Allene Whelan is trapped in the True Kingdom, held captive by their cruel leader Macsen. It’s her job as the newest Raven Knight to assassinate him by any means necessary. As a sylph whose greatest weapon is her body, that means seducing him… all the way to the grave.
But the closer Allene gets to Macsen, the more she realizes he’s being played by a crueler enemy: Morgause, the manipulative sidhe he regards as mother. And Macsen doesn’t seem interested in hurting Allene. The closer they grow, the less she wants to kill him.
Trapped by passion in a shadowy labyrinth of lies, Allene forces Macsen to make a choice. Does the Priest of Skulls want to rule through death, or through love?
*** TRIGGER WARNING ***
Rape through coercion and dubcon.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Title: Priest of Skulls
Series: The Raven Knights #2
Authors: SM Reine + Rory Hume
Source: SM Reine
MY SOUL IS WEEPING RIGHT NOW. There’s a trigger warning of rape with coercion and dubcon (dubious consent) but I don’t really have a trigger for it. More like I just sink further into the character than I should every time they experience something intense, so when the things happened the way it did, I’m pretty sure that’s when my soul started bawling. But it was crying way before that scene.
Macsen is depicted as this frightening monster. He was raised to be one, he’s treated as one. If everyone acts like he quacks and waddles, why wouldn’t he think otherwise? But Allene talks to him. She sees him, and she lets him know. She is literally the only one (well okay I know you did too, Leander but HUSH) who treats him like a man. Like a person. And seeing him be so cautious and gentle with her like she’s a fragile petal free-falling in a cruel world of thorns honestly made me want to melt and never recover. He’s so broken and Reine and Hume did such a great job at putting this all together that I’m seriously debating on forever worshipping them. It’s that intense for me. Yeah the sexual tension was hot as fuck but ugh, my baby.
This review can’t just be about me threatening anyone who hurts Macsen and no, I totally didn’t forget to talk about the other stuff. Like the villain. Someone asks me about a villain I dislike and I can never think of one because every person I’ve seen is always hurting in some way, or has just been warped so much that they can’t tell what they’re really doing. But this bitch… God, this bitch. True villain. Hate her. Ugh she better get the bug spray before this ends or I swear to all Hell.
Aside from the writing that enticed me into feeling… everything… and loving these characters, I also fell in love with the progression of the story. The tarot witches have always been interesting and I read the whole series when this one came out. It’s cool seeing so many old faces and meeting new ones. There’s something about dealing with people and the struggles they go through. And this thing is less than 200 pages. How is this possible?
I can’t recommend them enough. Reine, I will always sing to the high heavens for, but after reading this, I’m thinking I should definitely take a look at the author who also wrote this out with her. I haven’t read their work but now I’m going to go hunt everything they’ve touched or breathed on. I knew I was going to be obsessed with this series, but I didn’t realize how intensely obsessive I’d get with it.
And seriously. You guys are gonna end it like that? Like that? With that?