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10 thoughts on “In Allegiance

  1. says:

    “His gaze drifted to Reve Bound or not desperate men did stupid things but Reve remained still his gaze fixed away Firelight flickered over his features turning him briefly into a prince of tales forlorn and tragic Mathias dunked his head under the water to clear it” DNF at 42% In Allegiance was a beautifully written story with a world that was woven and built in such a believable manner However I am pulling out the it's not you it's me card for this one there were so many aspects to this novel that just didn't work for me #sorrynotsorry The Plot I first heard of this story in the Captive Prince group and in a mm forum on GR that recommended this book for lovers of mlm fantasy with slave themes etc etc etc So the first time I saw the premise of a young prince becoming a slave to a different kingdom I was genuinely intrigued Then the second time when this hit my radar I thought well if I'm not trying to find this book this book is definitely trying to find me Reading this straight off the bat I can assure you If you are looking for something reasonably similar to Captive Prince although no mm book in the whole fucking cosmos will ever hold a light to that book for me this is the closest you're going to get “Perhaps someday you’ll find someone you want to serve” The Little Things Kate Islay's writing is sophisticated It's the type of writing I wish half the books I read had She used words not because she could but because she had to That's how I knew this book had to be than one star Needless to say she made reading not so useful detail intoxicating But this is where the 'kinda good' parts of the book finishes up folksMaybe it was the timing I chose to read this because I see a whole lot of great reviews on this book or maybe it was just these little things that added up for me I could not get behind the chemistry Reve and Mathias seemed to have no build up in their romance and romance being one of the sub plots in this novel I assumed we would be seeing how their relationship grew onwards and upwards It felt like there was attraction definitely Just not chemistry I stopped reading once I realized that I was reading to get through the story and not reading because I wanted to know the story There was no build up and the story didn't hook me and keep me there Mind you the plot was so promising for me but the execution felt a little lax Mathias Was A Brick Wall A Horny Brick Wall When reading a novel with two mc's that have to explain two different sides of the story I do enjoy understanding their emotional outtake on the shit thats happening around them I got none of that from the capitols darling commander I wish I enjoyed this I really do But I didn't and so all the sighs will be given

  2. says:

    45 stars Shame on me for taking than two years to act on a recommendation for this bookIn my defense I can say that I completely misunderstood the blurb at the time and I thought the relationship would be one of the masterslave types which is definitely not the caseAlthough Mathias and Reve started as master and slave their circumstances were forced on both of them and their relationship was never about that dynamic Mathias had to live with it and try to make the most of a difficult situation just as much as his ‘slave’ if not It all worked out in the end I read this book at the perfect time for me I was looking for a good story with an interesting plot and solid characters a slow and realistic relationship development without tons of meaningless sex possibly a decent world building and I got all I wished for and This story is so much than a romance; honor loyalty family and friendship play a huge part in it There’s a romance and a happy ending which I loved but romantic love is just one of the many forces moving these characters and often not even the strongest

  3. says:

    Love and honor in warReve is the second son of Salenne's king and a tribute of war given to Matthias the conuering Cortesian general Though a slave he maybe in the eyes of Cortesian law Mathias respects the young prince Mathias has earned his men's fealty through honor and good decisions; it isn't long before he earns Reve's as well When do we forsake one of our oaths? Choose between them?Leal Reve's younger brother still impressionable is taken as a vassal security for Salenne's good behavior Reve has always seen Leal's safety as his prime responsibility When their lives intersect in Cortesa Reve can't not act on his brother's behalfEngaging military read with machinations and uestioned loyalties More fluid than the original work and romantic it comes full circle The Roman Empire Julius Caesar tone definitely works well as you get see the powers at play in Cortesa Overall a civilized warlordslave story that plays political chessA copy was provided to me for a No Glitter Blown reviewReviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews

  4. says:

    Review of Version on Live Journal 021213; My review of the published version of this work is here This book is not getting the traffic it should be I picked this up after reading Captive Prince and in seeking something to settle my CP high I found the recommendation for it on freece’s S U Pacat’s message board This is not Captive Prince however the similarities are there in plot concept and certainly in the well delivered flow of prose In contrast if one were to describe the action in CP as intense and stunning then the action in IA would be calm and calculated I can appreciate both presentations Reve is a captured prince gifted to the Captain of the conuering army Mathias Reve is young headstrong prideful but not naïve or even brash Mathias is experienced war weary highly intelligent and masterful at navigating and playing the political court of which he is a part Despite their MasterSlave roles Reve and Mathias are on eual footing as heroes A well evolved somber dynamic replaces the usual formulaic passionate one and is a refreshing aspect particularly how there is much conveyed both to the reader and each other in the silence between them This not a typical “slave piece” and will not sate if you are looking for the commercially grown master slave power struggles that though satisfying for a certain mood deliver only what is expected But if you enjoy the subtle approach well crafted characters and substance for your mind as well as your appetite IA delivers a well written read with memorable characters Whether you loved Captive Prince or hated it shouldn’t bear on your enjoyment of In Allegiance clearly there are some likenesses but don’t assume for a second it is the same book Highly recommend to all fans of mm particularly those who enjoy the enemies become lovers trope

  5. says:

    Big thanks to Rachel for putting this on my radar It does indeed deserve traffic Thoughtful subtle uiet smart The very few sex scenes are understated where a touch to the face says everythingA lovely free read for when you feel introspective

  6. says:

    Everyone in this city seemed to be conspiring against one other I read the original version of this story on Live Journal three years ago and found it to be a solid four stars in its unedited state In fact second to Captive Prince it was probably one of the best crafted original works posted on Live Journal I think if Ms Islay had pulled it to publish as it was it would have done just fine However when she released this new version she stated she had wanted to make some “significant revisions that I think bring out the romance as well as flesh out some character and plot points I've also added an epilogue for a bit closure” And I have to say she delivered on all fronts producing a very fulfilling novel that is contextually the same while adding depth to the plot characters and romance Revolving around the central theme of choices – and the freedom to make them no matter how confined your circumstance in life may be Islay provides fully fleshed out main as well as tertiary characters that are laid out on a political game board Everyone hides their intentions while playing their roles At the center is Mathias Commander of the Cortesian Army and Reve a prince conuered and gifted as a pleasure slave to Mathias by the Cortesian King For me Mathias is the star of the show He does not embrace the snake pit atmosphere of the royal court but he knows how to play the game Unwilling to engage in court antics but adept at deflecting them However as the empire expands the game begins to change and his loyalty to the king is challenged by his loyalty to the people and to make matters complicated for him he must solve the mystery of a rebellion brewing in the North and a growing attraction to his newly acuired northern slave prince He navigates the field with a level head a composed façade and a sharp mind Reve struggles with his new submissive role the fact that his father bargained his life as a political pawn and his reluctant admiration of Mathias Brash prideful but aware of his faults and frustrated by his change in circumstances Reve vacillates between playing his subservient role and begrudgingly acknowledging the leniency he is given by Mathias and clinging to his pride He emerges as an unwitting player on the board who despite his status as a slave is in essence seen as a powerful threat by the empire or an asset to oppose it He comes to realize he must trust someone if not himself to choose wisely There is a lot of plotting in this story So much so that I hesitate to toss it in the category of “MM Romance” but if anything it features a love story between two men that is as understated as it is integral to the plot I dare describe it as a well contrived historical AU centered around political machinations with a number of wild card players on the fringe a mystery circling it’s center and at it’s core every possible outcome for all involved hinges on whether Mathias and Reve’s affection is merely duty bound or A number of chapters even feature Mathias and Reve apart but Islay keeps their dynamic and influence on the unfolding story remaining as they try to calculate each other’s motives and moves from a distance clinging to the hope they haven’t misjudged or misplaced their trust Islay uses not only Mathias and Reve’s alternating POV to tell the story but also that of an unbiased narrator Luca who is playing at his own game on the board as well while keeping a careful eye on all of it’s players Supporting cast are fleshed out just as fully as the protagonists two of which stand out – Reve’s father who struggles with the choices he has been faced with to sacrifice his sons for his people and later ultimately one son for a slave so another son may succeed and King Arturus whose descent into obsessive insanity gives depth to the motivations of his villainy The world building from the mountains of the North to the countryside of the south the court life of Cortesa and the subtle societal homophobia of the times are adeptly painted The added depth of characterizations a steady pace of action fleshed out plot holes and a much satisfying ending with an HEA over an HFN makes this story well worth purchasing though I am happy I got to watch it evolve from it’s free version on Live Journal Recommended to readers who enjoy a well crafted story to accompany their romance

  7. says:

    45 HEART POUNDING HEARTS Holy mother of all things heart pounding and nail biting THAT was a good book I feel a bit like this after reading it thoughI’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 bookThis 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 conuered 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 successorAs 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 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 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 divideGoodness 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 45 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 wellIf 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

  8. says:

    thank you Elena for the push on this one sitting on my kindle for I don’t know how long What a great surprise this book was I just could not put it down the story was far from what I expected I don’t need to repeat the story as you can go look at the many other reviews what clicked for me was the writing of al the characters as well as the development of their relationship I enjoy The getting to know each of the players of the story and feel how they fit this worked so well and just flowed The political game is so clever and well thought very crafty

  9. says:

    In Allegiance was a very nice surpriseSet in an indefinite historical past resembling the period of the Roman Empire the novel focuses on the ongoing struggle for freedom of a Northern people hard pressed by the expansionist campaign of the King of the southern city of CortesaPivoting around the crossed destinies of Mathias the commander of the Cortesian army and Reve a prince sold to the commander as a slave the book develops a very interesting and compelling story full of beautiful secondary characters movement and turns of luckWhen I started the novel not knowing anything about it except for its blurb and the positive reviews of some GR friends I was expecting something entirely different and mostly based on the master slave dynamics The actual novel however was much intriguing and surprising than thatBoth Mathias and Reve are rounded characters layered and complex in their motivations and loyalties Despite its centrality their relationship is far from being the only focus in the book Their growing closer overcoming distrust and external difficulties provides a nice backbone to the plot The uestion of Mathias' allegiance to his king and Reve's loyalty to his people and family however shifts the reader's attention to a different set of narrative concerns that are eually involvingFor a large part of the novel the two main characters are not even together Their bond though keeps working as a propelling force in the background of all the other events narrated in the book In Allegiance is also elegantly written with nuanced and beautiful characterisationsI really liked it

  10. says:

    After reading Rachel’s review I decided to bump this up my reading list and I’m so glad I didThis online serial captures the beautifully conflicting and tentative ‘relationship’ between a Prince and his enemy captor There was so much to like about this I loved the two main characters and the dynamic between them finding them eually captivating a tough feat as there is usually one I prefer I also loved the tone the writing and the general development of the characters The infuriating thing about this is that it felt too short and therefore moved too uickly and thus characterisation wasn't as developed as I would have liked Before I knew it it had ended with a disappointingly subtle HFN that left me WANTING MORE Which is NOT a bad thing ETA Re read scheduled but STILL no edited version frowny face

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In Allegiance Trapped between loyalty to his king and his longing for home Mathias finally gains what he most wants home and peace But when the king gifts him with a personal slave from a conuered princedom he can't foresee the rippling effects that followAs Reve struggles to come to terms with his new station in a foreign land he still hopes to reclaim what he and his family have lost An empire stands in his way not to mention his own complicated feelings for his captor