The Avian Shifters series:
- Duck! (book #1)
- Magpie (book #2)
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A modern day M/M, BDSM retelling of The Ugly Ducking Fairy Tale using avian shifters.
Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.
But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.
Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?
So what did I think?
Based on the title alone, or even the blurb, I would not have chosen to read this book but I am glad that I ignored my initial thoughts and paid more attention to the glowing reviews instead. I bought this book months and months ago and it has been sitting on the Kindle unread (as has the second book in the series Magpie). I kept seeing it cropping up all over the place so finally decided to read it.
This book appears on over a dozen Goodreads lists with a lot of votes in each category (placement current as the time I write this review). For example: Best Gay Slave – 1st, Best Gay Shifter – 4th, Best Gay Book Based on Fairytales – 2nd, Best Gay BDSM – 7th, Best Gay Romance Published in 2010 – 7th, so it was definitely time for me to give it a try!
For a fairytale-based book about avian shifters (which sounded really strange to me!), I really enjoyed this book, much more than I thought I would. The characters were really well developed. The avian shifter element was relevant in terms of where each species fit in the avian ranks and therefore what behaviour was expected but it was largely irrelevant to Ori and Raynard – the development of the relationship between them seemed so effortless, built on their natural instincts and desires.
I enjoyed the way the master/submissive relationship was presented and the deep emotional tie each man felt towards the other and the turning point that came with the ‘blood in the dining room’ incident.
“The most valuable possession my master owns is his submissive. I will take great care that no harm comes to my master’s submissive whenever he is not there to watch over me himself.”
It was fascinating to see the turn of events once Ori had experienced his first full shift and his true species was identified and I loved the eventual outcome. I didn’t even mind the couple of times in the book when the characters shifted as it really fitted with the flow of the story (I was sort of expecting to be put off by the change from human form to a bird!).
So all-in-all, I am really pleased I tried something a different! 3.5 stars
To find out more about Kim Dare and her books, visit her website.