Title: Conjuring the Flesh (Pledged to Magic #2)
Author: Brandon Fox
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy Link: Amazon.com;
Genre: High Fantasy
Length: Novel (220 pages)
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Larissa
Review Summary: a hot and thrilling continuation of the first book, filled with action, adventure, hot smexing and hide behind your seat scenes.
Sequel to Apprenticed to Pleasure
Pledged to Magic: Book 2
Ander’s days as a musician in a hall of companions are over. Initiation into a secret band of mages strained Ander’s body and dazzled his senses, but mastering the ecstasy required to perform magic was only part of the challenge. Fighting a tyrant’s scheme to seize the vast power concealed in the magical realm had nearly cost his life—and joining forces with Thane, the leader of the mages who use pleasure to gain power, has definitely cost him his heart.
Ander’s talent as a musician and his budding prowess with sex magic are no match for an empire’s legions, and even Thane’s brilliant plans can’t defeat the Zamindar and his fearsome weapons. Ander and Thane will have to not only take their powers of ecstasy to new heights, but also confront Thane’s painful past, a past that may contain the key to overthrowing the tyranny that threatens not just them, but all they hold dear.
Pledged to Magic Series
Conjuring the Flesh is the second book in the Pledged to Magic series. Apprenticed to Pleasure is reviewed here. The second book is just as good, just as hot and just as refreshing as the first book.
The story almost continues where it left off. Ander and Thane grow closer to each other as a bonded pair and there are scenes between the two as well as with others that make your screen melt. But it’s not all fun and games. The fight with the Zamindar is still on and he’s already brought the fight to the initiates once and a search of the Lyceum is imminent.
Soon after that Thane and Ander and their friends travel back to Lady Tay’s House of Companions to seek answers. While there they learn of a new weapon and make plans to have it destroyed, but nothing is as it seems and nothing is ever easy.
Intertwined with the fight against the Zamindar is Thane’s painful past and Ander’s recent role in it. I can’t say too much without giving the story away, but I understand Ander’s fears. Thane has to face his past to be able to move forward.
As with the first book, the writing is exquisite and fits the story. The story is written is such a way that it doesn’t just dump information on the reader, but the information about the world and the characters is integrated into the story. I like this style of writing, mostly because I want to find out what happens and how a world ‘works’ through reading a story and not an information dump by a character.
The characterizations are also well done. The main characters grow even more in this story and Ander grows more into the person he was meant to be and not just the shy musician. Ander is a strong character who doesn’t just follow but takes action as well. He’s not afraid to speak his mind or stand up for himself. When things go dire, he’s quick to take the lead without being forceful.
Thane’s character had me puzzled for a bit. He seemed to grow more comfortable with Ander and is ever the strong, careful and ever plotting leader. So when he does ‘something’ (no, I won’t tell!) in the second half of the story, it seems rather out of character. I was a bit surprised at that.
The character of Leif is a welcome addition. The reader caught a glimpse of him in the first book, but he returns for a more permanent role in Conjuring the Flesh. It’s clear why Leif and Ander are friends and Leif’s sexual prowess is legendary. He might be a companion, but he’s no one’s doormat. He takes his role as companion very serious as his later position with Ander and Thane (and that includes one hawt erotic scene too!)
Sex is a little more romanticized in this series. Leif might be a whore, but his is willingly so. There is nothing forceful or degrading. He and the other people at Lady Tay’s are literally companions in every sense of the word and the use of the word is fitting in this story. Just as you expect a book about sex magic to have a lot of porn-like scenes. But it’s more romanticized than that. It does fit the story and the sex itself is screen melting hot!
As a rule, the second book in a trilogy is usually the hardest to read as it is a continuation of the first story and a build-up for the last book, but Conjuring the Flesh stands well on its own. It’s not so much a build-up as it is a continuation.
It did make me wonder where the story is going. There is an important battle in Conjuring the Flesh, but nothing of epic proportions. It does make it so that the Zamindar takes Thane and his fellow rebels more serious.
Conjuring the Flesh is a good read with some erotic scenes. It’s a good read for people who like fantasy and stories with multiple partners and group scenes. There is romance in this story, but not in the traditional sense. Personally I found this refreshing. Coupled with the plot, it makes for a good and different read.