Monday, July 23, 2012

Lis’ Review: Alexios’ Fate by Kayla Jameth


Kayla Jameth
Alexios’ Fate (Apollo’s Men, #1)
Breathless Press, April 13, 2012

Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Backblurb:
Mature King Lykos has a sexy confidence that turns Alexios' head. Seduced by Lykos, Prince Alexios discovers a world of men he's never known before.
Meanwhile his slave Galen has gotten tired of waiting in the wings. He sets out to woo Alexios and win his heart.
Even Apollo can't leave Alexios alone. The young prince finds himself pursued by a god and in danger of a perilous love.
How will Alexios follow his heart when he unwittingly wins the favor of a god? Can Alexios escape the fate of Apollo's past lovers and have the man he wants?

Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Historical, Ménage, Ancient Greece, Coming Of Age, Sacrifice, Gods, Prophecy

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 3 out of 3 flames

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Reviewed by Lis:

I read Alexios’ Fate when I was in Albany, Western Australia, with lots of rain and not much to do. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. Going into the story I didn’t expect the author to have as much knowledge about Greek Mythology as she did, which only added to the story.

When Alexios reaches the age to take a mentor, a lot of things change. His father uses the moment to gain political and strategical allies through a betrothal. It is also the moment that Alexios comes to see his slave Galen as more than someone who sees to his every need. It is also the moment that Alexios’ life takes a drastic turn when careless words are spoken.

There is a lot of background information and world-building in Alexios´ Fate. It builds on the ancient Greek tradition of mentoring. Historically, a lot of these relationships were also sexual in nature. Historians call these relationships pederasty. Pederasty is the relationship between an older man and an adolescent boy, not always sexual in nature, but oftentimes it was a part of it. In modern times pederasty is also considered pedophilia, because the adolescent boy was not always of (legal) age. One of the more famous pederasty relationships is that of Emperor Hadrian and the youth Antonios.

But I digress. In the story Alexios is of age and a fascinating character at that. When we first meet him, he has a touch of arrogance, but as we learn his circumstances, he quickly becomes a likable character (although the arrogance remains) who cares for those he loves. He is also a very focused character. For instance, he doesn’t notice Galen until he has a specific need, but when he does; he quickly starts to care for him, even if Galen is a slave.

That doesn’t mean there is a case of instant love between the two, though Galen has been in love with Alexios longer than Alexios was aware of it. It also doesn’t change their status. In the beginning Alexios treats Galen as very much the slave. It isn’t until later in the story that Alexios learns what it means to be a slave and the position Galen is in.

Galen is a very sweet character. He’s one of those men you just want to put under your wing and care for. He is also very strong and does the best under the circumstances. He’s cared for Alexios for a long time, even if his love was unrequited.

Unfortunately for Galen, he is a very beautiful man and that puts him on the map for others in a world where slaves are nothing and just about used for anything. Galen’s mistreatment is hard to read and many a reader will be happy once Alexios protects Galen.

The story itself is very much set around the betrothal of Alexios and his participation in the games and the arrival of his possible mentors. For a while it had me wondering where this was going. Especially when the god Apollo is mixed in and a secondary character who is a seer and speaks for Apollo comes to the fore. It all comes together quite nicely in the end with a twist for Alexios.

Alexios’ Fate is not a sweet romance story between two characters. While the relationship between Alexios and Galen is primary and later on very sweet and romantic, there are multiple pairings and there is the hint of a future sexual relationship with a mentor. Personally, I liked this very much as it illustrates the Greek world quite nicely.

All in all, Alexios’ Fate is a story I can recommend for readers who love the ancient world and a good coming of age story.
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6 comments:

  1. I did mean to read a m/m book but but, I fell in love with a series and went crazy. Oh well

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    1. Well this would be right up your alley!

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  2. Thank you for the lovely review.

    I always enjoy it when readers understand exactly what I was trying to do. I'm an ancient history buff (minored in Classical History) and I like meeting others with similar interests.

    Because I was trying to be true to the culture that Alexios lives in, there are some things that may surprise the reader in their relationship. Greek men would have scoffed at the concept of fidelity. That is something reserved for their wives. I will say that Alexios, who is after all a teen-aged boy with a new toy, does mature as he learns more about what it means to be in a relationship in the next book.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Alexios' story.

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  3. You're welcome! History is great, I mjaored in medieval history, but took classes on the ancient world!

    You just made me very happy hearing that there's going to be a next book! I look forward to reading it!

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  4. I'm most of the way through the rough draft of the second story in the series. Alexios and Galen work on smoothing out some of the rough edges in their relationship. I also have a third book outlined,following another pair escaping Sparta. I hope you enjoy them as well.

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    Replies
    1. I can't wait! I'll put it on my to watch list! Thanks for letting me know!

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