Guest Review: In Allegiance by Kate Islay

Mathias commands the Cortesian army, but what he most longs for is home. When his king gifts him with a slave from a conquered princedom, Mathias is intrigued—even as he resists the king’s machinations. But Reve soon tests Mathias’s allegiance and his heart.

Once the son of a prince, now a slave in a foreign land, Reve has few allies in his goal to protect his younger brother from the king. He’s forced to navigate the treacherousness of Cortesa and his own conflicted feelings for his captor. Faced with what he most wants, Reve has to make a choice—and Mathias has to make his. An empire stands against them, but Mathias’s loyalty to the king may be too much for Reve to conquer.

Guest Review: Chelsea

Holy mother of all things heart-pounding and nail-biting THAT was a good book. I feel a bit like this after reading it though.

I’m sorry to say it but I put off reading this for ages. I think it was the cover honestly, but I absolutely devoured this book.

This book is set in an alternate universe, but one very closely related to the time and period of the Roman empire. It reminded me a lot of the movie Gladiator, but without the Gladiators, just all the politics, corruption and war.

Mathias is the Commander of the army of Cortesa, which is an empire similar to Rome. We meet him just after his army have successfully conquered the northern kingdoms. Mathias is gifted with a pleasure slave for his victory, one of the northern Prince’s sons, Reve. Reve’s eight year old brother is also taken by the king of Cortesa to be fostered by him to become an eventual successor.

As you can imagine Reve and Mathias have a fairly shaky start as Reve wants to rescue his brother and return home, while Mathias is loyal to his king and empire. I really really loved the way their tentative truce and relationship developed. They both felt just in their respective causes, but developed respect for each other and obviously there was also that undercurrent of attraction sizzling away between them.

Seeing both Reve and Mathias’ POV was what made this book so much more enthralling and complicated. Mathias’ loyalty to his king and country made so much sense and I could see where he was coming from, but at the same time we saw Reve’s hurt and how much the war had affected him and his kin. I had no idea how this would end or what would happen to any of the characters in the meantime.

My nerves slowly but surely increased as the King of Cortesa’s motivations become more dubious and conspiracies started coming from all angles. I was so scared for Reve and his little brother. I ached for Mathias as he started to fall in love with Reve and felt weight of his loyalty starting to divide.

Goodness, this book was brilliantly written. Despite all the different names and places I never felt lost. In a story this intricate and with this many characters, this takes a lot of talent!

The reason this is a 4.5 and not a 5 hearts is that the romance does take a back seat to the story and conspiracies, which is never a preference of mine. The romance is there though, it's just subtle, and yes there are a couple of sex scenes, which I was highly grateful for. The build up of sexual tension was delicious and when it did finally get satisfied.. .. it was satisfied well!!

If you don’t mind sweating a little and you enjoy historical, conspiracy or war stories I would highly HIGHLY recommend this one. Even if you don’t, just try this, I think you will find you’ll get glued to the story!

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