The Chosen by Annette Gisby
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (140 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus
Love or duty -- which would you choose?
Prince Severin has been brought up to put duty before all else. Now, his duty is to marry and produce an heir. He has his choice of princesses. Unfortunately, his passion is for princes.
Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his powers are discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by a Prince and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong. Unfortunately, his passion is for Severin.
With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, and magic in the air, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?
A prince, a wizard, and a new slave set out on an epic quest that changes their lives. Prince Severin and the royal wizard, Ildar, are heading home after a long journey meant to humble and teach the irreverent prince. They happen upon a slave auction and buy Havyn with the intention of freeing the man. But matters aren’t that simple as Havyn soon becomes Ildar’s apprentice and Severin is newly engaged to a woman he hasn’t met yet. The three head off on an epic journey with 2 bodyguards to find the missing princess complete with mystery, intrigue, and wonder.
The characters are well-defined, even as they feel very familiar. There is Havyn, the slave who turns out to be so much more. He’s somewhat submissive, somewhat meek, but he’s also an exaggeration. He’s never had a single kindness in his life, never had clothes, went weeks without eating, always beaten. He’s still a likable character even though he’s a bit too much the poor orphan stereotype. Severin and Ildar also follow their predictable stereotypes but they work in a classic fantasy setting. They may not be the most original but they are still interesting and I like reading about their adventures.
Some of the writing feels basic and the same words are used repeatedly, especially during the sex scenes. Severin’s “staff” reminds me of too much of bad romance writing and after a while I fatigued on the throbbing, aching staffs. As a first offering though, the story is enjoyable and interesting. It plays on all the basic concepts and themes of fantasy stories with a bit of romance, sex, and an obvious happy ever after at the end. It may not be the most unique story but it will likely please fans who enjoy classic tales of adventure and true love.
This is a classic fantasy story with all the various ideas that make fantasy stories a lot of fun without the elaborate world building. The setting is historical with the twist of magic thrown in so the story doesn’t spend a lot of time creating a unique world. Instead it plays on the familiar concepts of a historical setting and lets the action take center stage. There is a lot going on in the book from the introduction of the characters to Havyn’s new status, their great journey across many lands to find the missing princess, mysterious prophesies, and a complicated future. None of these feels overwhelming and actually they work pretty well together to keep the pace moving quickly and the story interesting. All in all, this was an enjoyable read.