In a fantasy world, most shifters are slaves to humans; they lost a war, centuries years ago, and the prize to the winner was for most of the warrior to become pets. Those pets are usually cherished, and so it has been for most of Calliph’s captivity; Calliph, a former general, is the pet of a noble family and for generations he has been treated with respect. But now he was given to Obyn, a spoiled brat of a prince, and Obyn uses Calliph as a sex toy. Calliph doesn’t care for Obyn, even less when he meets Mateo, his Omarati, his soul mate. But Mateo is a freeman (well he is a panther shifter AND a freeman), while instead Calliph is bounded to life to Obyn’s family, from father to son and so on, forever and ever.
I did like the character of Calliph, even if mistreated by Obyn, I didn’t find in him hate or rebellion; maybe this is a point the author should have developed a little more, what Calliph did during the war to make him like he is now? It’s clear something happened, probably something bloody, that makes Calliph regrets his own actions and searching atonement to them into captivity. Even if he needs Mateo like a thirsty man with water, he cannot pursue him since he has, he wants to maintain his bond to Obyn.
Mateo is a simpler character, he is forced in a half-shifted form by some enchantment he cannot undo, but aside for some shame, he has a good life; that will not be forever, but at least he has found his mate, and everything will be bearable after that. Mateo is the submissive partner in the relationship, and that is a nice contrast, being Calliph and slave and all. It’s like Mateo is the key to unleash Calliph’s real self, or actually, like a test Calliph has to take.
Even if Obyn was not intended as a positive character, I liked him. Oddily, I think I liked him probably even more than Mateo, so much that I was almost hoping for this to become a ménages a trois. I’m not sure this was the author’s purpose, but he managed to make Obyn sympatethic.
Amazon Kindle: Omarati
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing LLC (September 15, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott