Ma’ki is a hunter and the tribe chieftain’s first born. His purpose is to carry his bloodline, by marrying and fathering children. Yet, as years go by, his love for Ay’len grows stronger. To his family’s distress, he refuses to take a wife, despite knowing that Ay’len could never be his.
But not all tribesmen see Ay’len with good eyes and danger has a way of finding him. His androgynous appearance provokes confusion and lust, and a moment arrives when a man decides to challenge the tribe’s rules and make Ay’len his wife. Without protection, the healer is left to be devoured by a beast of a man and his lewd desires. When Ma’ki discovers that his one true love is bound to another, he realizes his entire life has been a lie.
When rules are broken, and gods are scorned, will true love survive?
Review: This one is a bit different. This is clearly a very different society, an older one. In a contrast, Ay'len is definitely a boy, but one so beautiful and born in such a time that he is considered sacred. He is blessed by the gods, or cursed as he cannot do what other boys do. He cannot hunt, he even dresses as a girl. His heart clearly always belongs to Ma'ki ad Ma'ki's to him, though society doesn't allow it. Not necessarily out of outright homophobia, but because they are told Ay'len belongs to everyone and must remain pure. However, a rather cruel hunter decides to capitalize when Ay'len's father dies and to save a life, Ay'len must agree to marry the man. Ma'ki won't stand for it, but even that is not the end. Happily ever after isn't easily attainable, and there's plenty of twists and heartache for the two before they come to the end. I rather love this book because it is so different.