Had to pull out my rarely used DNF card for this one

Casto - Xenia Melzer
Had to pull out my rarely used DNF card for this one




This was a disaster for me from page 1.

*clears throat*

Not the first time I've read books that don't work for me. I try to see if I can attempt to catch the plot the author tries to deliver, look for something positive about any story I read.

First time author Xenia Melzer's fantasy/mythology Master/slave based debut efforts does show that she is very interested in the world she created in Casto. So much so, that there is centuries of history, math lessons and hundreds of characters introduced. The author was indulgent with new plot thread and tangent written. You can literally read pages and pages of mythology before getting to the premise of Casto.

Meaning a bogged down info dump in the form of a base...

Then we get through millenia of history and convolution to get to two gods who was reduced to a demigod to teach the humans of the new world a lesson, Renaldo and his older brother Canubis (which I kept reading as cannabis). I questioned how all the other mythological beings could have fantasy-ish names and then we get Renaldo as the main character.

Anyway... Renaldo is thousands of years old and he sees 16 year old virgin warrior, Casto, do some impossible feat and take down Renaldo's top warriors. He takes Casto as his slave. And there is fighting and infighting with too many warriors/slaves/people/witches? to count nor care about.

Casto hates Renaldo. Renaldo wants to bed Casto. Doesn't for awhile because he wants Casto to want it. But then we're told there is chemistry. After months/days/years, they fight and a cherry is taken.

 Then an orgy pops up as a spring ritual.

I got off the Casto ride after that. The sex was too forced. The chemistry was the same. And the story telling was all over the place. I don't know why a five year old pops up in between Casto's slavery. Maybe a metaphor? Or flashback?

What the story needed - a clear plot, editing, and reorganization of a lot of paragraphs.

When there are more than 10 characters to keep up with, I think index of all of the characters might be necessary. We go from 2 to 4 then 6 gods, then there are 8 demigods on top of the 6 to keep track of.

Too much.

The Master/slave relationship? I wish there was a different way the entire Casto/Renaldo pairing was written. It read awkward and weird. I've read better stories with this semblance of a plot - war prize/ owner pairing - too much convolution to let the characters come to life in Casto.

Maybe the story got better by the end. (Though I doubt it as more characters kept getting added as I progressed) I'm not interested in finding out or even reading more of this series.

I do not recommend this to fantasy lovers.

A copy provided for an honest review.