Author: Lexi Ander
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: A Lycan descendant of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Tristan is not as extraordinary as his ancestors. He is an average warrior, unremarkable throughout. But this fact does not trouble him because he has found his Twin Flame, the one person destined to be his, who will love him unconditionally, life after life.
Then his Flame betrays him, leaving him shattered and dying. Brokenhearted, Tristan dissolves the sacred bond and leaves. His best friend, Ushna, accompanies him, vowing to guard and protect him, and Tristan slowly comes to realize that love does not require a sacred bond.
But if he hopes to keep the love he chooses, they will first have to survive ancient secrets, lies, mythical creatures, and the return of absent gods…
Review: Tristan is a fairly plain looking lycan. He’s surrounded by more beautiful people, but he felt secure in his skin until his twin flame forswore their bond and began cheating on him. Eventually bond became toxic to Tristan. Tristan had the choice to stay in a relationship with Theo, or have the bond broken. This would render Tristan alone in all possible future incarnations. It may also be fatal. Tristan does it anyway, his best friend Ushna agrees to help him as he recovers. Tristan ends up being functional. He’s able to work for the Council and hunt rogue lycans. While in Seattle, Tristan is attacked by a rogue they’re hunting. Ushna turns lupe. It’s not good. It’s usually an indicator a lycan cannot control his own form and will become violent. For whatever reason, Ushna responds to Tristan and calms down, eventually becoming able to shift out of his lupe form easily. Ushna is allowed to return home with Tristan but will remain in constant contact with the Council and will be reevaluated in the future to ensure he’s in no way a danger to either the lycan or human populations. Tristan and Ushna return to Clearwater Oklahoma.
When Ushna turned lupe Tristan felt power shifting in himself. Once home, he seems to be much more aware of his life than he has been for years. He’s also aware of Ushna in a way he’s never been in the past. As he begins to experience intense physical attraction for his friend he’s confused and calls his family to ask for advice. Tristan learns just how out of it he’s been since his soul was separated from Theo. He also realizes just how much he wants Ushna and that’ he’s willing to do some work to get him. Ushna practically needs to be hit over the head with a hammer. Finally, Ushna and Tristan manage to get together, and it’s much more magical than Tristan was expecting. He certainly didn’t expect that the two of them would wake up with live snakes in their skin and a childhood friend would show up at the door. Gregori, Ushna and Tristan’s long time friend and a powerful mage in his own right, shows up with another mage in tow and “orders” from the Council to apprehend Ushna. He brought a whole bunch of guards to do it. Tristan doesn’t take kindly to the threat, neither do the snakes in his skin. What he reveals to the assembled group is quite stunning and a complete game changer for all lycans. What he finds outside a short while later is a powerful goddess with mythical creatures ready to change his life at the drop of a hat. Or possibly end it.
I am a sucker for a well built world. Even the ones that aren’t elaborate. Tristan and Ushna are firmly not members of my culture, and it was fun learning about theirs. I like that this was not another werewolf book derived from Norse mythology. Other mythologies are cool, too! I am also a sucker for books that show a solid friendship before the characters enter a romantic relationship with each other. Tristan and Ushna have a strong bond throughout the story that shifts into a believable romance. I’m not sure I feel it was believable Tristan was immediately on board with a lifelong relationship in mind, but getting the two guys together for the first time was well done. I also really enjoyed the Ugly Duckling aspect to the story. Tristan was just hiding in plain sight, being overlooked by the world at large.
So, that was quite the cliffhanger ending. As I researched the series, which is being re-released, I was happy to realize the second title isn’t years away, just months. I’m not entirely sure I want to read it, though. Well, I’m sure I want to, I’m just not sure of what kind of reaction I’ll have to the subject. This will be an interesting experience. For me, at least. Now, having said that, if you’re a fan of shifters but feel you need some variety in the mythology the shifters are from, this is a great start to a series.