Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires

Sacrificed: Heart Beyond the Spires - Bey Deckard Book 2 of a great series. Pirates! Love! Adventure!

I am condemned to die! I laugh;
For if my fates are kindly sped,
My doomer from his own ship’s staff
Perhaps I’ll hang instead.

And if I fall, why what is life?
For lost I gave it then as due,
When from slavery’s yoke in strife
A rover I withdrew.

Before you go on, take notice this volume and this review are a bloody mess and a crazed mix.

I said in book 1 I expected to see more of Tom and I did indeed. Whereas in the first book his POV was absent, his presence was never missing. He takes up a space no one else can occupy. His fierce vulnerability and longing for being loved are so addictive and essential for this love story to work. He is the one who sacrifices every time and asks for nothing in return, but that doesn't mean he would reject any kind of affection. He cherishes every kind of affection he can receive (and also every kind of pain if he's in the correct person's hands). He is the one who submits at every command and the one who enjoys it immensely. I just can't get enough of him.

Baltsaros seems drown in his madness, or the beast in himself he is afraid of. Tom knows but Jon hasn't walked that road yet and will get some unpleasant surprises. Secrets are not over yet. Trust is hard to build and very easy to break. Obsession is guiding Baltsaros's path, but with time this feeling looks suspiciously more and more like hope. His past remains a mystery and evidences show that deep memories hold the origin of it all. There are some demons to face.

Nothing is left of that shy boy who was kidnapped from his stepfather's care. Jon has tasted the flavor of freedom and lust in the form of the two impetuous pirates he loves. He is not being dragged, but he takes the reins of his own fate and fights back for what he wants. The wolf pup is becoming a real wolf. Confident, loyal, and lethal when the occasion requires it. When he is needed, he is effective.

In this story the three of them decide to go into the unknown and, at first, I didn't know why. Yes, it could be the conquest of the unknown, the search of knowledge or the boredom that pushes them to look for adventures and richness. It's not as if this hadn't happened before. Once upon a time, boats used to sail close to the land, because beyond that monsters and the end of the world awaited. Once upon a time, some madmen decided to cross the big ocean looking for new routes that didn't appear in their maps. And once upon a time, said madmen discovered new civilizations based on the rule of blood and fear and gods who demanded said blood constantly, causing the outrages of the newcomers.

This tale doesn't ring strange for me, we even have the alter ego of the Aztecs and Mayas here. They even have too much gold and a lack of other useful metals that could only be found in the world beyond. At least they have cows, which is more meat than Amerindian Natives ever had. I seriously didn't think I'd find so many similarities to certain tribes in this story but I can't deny there is a special and dangerous shine in the prospect of meeting someone whose actions you can't predict. I loved the world building, it's perturbing and perverse and primitive.

A world Baltsaros feels disturbingly attracted to. A world Tom can't bear due to his past as a slave. A world where Jon feels disgusted and unsettled. A world nobody will be left indifferent at. Some scenes are a little creepy and some scenes are blatantly so.

World building apart, I liked the time leaps and the flashbacks. When something happens that makes no sense, there is a missing scene from a close or far past: a promise, a revelation, a sex scene that means a little more than it seems. It sounds tiring putting it that way but in fact it's incredibly agile, at it shows hidden moments at certain conflicts that give a whole meaning at the perfect time. I also appreciated the little cartoons that divide each POV depending on the place the character is at each moment: a boat, a pyramid, a castle.

Baltsaros's madness (or latent madness) takes an important role in this series and here it's explored even more. He doesn't think he's capable of love but he wants to become worth of said love. This devotion is heart-breaking at moments because it requires a sacrifice. The heartless bastard has a heart after all. But this heart as scars, very deep scars that haven't healed and are still bleeding. And finding a cure can lead to more suffering and the reawakening of old wounds lengthily forgotten or buried. Is it worth the pain?

I mentioned it about [b:Caged:|22896437|Caged Love and Treachery on the High Seas (Baal's Heart, #1)|Bey Deckard||40167817] but I repeat: nobody is a third wheel in this love story. Every one of them breathe an essential air. The story is complete because the three of them give all of themselves for this to work. There is no feeling of someone loving someone more than the other, or someone wanting to exclude the other one. They all want this to function and they hurt and heal each other constantly. Because they haven't found the balance yet, but they are close. It's heart-warming tale that brings a smile now and then (and some heat, too) when the kinks are explored and exploited, when the playfulness brings its maximum profit and when the comfort finds the long-needed solace.