I wasn’t shivering in the dank cold shadows of the serpent god Ka’alar’s embrace. Like a little mysticism and danger with your romance? Then this book is for you!

Thank you, Alexis Duran, for surprising me yet again.

“Hot, Complex, Imaginative…Love”





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Loose Id for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 82334 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 05-January-2016
Price $6.99 ebook
Buy Link