Friday, September 6, 2013

The Adorned by John Tristan

I received an E-galley of The Adorned from Carina Press through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.  Here's the cover and Goodreads blurb:

My name is Etan, and I am Adorned.

A living piece of art, I exist to please the divine rulers of Kered. With nowhere to turn after my father died, I tried my luck in the capital city. Little did I know how quickly I would be robbed, beaten and forced to sell myself into servitude. But I was lucky enough to gain the attention of Roberd Tallisk, an irascible but intriguing tattoo artist who offered to mark me with enchanted ink for the enjoyment of the nobles. I was given a chance to better my station in life, and I could not refuse.

But the divine rulers want not only the art but the body that bears it. In their company I can rise above the dregs of society and experience a life most only dream of, at the cost of suffering their every desire as a pawn in games of lavish intrigue. Their attention is flattering, but I find I'd rather have Tallisk's.

Caught between factions, I learn that a revolution is brewing, one that could ruin Kered—and Roberd and myself along with it…
This book is an alternate history of sorts that brings you into a world unlike anything that I have ever read before.  It is written just beautifully, like a classic.  I loved the way it was written.  The idea of magical tattoos that turn the human body into a mobile canvas for a work of art is intriguing.  Amazing tattoos are being created these days but the thought of them being imbued with something more?  That's pretty unbelievable.  I didn't enjoy all of the things that Etan went through as his story progresses but the story was lovely even with all of the things that I found squicky.  Etan's "sister" Adorned was a bit rough to read.  She could be nearly bipolar flipping from kind and caring to jealous and hateful.  Etan, however, maintains his innocence and positive outlook even in the face of the utter destruction of his entire world.  He's just such a lovely character.   I loved how becoming Adorned made it possible for him to gain a new family- a family of his own choosing by living with Roberd.  The chemistry between Roberd and Etan exists nearly from the beginning.  You can feel it as a tangible undercurrent throughout the story.  I do need to give a heads up that there are semi explicit scenes, violence and one scene that could be seen as prostitution.  So if those are triggering for you- be aware.

You can add The Adorned to you Goodreads here.  You can also find John Tristan on his Twitter and website.   I give The Adorned 4 Fairies for a lovely story that is beautifully written.

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