Author: A.M. Daily
Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: “My mother named me Miel. Grandmother used to laugh because she couldn’t believe anything sweet could ever come from my mother…”
Born in a turbulent age of violent political upheaval and societal collapse, and thrown to the streets of Zenith as a prostitute at a tender age, Blue yearns for a better life and learns to survive by following a simple piece of hard-learned advice: don’t trust anyone.
Heartbroken and embittered, Blue is convinced that love and friendship are unattainable, until a chance meeting with a charming but reckless gang initiate and a passionate affair with an enigmatic Mechi cause him to question everything.
But nothing lasts forever and a cruel twist of fate leads to the loss of love and the birth of an empire in this story of heartache, danger, and hope.
**Trigger Warnings: Dub-con/Non-con, rape, drug use, prostitution, abuse, graphic violence, explicit sexual content**
Review: This book was just as brutal as I thought it would be. It was AMAZING but so hard to read at times. I’m obsessed with this series and Bleu is my favorite character. Sadly I may have avoided this type of book if I wasn’t already hooked on the series. I think it helps that you know some Bleu’s future from previous books in the series. This book sort of fills in the holes while revisiting moments from things we have already read in the series. Bleu does have POVs in other books in this series but we miss out on a lot of his past. This book starts out the day Bleu loses his grandmother and any kind of support system he had ever known.
It starts with Bleu’s first day on the streets. He wasn’t always the street smart guy he is when we meet him in book 1. We follow him as he stumbles and fights his way for survival. From stripper to prostitute to drug king pen. His life is full of heartbreak and sadness. Yet he has a will to survive. He starts out thinking there’s things he won’t do to keep going but as life kicks him repeatedly he picks himself back up and does whatever it takes. Bleu does gain a few loyal friends along the way.
Mikas is his longest and best friend. We learn a lot about their messed up relationship in this book. Mikas hurts Bleu over and over but for a long time he’s Bleu’s only true friend. Mikas does have his good moments however. It’s crazy that I want to tell Bleu he doesn’t deserve to be treated that way while also totally understanding why Bleu is so forgiving when it comes to Mikas. That’s one of the things I love about this series. ALL the characters are flawed but real. Their relationships are complex and the world their living in a tough and ugly place. It creates this dependency on taking every little scrap of happiness you can find and holding on tight. Bleu’s complicated feelings for Mikas are an ever present complication between them. I can’t say I wasn’t upset all over again with Mikas after this book. He wrongs Bleu so many times.
The moment Loki comes on the page it’s like this warm blanket engulfs me. Bleu still has to suffer some horrible things but I know hope and love are coming for Bleu. If Bleu is my favorite then Loki is my second favorite character. He’s a machine but one of the kindest individuals in this series. I like that contradiction. People see Mechi as cold and unfeeling but he is so much more than that. Thankfully Bleu sees past the prejudice to the man Loki is. Their love story is SO beautiful. It always brings me to tears. The AWFUL seen from book one is quickly brushed over and I started crying instantly. I was truly amazed at the impact it all had on me.
This series is long and there is so much going on. Multiple POVs. World building that spans decades and over many planets throughout space. Yet I can remember all the vivid details. The pain and love we’ve gone through as it progresses. If you’re looking for a series that completely engulfs you this is one to check out. It’s sort of depressing and all consuming but amazing at the same time. This series doesn’t get nearly the praise it deserves. It’s fantastic!