Review: Duck! (Avian Shifters #1) by Kim Dare

A modern day M/M, BDSM retelling of The Ugly Ducking Fairy Tale using avian shifters.

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.

But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.

Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

I had wanted to read this one forever. I know how much it is loved and have no excuse for not having read it before now. I think it’s probably because I’m really not the hugest of the shifter fans though. I do like them once in a while, but they usually aren’t my go to. That being said, I really didn’t pay enough attention to the blurb. It states very clearly that this is a fairy tale and it is and I love fairy tales! Sure, these guys are shifters, but it’s not the typical shifter story. This is about a D/s relationship between a couple of men who happen to be shifters which is really a vehicle for the fairy tale aspect of the story.

So, the moral here – Read The Freakin’ Blurb Ann!

This retelling of the Ugly Duckling was done so well. It truly was a fairy tale of Ori’s evolution and I loved the dynamics between Ori and Raynard. They were a perfect match from the beginning and reading about their journey as they figured out their place in each other’s life was really fascinating. Some D/s stories just tell that one is the Dom, one is the sub and then throw a story out there. What I loved about this one was it really explained why. Why their personalities fit together so well. Why Ori needed Raynard and vice versa. I really “got it”.

When Ori finally completes his first shift and his true species is revealed poor Raynard is really thrown for a loop and the frustration and loss that he felt was palpable. Add in Ori’s own feelings of confusion and fear and it was a heartbreaking read for a while there. Thankfully Hamilton, the eagle shifter and big bird at the nest, was able to help Raynard see things in a different light and pull his stubborn head out of his hawk ass and do the right thing.

 The last 15% or so pulled the story all together and balanced their relationship out perfectly. The power shift evened out in its own way and for me, the story went from being a D/s fairytale to a true love story.

I had just a couple of little niggles that I know can be a bug for some readers and want to throw those out there because if I caught them, someone else will too. There was an overabundance of references to Raynard as the “older man” or the “dominant”. For instance, “The older man took complete possession of Ori’s mouth. Holding Ori tight against his larger body, the dominant thrust his tongue past his lips and devoured him.” It’s not enough to take you out of the story, but it is noticeable. There were a few things I didn’t complete understand about their world, why Ori’s true species was really so special and royal and what was the relationship between shifters and humans in this world? Neither of those things are imperative to the story at all, but I was curious.

Overall, I loved it completely and was completely impressed with how the author told the story of these two. I also had my interest in Everet piqued and cannot WAIT to read Magpie.

Check out the abundance of Unicorn love for Duck!: SheReadsALot and Wench.

For more info on Duck!, check it out on Goodreads.

NOTE: This book is currently out of print and not available for purchase. A new edition will be released soon.

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