BDSM Reviews

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fates Fulfilled: Book Three of the Eldritch Legacy by Katrina Strauss

Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Fates Fulfilled: Book Three of the Eldritch Legacy
Author: Katrina Strauss
Publisher: Aphrodite’s Apples
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction
Publication Date: 2007
Rating: 4 out of 5

This is the third installment of Katrina Strauss’s Eldritch Legacy. The story takes place in the New World portion of the world Strauss introduced in the first two installments – in a place called Eventide. The focal characters are a pair of Eldritch cousins, Devon and Marissa, along with their major love interests, Camille and Gareth, respectively.

First, this story is good enough to stand on its own, you do not need to have read the first two installments of the trilogy to read and enjoy this final installment. Though background from the first installments is useful, and certainly helps explain some of the dynamics of the story, it is not necessary. I always appreciate it when an author creates stories which stand alone – it is a sign that their world building, character, and plot are all excellent. Second, this is a very long read. At around 400 pages, you definitely get your money’s worth from this author! Third, this story is not for everyone. The overall plotting and character are excellent, but some of the scenes will not appeal to all readers. Primarily, the emphasis on sharps (well, truthfully, blade and blood play), may be too intense for some readers. I found the scenes with these elements well done and erotic, but the concept might be problematic for some readers.

Now, on to the story! It seems that the Eldritch clan has instituted a test. All children of the family must be cut from the family fold and prove themselves worthy – they must survive and flourish outside of the family for a year. The concept is really an interesting one – a twist on the classic idea of the Continental Year. In any case, our two Eldritch youngsters, Devon and Marissa, are now faced with their year of independence. They strike out together, and the first thing the reader notices is the strong contrasts between them. Where Marissa is ambitious and goal-oriented, Devon is more laid back. Part of this is the differences in their upbringing. For all that they are cousins, Marissa was raised by her non-Eldritch father outside the Eldritch fold. The instability and uncertainty of her early life have left her independent and definitely worldlier than her cousin. Devon has been pampered and sheltered for his entire life. He is the apple of his mother’s eye, and he is not really in touch with reality – so it is a shock when he comes face to face with it.

Early in their year, each meets a partner with whom they feel a strong connection. For Devon, it is Camille – a sexy, goth model with an abusive background. Together, the two explore Devon’s wakening sexuality and dark magic powers. For Marissa, the photographer Gareth stirs something inside her. She begins to let her inner dominant have free rein, with some very sexy results. The BDSM scenes in the book are varied and generally well done. Action moves from Domme scenes to blade play to intensely tender scenes of romance and relationship building.
The background plot revolves around the mysterious disappearances of goth young people, and the whispers of dark ritual and power. As Devon and Marissa gain more confidence in themselves and their own sexual and magical powers, they are drawn deeper into the gothic underground of Eventide. Simultaneously, they find out new (to them) information about their family background and the origins of the Eldritch fortunes in Eventide. I don’t want to go too far into plot and resolution, because there is a lot of room for spoilers, and this is a story I don’t want to spoil for anyone. Suffice to say that there are a number of twists and turns, a lot of interesting development, and – eventually – a satisfying conclusion.

However, as with previous offerings, the strength of the story lies in the characters. In this installment, there is a significant amount of internal dialogue from both Eldritch cousins, which gives a good bit of insight into the development of the characters. The characters are interesting and grow in meaningful ways over the course of the book. Strauss has a gift for creating little jewels of characters, not only in her main protagonists, but also in supporting characters. Brent, Devon’s manager, is a guy we all know and despise, a character that rings true with the reader. The completely stoned, ridiculously self-convinced club groupie that makes a clumsy grab at Marissa (someone many of us have encountered) is another small gem of characterization. Celeste’s former roomie – who we never even meet – is so well characterized that you feel as if you do meet her. The complete characterization represented by these and other examples throughout the story is the best reason to read the Eldritch Legacy books.
There were a few things which kept this from being a perfect read for me. The first is that it was a bit dragging in the beginning with regards to the plot. So much character-building was going on, in two different stories, that the plot was lost for most of the first 150 pages. Indeed, there is enough story and characterization here for two books – but the plot overlaps and combines them. That is both blessing and curse. On the one hand, there is a lot of story and a lot of really good stuff to read. On the other hand, there is a lot of background that has to be built for these two stories, so it is a lot to get through for the reader. Also, some BDSM scenes felt a little forced, as if the author had a predetermined goal with the scene, but the dialogue and action were just a little out of synch with that goal (this is particularly true of the scene where Marissa pulls a switch and subs for a Dom in an underground club on her first invitation to the club).

This book is an excellent read. Ms. Strauss delivered on the promise of the characters and crafted an entertaining and engaging tale. I would strongly recommend this story to fans of more extreme play, and I would recommend them to anyone.

Posted by Elise Logan :: 7:17 PM :: 0 Comments:

Post / Read Comments