Avristin: Duty and Sacrifice 2 (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

Title: Avristin: Duty and Sacrifice 2 (The God Jars Saga #2)
Author: Devon Vesper
Publisher: Magelight Press
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Genre(s): Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 256 pages
Reviewed by: NeRdyWYRM
Heat Level: 4.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Avristin isn’t the quiet, contemplative monastery he imagined…

Valis escaped his birth father and made it to Avristin. Now, the adopted son of his two saviors, the honorable Aesriphos Kerac and Darolen, Valis vows to become just like them. The only things standing in his way are his lack of magic and crippling social anxiety.

With the help of six new friends, Valis hopes to overcome his new fears. But when the eldest of the group, Tavros, finds the mark of the evil God, Qos, tattooed on Valis’ skin, he sends Valis right back into his birth father’s clutches.

Surviving and escaping the prison cell is just his first test. Once he’s back in Avristin, more await. And with Tavros as his new mentor, Valis needs to do everything in his power to make the man trust him again. Valis’ entire future depends on it, in more ways than one.

The God Jars Saga is a nine book slow burn medieval M/M fantasy romance.

I’m Still Without Adequate Words

This is the second book by this author in this series I’ve read in the last 4 weeks or so (I believe), and I am just as enamored as I was the last time. I love the world, the world-building, the relationships, the relationship-building, the characters, the character development, and the peripheral characters are all fantastic as well. There’s angst, but nothing over the top. There’s conflict, but nothing too heinous between the long-term characters. There are obstacles and hurdles to face but there’s also a great deal of low-dread foreshadowing going on and good lead-ins to how and where things may come to a head.

In other words, the pacing is also fan-fucking-tastic but only because we’re getting teased and coaxed along! It’s like edging for readers. I freaking love it.

edging shocked chuckling minions

I talked about the slow-burn romance in my review about Saviors: Duty and Sacrifice 1 and I have to admit to a little bit of impatience at this point, but mostly because we don’t yet know who Valis might enter into Ezhav with and whether or not it’s going to cause problems with those currently interested in him. For all I know, it could be someone we haven’t met at all as of yet. I have my suspicions that that’s not true, but I don’t want to poison the well for everyone.

At this point, the books are practically YA, but we’ve seen hints of something that could eventually be pretty scorching. Even if it takes forever to get there, I hope the actuality lives up to the … suspense and anticipation. It better melt my Kindle if I’m going to have to wait for more than a couple of books for it! Not-so-subtle hint. Hint!

Now, hear me when I say this: The. Wait. Is. Well. Worth. It. Strangle the inner perv that says no sex means boring. This one gets 4.5 stars just for the unfulfilled sexual tension and the overall buildup. These are not boring books, sex or no sex. We’re getting a glimpse here and there of the Big Picture and I am so hyped about it, I can’t even tell you. Valis is still being confronted with problems stemming directly and indirectly from his biological father, he’s learning and growing, maturing and working hard to fulfill his dreams.

Right now we’re following along on a journey of self-discovery and so far it’s riveting. The mythos threading through The God Jars Saga is fascinating to me and I can’t wait to see what role Valis and his future partner—whoever that may be—his fathers and his friends end up playing as things go forward.

dueling mages

I already have some idea of what the ultimate task and goal might prove to be, but I won’t spoil it with 7 books left, and honestly, some of it is still a little hard for me to pin down without knowing what the main point of conflict is going to be. The Big Bad is fairly obvious, at least in broad strokes, but the details are still building, and building, and building. Now the Good is … really, really good. It would have been so easy for the brotherhood and camaraderie to tip past the point of acceptable and into creepy—read these and you’ll see what I mean—but Devon Vesper manages to walk the line very well.

There is a lot of indiscriminate touchy-feely stuff going on, though I DO NOT mean dub-con or anything like that, not in the way you’re thinking. These people are just always touching each other and aren’t terribly concerned with nudity. It’s that ‘father earth’ syndrome I talked about before and it comes across a lot like the touching shifters do amongst themselves in paranormal romance, only a human version of that. The touching is somehow necessary to the well-being of the person being touched and it successfully comes across that way. Those physical connections, though largely kept outside of the realm of the sexual so far, are helping to both ramp up and simmer down various tensions to include the emotional, physical, and psychological.

I’m telling you! I could ramble along all day and not come up with the words I need to convey what I see/feel when reading these books. These are unique to the genre. You just have to read them for yourselves.

stop thinking just do it~~~~~~~stop thinking just do it

I love puzzles and figuring stuff out, anticipating the next move. I suck so bad at chess, so that’s not what I mean. Think more like massive jigsaws with thousands of small pieces wink and you’ll get more of an idea of what reading these feels like. I’ve got the edges and the corners fleshed out and a few chunks of recognizable picture put together in the middle. I’m just missing the little connections that bring everything together. At the same time, I don’t want to spend so much time anticipating things too far ahead and ruin my enjoyment of the journey along the way, so … focusing back on the here and now in this story is where it’s at. The fun is in the everyday details. Read these. The first one. This one. All of them. I can’t say enough good things about the series so far and I absolutely recommend them for any and everyone.

This review cross-posted at Goodreads.
Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.

The God Jars Saga series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Avristin: Duty and Sacrifice 2 (The God Jars Saga #2) provided by Magelight Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents' full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates. Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don't have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it's any device with a Kindle app. I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I've surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital. I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there's not much out there I won't read. I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that 'smut' as she called it. I'd already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn't be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom. ~~wink-wink~~ My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It's served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there's nothing at all I'm unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.
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