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Review: Thorns of Chaos – Jeremiah Cain

Thorns of Chaos - Jeremiah Cain

Genre: Grimdark Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Queer Grimdark: Finn is no hero, chosen born, or noble. Despite escalating tensions from the Dayigan soldier’s occupation of Feah lands, the happy-go-lucky twenty-five-year-old is content to spend his days fishing and flirting with the other men in his Celtic-like village. But everything changes at their midyear’s eve festival when an angry Dayigan commander catches Finn in the arms of another man. Suddenly framed for murder, he must flee his village or face death.

However, Finn isn’t the Dayigans’ only target. They believe all Feahs are wicked and intend to destroy them by any means necessary. The Feahs’ one hope of stopping the reign of terror is to find a relic forged by dark faeries and able to control chaos magic—and claim it to protect themselves. With the fate of the Feah lands resting on his shoulders, Finn seeks out sorcerers who practice ancient, forbidden magic.

Instead, he finds love with the handsome but fierce head of the sorcerers—and a power he never knew he could possess.

But when the Dayigans strike, can Finn harness the perilous magic to save his people without losing himself in the process?

“Cain crafts a vivid world … rich with detail and myth-lore that traipses brightly through the darker themes of oppression and suffering.” —BookLife Reviews

The Review

The Feah Tribe did not object when the Dayigan came to their land and built a great fort.  They believed it would help in the trade business between their five Feah Tribes. The Feah loved the land, vegetation, plants, flowers and trees. Then the Dayigan destroyed a large part of the forest to build their great fort.

The Dayigan invite the Feah to the celebration of the Midyear’s Eve by Chief Kaie. Dayigan Commander Beadurinc never cared to attend before. He’s cruel, evil, and believes that the Feah’s magic is evil and their morals disgusting. He is disrespectful of the Vischief Treasa and the other druidesses – women have no status in his eyes. He believes there is only one God, Deagar, who can lead them to the light.

The Feah believe that Mother Larissa is the True Light God, and sister to Deagar.  

Finnian “Finn” O’Riona is a carefree twenty-five year old Feah who likes to sow his wild oats. He loves his homeland, especially his brother Calvagh, his wife Treasa and his nephew Ubatz. His brother’s best friend Lann is married to Moyra and they have a young daughter Alannah. Lann and Finn, only two years apart, always got into mischief and often Lann would have to protect Finn. Finn has never considered a fighter – he’s a smart, fun loving Feah.  

During the celebration, Finn meets Kyran, a young Feah that he used to care about, and they celebrate the festival together one last time, as Kyran will be moving on.

Commander Beadurinc and his guards confront them. The commander is disgusted by Finn and Kyran, and Finn fears for Kyran he tells him to go. Finn watches as the Commander commits a horrid action and puts Finn in a deadly situation which turns dangerous for all. Finn will have to leave his land and loved ones to seek out help on his own.

All alone, Finn is told to find the former Chief Morgana and the Anordula, a sect that believes that harnessing the chaos power from the Faery Realm will give the Feah more power. A winged man appears with the tattoo of the Septogram, and explains to Finn that Morgana is not in the village. The attractive man tells Finn that he’s a male druid named Laisren. Laisren remembers Finn, the first lad he ever kissed. Laisren is the son of Chief Morgana.

Finn still has to save the Feah Village from devastation. Feelings grow between them, and Laisren does not want Finn to seek out Morgana. But Finn’s heart, soul, loyalty and honor are to the Feah Village and his family, and he will give up everything to find a way to save them all.

Thorns of Chaos is the first story I’ve read by Cain. I was in awe of this epic story, with its heart-wrenching battle between a peaceful people and the hateful followers of an evil man.  Cain creates a descriptive and colorful world – women are the rulers of the Feah, and also Goddesses of various types. But thedruidesses are just as strong as the men, and they fight beside the male guards.  There are also Five Tribes known to outsiders as the Devites.  The wide range of characters is outstanding.  

This is Finn’s story – he was never a fighter, and has dig deep to find all the courage to save all that he loves. It’s also a story of second chances, true love and what Finn is willing to give up to be an amazing hero. But it’s also a tragic story of love between Finn and Laisren.

I didn’t know what to expect from Cain, and was not disappointed. This is a wonderfully written novel, a tear jerker and page turner. I highly recommend “Thorns of Chaos.”

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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