The Dokiri guard the mountains on their dragons and make sure that those within don’t make their way down to the lowlands to wreck havoc and kill. They are a race that bears only men and so they have to get their brides by stealing them from the lowlands. Hollen is the leader and when he see’s the Lady Joselyn riding her horse he knew she was the wife for him. Unfortunately Joselyn was on her way to her wedding and is furious to be taken, despite fearing the man she was to marry, she is a dutiful daughter and her marriage was to keep her people safe. She’s determined to escape and bides her time until she has the chance to make it off the mountain.
This was a really interesting book! Definitely a romantic fantasy but there were some very dark themes. One of which is that the Dokiri carve a brand into their chosen brides, the day they meet. You can see how that might put a woman off the romance of the whole thing! Hollen is determined that over time Joselyn will come to love him and will stop making her attempts to leave. Despite starting out branding her he does not make a move to complete their union wanting her to choose him herself. If I were Hollen I may have gotten tired of Joselyn’s shenanigans. He had so much patience, much more so than I.
I couldn’t help but make comparisons to Kristen Ashley’s Golden Dynasty novel which was also romantic fantasy. The Dokiri went around bare chested and scarred themselves for every significant life event. KA’s Dax Lahn were barbarian-like and chose their wives by chasing them and raping them. (Yep, very disturbing). Hollen, as a comparison wanted Joselyn to choose her fate and come to him, so not rape, thank goodness. Branding was bad enough.
There was so much more to this novel than the whole bride thing but that was certainly at the heart of the story. As with any great fantasy novel there was a lot of world-building and character building as well. The other people in the Dokiri tribe were interesting and Joselyn made a couple of friends who also put up with her questionable behavior. I guess the good thing about bride-stealing is that there are normally a lot of bad behavior until everyone settles into their place in the tribe.
So what did I think?? I actually liked it! I did get tired of Joselyn pushing back but couldn’t really blame her at the same time. I am very interested in Hollen’s brothers. They are all so different and I want to see their stories. I loved Hollen. He was just a guy that wanted to be loved. Who could blame him? I am totally reading book #2, I just don’t know when! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
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