Dead to the World by L. E. Bryce
Author Website: http://www.lebryce.com/
Publisher: Phaze http://www.phaze.com
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This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is beautifully written but the things that happen to Erred are not glossed over, including his first rape at the hands of a greedy merchant who bought Erred for his son but then couldn't resist having a taste of the slave himself. It is a brutal scene, with Erred being drugged and unable to defend himself at all. It is harrowing and you really feel for Erred, but although it is a difficult scene to read without it the book wouldn't have been as strong.
Erred is a slave, he is there for his master's pleasure and nothing else. As he progesses and obeys he is moved through the ranks and one day may have the option to become a free courtesan, wherin he will pick and choose his own clients, but up until then he has no say in who his masters wish him to pleasure.
The book does have a hopeful ending, but I don't want to give it away. The characters are well drawn and you feel yourself drawn into this world of slaves and courtesans where one wrong look or word can mean your death; where friendships are one of the most important things and where love can be found even in the most unexpected places. Lots of political intrigue helps the plot along and I didn't want to stop reading I was so keen to see what happened to Erred.
The story is poignant, touching and erotic and one I would re-read again.
Author Website: http://www.annettegisby.n3.net