Review – Kestrel's Talon (The Stonewatchers #1) by Bey Deckard
Title: Kestrel’s Talon
Series: The Stonewatchers #1
Author: Bey Deckard
Length: 426 Pages
Publisher: Bey Deckard
Publication Date: May 23, 2016
Heat Level: Moderate
Star Rating: 5 Stars
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Following the Prentish/Nemarri war, Kes is rejected by his homeland under the guise of religious purity laws. Though he's spared execution, the proud Nemarri's fate is only marginally more merciful than death when he is sold into sexual slavery at a prosperous pleasure house.
Despite his stoic endurance, Kes knows he’s reaching his breaking point, but there is nothing he can do—there is no path to freedom in the Holy Prentish Empire, only a lifetime of humiliating servitude.
That is, until a beautiful young slave and his formidable master approach Kes in the marketplace and make an astonishing offer to take him home with them. The only problem: “home” is the accursed Horthmont Castle from the scare-stories of Kes’s childhood.
Thrown into a world of living myth, powerful magic, and ancient gods, Kes learns the secrets kept hidden by Horthmont’s thick blackstone walls. There he discovers something he thought he’d never know again: hope for the future.
Product Link: AMAZON
Bey Deckard captures his audience once again with this fantasy tale of Kestrel’s Talon. The world-building itself is mind-boggling and will take you on a journey that is sure to hold your attention from start to finish. There are three main characters that make up the story, Kestrel, aka Kes, a soldier sold into slavery, Talon, who was born into slavery, and Count Strade, aka Grimma the Great and owner of Talon.
The story opens with Kes standing in the marketplace being ogled by dirty old men hoping to take their pleasures if the price is right. He hates his life and what has been forced upon him but he knows if doesn’t behave it could be much worse. He notices a beautiful boy across the way and is shocked when he realizes he’s coming towards him.
Talon doesn’t understand the pull or the connection he feels towards Kes he just knows there is something there and he convinces Count Strade of the same. Once the purchase is made the story takes off from here with the three of them heading to Horthmont’s Castle where Grim and Talon live.
Kes is skeptical of Talon and what they want from him or what they plan to do with him. He’s also heard rumors about the big guy Grimma the Great and his scary castle and what goes on there. He’s also a little intrigued by this beautiful boy with the red hair and pale skin who is so carefree and full of laughter.
Talon is a firecracker and gets amused easily and loves to make fun of Kes. His purpose for finding another slave was to have someone his age so he could have a friend but he gets much more than just a friend from Kes. He’s captivated by him and even jealous at times when Kes and Grim have moments to themselves. It’s short-lived, however, as they have a special connection that only they share. Talon has a special gift and even he isn’t fully aware of how to use it yet.
Count Strade is quite the character. I wasn’t sure what to think about him at first. He’s big and gruff and a little scary but he’s really a cuddly bear. In more ways than one. You can’t help but to be drawn to this man who has suffered with so much pain and turmoil and continues to do so. I really can’t explain his story because it’s made up of myths and gods and spells and full moons but I do know that he loves Talon and I believe that he loves Kes and his castle is made up of misfits who have found a place to call home and they are safe and protected.
The story is of the triad working together to heal each other, and in the process they fall in love and learn to laugh again. Talon is a little naïve at times which causes friction and discourse with Kes but they work it out. We learn the story of the past through Grimma as he tells it to Talon and Kes and we learn what they want to see for the future.
There’s lots of mystery and magical aspects that make up this tale. There’s secrets and coded messages and I always felt an undercurrent of something bad getting ready to happen. There’s too much that happens for me to explain nor could I do it properly if I tried. No one writes detail and descriptions and takes the reader on an all-inclusive journey like this author. This is the first book of a trilogy so it has a bit of a cliffhanger ending.
** Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review **
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