The Devil’s Concubine

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The Devil's Concubine (The Devil of Ponong series #1)

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...An excellent story, packed with intrigue and danger. ...

QuiTai is one of the most dangerous women on the island of Ponong. As the concubine of the local criminal lord, known as The Devil, she is also one of his most feared weapons. What starts with a smuggling operation not paying it’s dues, turns into something far more serious. To help here discover what is happening she engages with the Thampurian, Kyam Zul, whose country rules over the island. However Kyam Zul is more than the disgraced itinerant than he appears to be and she finds out he is also looking into the smugglers. But when her ex-lover is killed next to her while she is in a drug-induced stupor, she is rescued by Kyam Zul with no knowledge of what happened. In order to find out who the murderer is, so she can take revenge, she has to help Kyam Zul first find out who is behind the smuggling. Until then, they need to keep each other alive, despite their displeasure of being forced to work with each other.

This is an excellent adventure with hints of the orient interwoven through it’s fantastical elements. While it may take a little while to understand the setting, it slowly changes from something slightly unexpected to being a vital part of the plot and how the events play out. It was enjoyable as the elements from earlier on because more understandable and then become just another part of the story before you realise it. This also applies to the characters as their extra-normal abilities are less important than their wits, intelligence and drive to survive. Combined, this means the story is far more about intrigue, politics and crime than a fantasy adventure. It also excels in these areas as the plots twist their way and the author skilfully gives you enough information at each step to keep you interested without giving all the book’s secrets away. As the story is driven from QuiTai’s viewpoint, we get a clear idea of her thoughts and desires and stays true to what she knows. She does come across as a strong, believable, character looking out, not just for herself, but those those she cares about around her.

The book is well formatted with some illustrations of the island and surrounding seas and I didn’t see any issues with the spelling or grammar. There is also an excerpt of the next story in the series, so if you enjoy this one, there are several more to enjoy.

Overall, this is an excellent story mixing intrigue and danger with fantasy elements, recommended for fans of either genre looking for something intriguing.

Rating: 4
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