My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: MM
One man cannot take on an empire.
Or rather, he can try—but it should come as no surprise when he’s crushed by the vast powers arrayed against him. Caius Oppita knows this, but after what he’s seen, it suits him better to go down fighting than to crawl on his hands and knees.
The empire he’s served faithfully since he was a boy now wants him dead, and the lover he thought he could trust has betrayed him in the worst possible way. Maybe Caius can’t win the fight he’s about to undertake, but he’ll damn well drag the imperial family’s corruption into the light of day if it kills him.
And if the battle takes him to the same underbelly of the capital where his former lover fled after ripping Caius’ world apart? Well, it won’t be the first time this hardened general has engaged in combat on two fronts.
Not all enemies are what they seem.
Sometimes the course of a war can turn on the smallest thing.
* * *
Master of Hounds: Book 2 is the second installment in an M/M epic fantasy trilogy by USA Today bestseller R. A. Steffan. It is set in the world of The Eburosi Chronicles, but stands alone. The book contains adult content.
I was in the mood to read a R.A. Steffan books and decided to continue this series. I have to admit that book 1 didn’t fully hook me, but I was pretty sure I would enjoy book 2 more and that was indeed the case. I felt like the story got really interesting in this second book and all the set up from the first book pays off here. Someone is trying to kill Caius and he has to figure out who is behind it, the unrest in the capital is increasing and Decian has to figure out more about his shapeshifting abilities.
I really enjoyed this book and it kept my attention. I was excited to see where the plot went as the tension increased throughout the story. The ending has a fabulous twist and I am eager to see how things continue in the next book.
While Decian is still my favorite of the two characters, I warmed up more to Caius in this book. He has to re-evaluate some of his beliefs and I liked seeing some changes in him, while he also remains true to himself. I liked seeing Decian learn more about his shapeshifter abilities and I am quite fond of this type of character. He has been through a lot, but he still thinks the best of people and doesn’t hold a grudge.
This book has way less romance than book 1 and there’s more focus on the story, which I didn’t mind too much. I am still not fully sold on their romance for some reason. There is a bit more tension and conflict which made sense after the way things ended in book 1 and it was interesting seeing how they dealt with it.
There are a few more connections and mentions of events from the earlier Eburosi Chronicles, but this series could easily be read as a standalone so far. I didn’t mind that as much here as in book 1 as I knew to not expect to see any of the previous characters. I am beginning to see the role this series has in the greater universe plot line and I am looking forward to see where book 3 leaves things.
To summarize: I enjoyed this book and thought it was a great sequel. The plot is interesting and really takes center stage in this book. I liked seeing the set up from book 1 pay off in this book. There’s enough going with the unrest in the city, someone trying to kill Caius and Decian trying to find out more about his shapeshifter abilities. I liked seeing some subtle changes in Caius as he has to re-evaluate some of his beliefs. I liked seeing Decian learn more about his shapeshifting abilities and see more of those in this book. I am still not fully sold on the romance and didn’t mind it took a bit of a backseat in this book, with some tension and conflict getting between the two that they have to resolve first. All in all I thought this was a solid sequel and I look forward to seeing how book 3 wraps it all up.