“Four (The Republic #2)”
Release Date: September 5, 2016
Mayr’s lovers always leave him. Tash’s lovers either walk away or he pushes them out of his life. Both men feel unlovable or unworthy of love. Until they meet each other.
This well-developed read focuses on the emotions and dynamics of the relationship that grows between these two men – despite both.
Mayr is Head of the Guard for the ruling family. He’s strong, brave and a ruthless adversary. He possesses a quick wit and flippant attitude, and his sarcasm is on point. He has some GREAT lines in the story. But that’s Mayr the Head Guard; Mayr the brother and friend. Mayr the man is sensitive and drowning in low self-esteem. The women who pass through his life are only there for the sex and status of being with Head of the Guard. However, they always have their eyes peeled for the next best thing, and leave Mayr. Poor Mayr always convinces himself he’s in love and is shattered each time he’s abandoned. He wants romance and feelings and love – but all he ever gets is used. When a former lover returns (the one and only time) to Mayr, it is while trying to please her, he meets Tash.
Tash (Halataldris) is a priest, moving through the levels of priesthood. He’s not a man with a spiritual calling, but rather a tortured soul seeking redemption and atonement for his criminal past. The gang lifestyle he was forced into at a young age, was also part of the reason those he cared for always walked away from him. When Tash finally escapes the cruel world of the gang, he decides the only way to make up for the people he hurt is to spend the rest of his life helping others. He has no problem with his decision until he meets Mayr.
These two! It was almost painful to watch their psyches war with each other. In their professions, they were confident men to be admired. But once they stepped away from their jobs, the self-loathing was intense! Mayr internalized every single situation, finding a way to blame himself. All Tash could think about was his early life, the people he hurt or didn’t try to save, and the family he walked away from. This made him purposely avoid love because he felt he didn’t deserve it. So blinded by their emotional barriers, neither could truly see the shortcomings of others. Sarene, the woman who brought the two men together, was absolutely wretched! But before Tash entered the pictured, Mayr was convinced he loved her – I just couldn’t figure out why. The ‘literary psychologist’ in me believes the men purposely…subconsciously…sabotaged themselves, still trying to pay for previous sins.
The build of Mayr and Tash’s relationship takes places during Tash’s trials to become a Uldana priest. If Tash is successful, he will be unavailable to Mayr. If he survives the trials.
The author’s amazing job in developing these complex characters, drew me in and held my attention. The bonds they share with family and friends are strong and unbreakable, and I believe what continues to move them forward, even though both men may not realize it.
I thoroughly enjoyed “Four”, and even though I did not read book one of this series, this book stood on its own, with no unanswered questions or loopholes. I recommend this exceptional read.