***I received a free copy in exchange for a book review***
Harishtu is an “import” from another world to satisfy the Queen’s taste for exotic sex slaves. Queen Sekhem, a being of unimaginable power and a ruthless tyrant, is worshiped as a living Goddess by the vampire aristocracy of a war torn land where humans are expendable commodities used for work, food, and sex. Despite this, Harishtu falls in love with the notoriously cruel Queen and a twisted romance springs up between captor and slave. Thrust into a hostile world of violence and depravity, Harishtu must struggle not only to survive but to maintain her humanity surrounded by the many horrors of her new home.
I enjoyed this 10 chapter book. A man (readers never found out his male name) had a dream of being transported into southeast Asia to find a girl, Sekhem. He found her in a bar, but he wasn’t a man anymore. In this world, he’s a woman. The story was told through this character’s first person point of view, and a couple of times it switched to Sekham’s third person point of view.
My favorite lines: 1) Guys cruised around the bars like sharks in a swimming pool, checking me out as I walked by. A wink, a sly half smile, their glances prodded and groped me, looking for a weakness, but I avoided eye contact and quickly made my way to an open stool at the very end of the bar. 2) Was she guarding me from danger? Restraining me from escaping again?
Sekhem was very powerful, yet jaded. Most of the people in her kingdom were ex-lovers, one she even had locked up. She’s a lesbian–that’s why Harishtu believed he had to change to a female form. She wanted a sex slave. It was funny when Harishtu picked his name because in their vampire language it meant “Royal Slut.”
I liked when Alluatha looked after Harishtu while Sekhem was away on missions. As a reader, I wanted Harishtu to wise up and fall for the nice girl instead of continuously being disrespected by the one he thought he loved. To me, it felt more like obsession and/or lust.
As the only human, Harishtu wasn’t safe by any means. There was an evil vampire trying to kill him, just because he wanted a plaything to toy with. And one of Sekhem’s ex-lovers was jealous of him. I loved the tension in these scenes.
This is just my opinion, but I didn’t care for any of the sex scenes. It seemed like the ‘p’ word was used way too much, and I didn’t find anything sensual about their lovemaking. There was only one part I found offensive as a reader and as a woman: Harishtu thought about if he was still in male form, then he could rape, just because he could. As in he was tired of being in a weak position, so he wanted to gain control and power back. This made me wonder what type of human he had been in the real world.
The story ended in a cool cliffhanger. Everyone knows if royalty is powerful, then someone will come along, attempting to destroy.
I RECOMMEND this book to read.