Epic love, epic lust, epic action. That’s how I’d describe Saskia Walker’s Sorceress. Yet at the same time, Walker’s world is incredibly intimate and I was fully immersed. Alongside the Empress Elishiba, I could smell the exotic incense from the braziers, feel the breeze through the jewel-like courtyards and yearn to touch my lovers (and there was a delightful choice!)
The plot is simple despite the detail surrounding it. To save her kingdom from war, Elishiba must leave it to marry a man she doesn’t know. While her betrothed’s evil mother schemes to rob her of everything she holds dear, his mysterious emissary Emshazar awakens to her to her own powers of sorcery and a deeper passion than Elishiba has ever known. And when they finally defy danger and give in to their feelings, Elishiba and Emshazar soar (literally, in a truly magical love scene).
Sorceress is super novel length, which means Walker can indulge in sensuous detail about these kingdoms. It also allows her space to create the memorable Empress Mehtap, the scariest in-law you’ll ever meet. All the characters benefit from careful attention—despite being secondary, there isn’t a two-dimensional face in the palace.
Which is why I should warn that Walker takes no prisoners. I cared about the characters, which made certain uncomfortable elements such as slavery and heartfelt losses harder to deal with. Plus, there’s Walker’s cruelty, did I mention she’s a terrible tease? (Poor aroused Kerr! Those sexy twins drove me crazy too!)
All credit to Walker who, despite the complexity of her world, made it clear what simple things ultimately matter through her happy ending. Like a piece of ripe fruit served up on a golden platter—or a beautiful young man bent solely on giving you pleasure—Sorceress is a treat to savour.
Thank you, Rachel!