Bloodraven - P.L. Nunn I simply loved this. Bloodraven and his human. Interracial love at its best.

I'm team Bloodraven now!

It reminded me of [b:Counterpoint|8748031|Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen, #1)|Rachel Haimowitz||13621213] and [b:Crescendo|11260507|Crescendo (Song of the Fallen, #2)|Rachel Haimowitz||16187295], it being a Middle-Earth style (how come they remain several millenniums without discovering the electricity and developing the Human Rights?). One of MC being a leader of some sorts (military or blue-blooded) and the other one a nature creature from a different species who is taken prisoner and becomes his slave. The difference is, [b:Bloodraven|6617506|Bloodraven|P.L. Nunn||6811618] has a worthy ending, and every conflict is eventually solved satisfactorily, which I appreciate.

Yes, there is violence, and some scenes are so bloody that I thought I had just traveled through time and had been offered in an Aztec sacrifice in Tenochtitlán (I personally believe you would not have liked to be at their mercy). Once I accepted this, and the dub-non-con relationship, I could really enjoy it. I really loved the plot, the world building is solid and the characters have tons of charisma and personality, even the secondary ones.

There are no roses and promises of eternal love, but that doesn't make their story less powerful or true. Just the opposite, every obstacle they find is sorted out in one way or another and they only make their bond stronger and deeper. Sometimes it was very hard to look what was happening but in the most unexpected moments there was a gesture or an action that spoke volumes and made my heart pound faster. I was really looking forward to those moments. In a world where the law of the jungle rules there is no space for weakness or scruples. Bloodraven, being a mongrel amongst full-blooded ogres, has learnt it the hard way.

Ogres are more brutish with their hands than a Basque playing the Basque handball, and Yhalen experiences it in his own flesh. But Bloodraven is more restrained (in comparison), and by far more patient and intelligent. He calculates the outcomes measuring each mean. That's how he survived, by utter superiority of brains. He is considered less than an ogre but his achievements in war and battlefield have granted him a high status in the ogre hierarchy. And Yhalen is in the lowest of it.

Their relationship is slow in the emotional sphere but they waste no time in the physical one. Bloodraven, that is, because Yhalen is not exactly eager to please his master with his submission. In fact, he is high-spirited, which amuses Bloodraven to no end. Yhalen rebels or obeys reluctantly but somewhere along the way, he longs for Bloodraven's touch. Because his half-breed owner can be utterly careful with his possessions, and, even more, he takes care of him. I just love how Bloodreaven refers to Yhalen as "his human". I'm aware it implies ownership more than comradeship but things are not black and white in this book. In truth, limits were quite blurred and my comfort zone was dismissed more often than not.

In spite of the cruelty and the impotence Yhalen suffers, there is always a hint of hope. Not only the hope of a better future but the hope of him fulfilling some kind of revenge from those ogreish creatures that treat humans like nothing, if only for his own sanity. And indeed Yhalen gets it. Not enough, in my opinion, but close. Yhalen grows from a defenseless abused slave to a fearsome creature nobody would want to anger. Strangely enough, he doesn't harm Bloodraven, even in those occasions he had the chance and no few reasons. Furthermore, Yhalen protects Bloodraven even against his ulterior motives and bodily integrity.

Bloodraven fears magic and Yhalen has it in spades. Bloodraven is ochre and enormous and Yhalen is pale and small. Bloodraven understand war and Yhalen despises it. How come they reach an understanding, each one of them from different backgrounds? Fate seems doomed at first but opposites attract, too. Impossible is only an opinion.

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