In the world of Salinor – a world as full of lies as it is of magic – there are many secrets to be found, and many which were made to be hidden. These secrets hold as much weight as they do for gods as they do mortals, and some are even tied to the fate of Salinor’s very existence. In the thousand-year rule of an evil tyrant, some of those secrets have begun to unravel…
Revelations (Book 1 of Salinor: the Beginnings) by Samuel Alexander is a sexually charged high fantasy about a world in which gods and magicians influence the lives of the common people. The novel blends imagery and world-building reminiscent of the old masters such as Robert Howard or L. Sprague De Camp with the more contemporary sensual storytelling approaches of Jacqueline Carey or Storm Constantine.
The story begins with a pact between a god and a mortal, resulting in a race called the Atorathians, who are naturally resistant to magic. Many generations after the pact, the world has changed significantly. We meet our protagonist, Danais, who has grown up as a “silent,” which is to say an Atorathian without the divine gift. Danais falls in love with Leo, a wealthy sorcerer, and we follow them both as they begin to discover themselves, both as lovers and as players in a grand prophecy.
Alexander’s voice tends to be conversational and modern, rather than the florid prose so common to fantasy. This can prove to be an issue at times, as the use of contemporary styling, as well as vulgarity, while fitting, can be abrupt, but sex and sexuality are major components of the plot. Atorathians are a race known primarily for the aforementioned magic resistance, but secondly for prodigious sexual appetites and erotic prowess. Naturally, much of the story focuses on Danais’s relationship with magic and sex.
The book is mostly eloquent with strong world-building and characterization as a key selling point to any fantasy reader. Alexander mixes some unique ideas for fantasy, especially regarding divine intervention and magic, and in these areas the story is at its most engaging. Where the book frequently stumbles is in exposition; significant plot details better left to action or dialogue are relegated to the interjection of backstory, and with moments that can bring you out of the moment springing up a few too many times during the course of the read – language in particular.
In all, Revelations offers a compelling mix of sexual and romantic exploration along with magic on a grand scale. The book sets up an immersive world and story and gives us two great characters to follow in an erotic and fantastical tale. While the overt erotic content is obviously not for everyone, anyone looking for a mature fantasy read will find plenty to love in the first book of the Salinor series.
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