Therian Priestess by Cyndi Friberg
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Twilight
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (71 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 stars
Review by: Verbena
In the time before recorded history, Jatara is a faithful priestess of the Mother Creator, Bellin. Like all Therian women, she is empowered to absorb the animal nature of the male who defines her. But her father has ordered her to mate with a rival clan’s leader, which will destroy her connection to Bellin. Angry and frightened, she rebels, determined to live on her own terms.
Jatara’s bravery impresses Bellin, who promises her a new destiny. She will become the Omni Prime, a specially gifted Therian who will work to free all her kind’s women from oppression. To claim her power, she must surrender herself to the mighty god Khonish. Jatara yearns for the joining with the sexy and intriguing god. Until she meets another whose touch inflames her senses…
What makes a woman stronger than a man?
Like many women, Jatara feels the call of duty and heeds her feminine drive to care and nurture others in need. This includes devoting her life to the Mother Creator, Bellin. Years ago, Bellin and her brother bestowed specific powers to the males and females of Jatara’s world. What the gods didn’t anticipate is the abuse of women that soon ensued. Men hungry for status raped and claimed who they wanted without regard to emotion or respect.
After seeing the exploitation of her “daughters”, Bellin grows angry. She must confront her brother, Khonish, and demand a change in terms from their previous truce. For this, Jatara will have to fulfill a bigger role and sacrifice more than she ever imagined. As difficult as the terms of Bellin’s and Khonish’s new arrangement are, falling in love is the absolute last thing she anticipates. But before she can follow her heart, she must submit to Khonish’s demands. And he’s asking a pretty hefty price for a shift in the tides, so to speak.
Jatara is both frightened and proud to accept the gift Khonish promises, including the level of responsibility that comes with it. She and Bellin have a one moon cycle to accomplish his demands—a very short time given the magnitude of their quest. While she doesn’t particularly care for the deeds she must commit, Jatara knows it is for the betterment of all womankind.
Poor Aylon, all he wanted was a refreshing dip in the sea. Catching a beautiful young woman trying to steal his clothes turned into a pleasant surprise—or so he first thought. Tiny and terrified, he had the overwhelming urge to wrap her in his arms and protect her from all things bad. That is, until she suddenly attacked him, leaving his stunned and bleeding. Despite the turn of events, this girl heated his blood in more ways than one. He could only hope to see her once again and claim her as his heart and body so desired. But he didn’t intend to leave fate to the gods. Aylon had a few tricks up his sleeve to make this mystery girl his.
Therian Priestess proved to be a wonderfully entertaining story. I loved the author’s plot line and can see this leading to more books to come. I’m a little old school when it comes to love and romance but things that would normally be a “no-no” for me worked well in this book, and served their purpose. Clean editing, excellent grammar, and consistent point-of-view made this a thoroughly enjoyable tale. I hope to see more about the Therian world in Ms. Friberg’s upcoming releases.
Bold gods who take what they want, a pure-hearted woman willing to sacrifice all for her fellow “sisters”, and a fierce warrior determined to claim his mate make for a fantastic story of power, lust, fortitude and loyalty. Therian Priestess is a story well-worth your time.