Author: DC Juris
Publisher: Breathless Press
Pages: ebook novella
Characters: Meldrick and Faldor
POV: third person
Sub-Genre: mm romance fantasy
Escaped from a prison camp, is Meldrick still the man Faldor loved? Can Meldrick reconcile who is with who he was, or will betrayal win?
Two years after he lost his soul mate to the war, Faldor still pines for Meldrick. His world is turned upside down when Meldrick appears on his doorstep late one night, seemingly back from the dead. Finally escaped from a prison camp, Meldrick protects a dark secret—one that could rip their rekindled love apart if Faldor ever learned the truth. But the longer they’re together, the more questions come up. What really happened two years ago? How did Meldrick escape the prison camp after so long? Is Meldrick still the man Faldor fell in love with? Can Meldrick reconcile who he is with who he was and move beyond his treachery, or will betrayal win?
Betrayed is a mm romantic fantasy set in a fictional world in which ogres, elves, and mystical healers exist. It is the story of a knight named Meldrick who is one of the king’s most loyal warriors. Meldrick falls in battle and is taken prisoner. He is enslaved for seven months in a prison camp where he is repeatedly tortured and forced to rape and torture his fellow captives.
When Meldrick learns that his kingdom has been conquered and his lover killed, he despondently gives in to his captors and tells them all they want to know. There is no point in keeping secrets any more. He has nothing to live for. After he spills his guts and tells all, his captors release him and he learns it was all a ploy. His kingdom has not been captured nor has his lover been killed, but he has been tricked into betraying both.
For such a short story I was impressed by the world building. I think the author did an amazing job of conveying the setting and the atmosphere of the fantastical location. There were occasional contemporary references, usage of terms such as “blow job” that didn’t seem to fit, but for the most part the vernacular was consistent.
In all honesty, main characters like Meldrick are not my favorite. But I think this says more about my personal bias than it does about the story or the writing. He was by no means a sensitive man, although this doesn’t mean he wasn’t a sympathetic character. My heart broke for him and all he went through. I was taken aback somewhat by the way this sadistic side seemed to have been awakened within him after his imprisonment. There was a very disturbing revenge scene toward the end in which I hoped Meldrick would ultimately take the high road and be able to forgive. I suppose that to do so would not have been in character for him, though.
I’ve yet to read a story by DC Juris that I did not like. The writing was superb and the characters were relatable. This novella was an entertaining read with very sensual, erotic love scenes and a few unexpected plot twists. Overall it is a worthwhile read, in my opinion.
Reviewed By: Jeff