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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensual love story in a solid fantasy setting
I purchased this book on a whim, as it was recommended to me by Amazon and in my quick pick list. It's billed as a fantasy story, which is my favorite genre. It turned out to be a lovely gem that I enjoyed greatly. Though it is nowhere near the level of a true fantasy book like Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner, Vol. 1) series , it is more than just M/M romance with...
Published on February 5, 2010 by Jem

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick and light
I should maybe preface this review by stating that I'm not really into the whole dominant/submissive thing, which I'm sure influenced my enjoyment of the story. It's not really my flavor. This book is about a master/slave relationship, but it does go light on the BDSM, so I wasn't too put off by it.

I purchased Magebound because I like Fantasy books, and Gay...
Published on June 15, 2010 by Lucas


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensual love story in a solid fantasy setting, February 5, 2010
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This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
I purchased this book on a whim, as it was recommended to me by Amazon and in my quick pick list. It's billed as a fantasy story, which is my favorite genre. It turned out to be a lovely gem that I enjoyed greatly. Though it is nowhere near the level of a true fantasy book like Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner, Vol. 1) series , it is more than just M/M romance with fantasy window-dressing. The author puts considerable effort into building her fantasy world with rich descriptions, and fine details that bring it to life.

Lark is a slave, and has been for 13 years. The story is told from his POV. It begins with Lark being purchased by a mage's servant at the market. Lark is surprised to find he is given his own room, clean, well-made clothes and a job running the mage's magic shop. I've read a lot of romances where the prostitute or slave is "rescued" by a loving master. And at first, this story seems to be the same. Except the author gets surprisingly realistic with the idea (despite the fantasy elements). How could a slave, brainwashed by years of slavery and abuse to obey, fear and never trust, enter into a relationship between equals? Lark has been beaten and raped by previous owners - wouldn't it be natural for him to suspect his attraction to Naeven as a spell? How could he desire something which caused him pain and humiliation in the past? It is also believable that he would suspect any altruistic action on his new master's part as having an ulterior motive. Naeven insists he doesn't want to be called master, and he doesn't abuse or mistreat Lark, but he doesn't give Lark his freedom either. The angst between them wasn't just an annoyance, it made sense as attraction grew between them. And, the attraction is clear from both parties.

I loved how the author made Naeven such a mystery. His motives are never fully clear, even as Lark begins to see that Naeven doesn't see him as only property. Since the book is told through Lark's eyes, the romance is also built that way. It is slowly built, with a lot of sexual tension. For those wondering, the book has no explicit sex, though there are a couple very sensual scenes. I usually like there to be sex in books (whether romance or not), but here I didn't really miss it. It was a tender, sensual romance that worked perfectly. I loved the characters by the end, and wanted to spend more time with them. The secondary character of Schaff, a cat who talks, is a great addition. He's snarky, sarcastic and has some of the best lines in the book. And the most ambiguous motives.

My only gripe is that the book ended with an obvious need for a sequel. There was some closure, but questions were also left unanswered and a new character introduced that needs more. This doesn't prevent me from recommending the book (as even if a sequel never comes, I won't regret reading it), but it does set me to begging the author...please, please!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a love story, September 15, 2009
This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
Most people aren't used to fiction that blurs the lines. Well, Magebound is a book to make them wake up and take notice. Both an LGBT romance and a novel of high fantasy, Magebound lays out a lush, colorful world that you want to step into and take part in, the characters and settings fully realized.
The book deals in an interesting blend of magic, lust, power, and corruption, from the point of view of a man who's never had the chance to choose things for himself (he's been a slave since childhood) and has never thought of himself as having any sort of sexuality.
If you are a fan of gay romance, of magic, of fantastic creatures, or simply gripping storytelling, then this is a great book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magebound by Katica Locke, June 30, 2010
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This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
Even if I know, from previous experiences with this same publisher, that usually their novels are pretty tamed, I really didn't expect for Katica Locke's book to be "almost" a Young Adult story.

It's a fantasy novel, but that type of fantasy that I don't mind, since it's not too heavy in setting details and so, difficult to follow. On the contrary, Magebound is a quick novel, not very long and easy to read in one session.

Lark is a slave and he has no chance to be something else; he lost his hope to be free sometime in the future, and when his last tentative to run away ended with him again on the slave's market, he probably thought that it was time to renounce and let it go. When he is bought by a mage, he doesn't know what it better, and he has some suicidal thoughts. But the experience of living with Lord Sactaren, Naeven, is completely different from what he was expecting.

When Lark starts his new life as salesman for the mage's potion, in a shop inside the mage's castle, the novel takes almost a "domestic" turn; all right, there is a cat shifter who can speak even when he is in his feline form, there is a spidersmith, that is a spider very skilled in the smith work, there are strange animals who can talk with their hands, and so on and so far. But basically, what Lark does is being a salesman, and people come to him asking for both human than animal potion, to cure practically everything.

Also Lark's relationship with Naeven is strange; from the first moment, Naeven treats Lark more like a friend, or at least someone at his same level, and not as a slave. There are some hints that Naeven is homosexual, but he is also married, with a woman that lives inside the castle but not "with" his husband; she is a wife by contract, her task is to produce an heir, but I'm wondering how that could happen, since Naeven apparently hardly speaks with her, let alone sleep.

Lark is a mix of innocence and mistrust; other hints let the reader understand that he was raped by his previous owners, and so he links sex with pain; when he starts to feel something for Naeven, he is not able to link it to sexual desire, since for him there is nothing good in sex. Plus it's not that Naeven is clear in his intention, and so most of the book is spent with the two of them who are not able to find a common starting point.

I see in Lark a possible point of connection between the mage and the village; even if Naeven has done anything in this story to justify the village's attitude, he is not considered a "good" master; people fear him, and I didn't understand if it was a totally misunderstanding, or if indeed Naeven did something in the past. In the end, I had the feeling that this was only the starting of a more complex story, I think Katica Locke is not yet finished with these characters and I hope she will consider to write more about Khas, I'd really like for him to coming back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent fantasy, January 6, 2011
By 
octobercountry (the Land of Trees and Heroes) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
Okay, the product description on Amazon does sound a bit silly perhaps, but I really enjoyed this book! The novel is described as "homoerotic fantasy romance," and I suppose that is an accurate description. It isn't just a fantasy with a few love scenes thrown in; rather, the attraction that the two main characters feel toward one another is a constant undercurrent throughout the entire novel. While there are only one or two rather explicit scenes, in general the tone of the book is geared towards adults, and not teens.

I confess that I did occasionally want to knock the main characters' heads together as I was reading, and tell them to "Just TALK to each other, for goodness sake!" A few frank conversations would have avoided all of their misunderstandings. But then, if people in novels always behaved sensibly, there would be considerably less drama to write about---and most books would be over after only a few chapters.

A friend described the novel as a gay version of "Howl's Moving Castle" and I'd say that is accurate---there are most definitely similarities between the two books, though "Magebound" has a much simpler plot-line overall. This isn't high art by any means, but it was an enjoyable story and I quite liked it----I'm looking forward to the sequel because I really do want to know what happens next. The book doesn't exactly end with any great cliff-hanger, but there are most definitely plot threads that are left unresolved. (The sequel, "Spellwrought," should be available just about any time now.)

Recommended for those looking for gay-themed fantasy titles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magebound, February 28, 2011
This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
This book sat in my Wish List for months before I deleted it, losing interest in it. Then, stumbling upon it again, I decided to reinstate it to my Wish List. To see if I would enjoy the book I visited Ms. Locke's website. It was there that I read the first chapter. From then on I was hooked. I couldn't wait to order it, get it, and read it. I had to do many chores to get this book, and I'd gladly do it all again.

The story is about a slave, Lark, who is sold to the mage. He expects to be treated like crap, like all his other masters have treated him, but he's in for a surprise. Sactaren just wants him to run his magic shop. Lark takes a liking to him, but soon finds he has feelings for him. Then Lark believes he's been put under a spell.

Ms. Locke has created a fantastic, intricately woven world which I couldn't put down. The writing was spectacular and I found the characters to be likable. I plan on rereading this book sometime in the future, and I almost never read a book over again.

Every once in a while I come across an author who deserves more credit than she gets: Ms. Locke is now definitely in that category now.

And just FYI, there is a second book coming out: Spellbound. I think it's supposed to be out in print this winter, but I'm not sure.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quick and light, June 15, 2010
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This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
I should maybe preface this review by stating that I'm not really into the whole dominant/submissive thing, which I'm sure influenced my enjoyment of the story. It's not really my flavor. This book is about a master/slave relationship, but it does go light on the BDSM, so I wasn't too put off by it.

I purchased Magebound because I like Fantasy books, and Gay Fantasy stories in particular. With magic, and a mage, and a castle, and a sort of feudal system going on, Magebound appeared to fall into that category. But early on we run into a couple problems, as I think Katica Locke was blending sci-fi elements into an otherwise fantasy genre which made for an almost uncomfortable mix. For example, the story takes place somewhere on another planet in our universe, and there are several mentions of interstellar/intergalactic travel, which threw me off. Also, the magic system was not really explained very well. At one point, an explanation somewhere along the lines of "It's a magic castle, it just is" was offered as an explanation. Well crafted magic systems have sources of power, rules, boundaries, weaknesses, etc. Example: Saidin and Saidar in Wheel of Time. "Burning" metal in Sanderson's Mistborn series, and etc.
The plot in this story was the development of the relationship between the main character (Lark) and the mage (Lord Sactaren). No intrigue or serious villains or pure evil threatening to destroy the world (galaxy? haha). Just the dynamics of the master mage and sub slave. Frankly, this book would have been AWESOME if the master mage had actually turned out to be evil and wanted to use the slave to take over his soul or something, for eternal youth or etc. Like if he really turned out to be a villain in the end, instead of, of course, a good guy with a heart of gold who's probably been wounded in the past and yada yada.
The most interesting thing in this book to me was when the slave, Lark, found a wounded animal (a Khas, I think it was called), and he saved its life and kept it as a pet (the dynamic between Lark and his pet gets more interesting and was ultimately pretty sad at the end, it was the most touching part of the whole book). This very simple addition gave Lark real depth to his character. As did his initial charity for the farmboy who came into the mage's shop.
Another thing was how the main character would talk TO the reader. Like in an instant he'd step out of the story to tell you something like "Trust me, I've been to the ass end of the universe" or whatever. Is this his memoir? Is he knowingly recounting his life story for an audience? No? How is he aware that I am reading his story?

Anyhow, so far this review has been quite critical, but here is the good stuff: really, despite my complaints, the story was entertaining. I stayed up until like 3am to finish it, I read it in the course of one night. So it kept me turning the pages. And it was a quick read, and light reading. It had a sex scene and other homoerotic moments, but it wasn't steamy enough to fall into the "erotica" category in my opinion, and honestly I kind of like that about it. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate seeing good characters hook up in a novel, but with typical erotica the sex will completely consume the story to where anything else is simply a minor detail. I am glad the sex did not consume this story to the exclusion of all else.
Also, although I've been harping on the characters, I really did like Lark. I don't want him talking directly to me (it throws me off), but I liked him. Lord Sactaren I was neutral on.

In the end, if you are a fan of gay fantasy (or maybe gay sci-fi too?? hah!) I'd recommend this book for a fun read. I might even read the sequel, if one is published :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused magic gay love, August 8, 2010
By 
Joe (Nebraska USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
This was a real nice read. I am a fan of hard sci-fi however finding that genre lacking the relevant 'tags' I was looking for, decided to give Magebound a try. Was not disappointed. It is a fresh smartly written story which kept me enthralled with the characters until the very last page. Do not be too alarmed by the cover art,the story is very mildly B&D. That issue in not really the main concern of the characters; more like love? I would like to purchase more items from this author, and although the book had a very definite ending I probably would purchase a sequel which I hardly ever do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story, April 17, 2010
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This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
This was a fantastic story on so many levels. Well written, a great fantasy, a lovely gay love story, a book to enjoy owning and rereading. My only criticism is this: it deserves a sequel. I did not want it to end where it did. I want to know so much more about the characters and where they go from there--even about that crazy relationship between the Mage and his nutso wife--though mostly about Lark and the Mage and their love for each other. Please Katica--more of this story!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely characters, fascinating story, August 24, 2011
This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
I read the first draft of this book on 'Adult Fan Fiction'.

Katica has improved it immensely since then.

The characters are filled in nicely and the magical Mage world is more detailed.

Lovely, lovely read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making the unbelievable, believable!, July 14, 2010
By 
M. Payne (Sunny Brighton, MI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Magebound (Paperback)
I'll start with a brief synopsis. The main protagonist, Lark, has been a slave since the age of 8. He and his family were abducted from their farm and separated. As a slave, Lark has been bought and sold multiple times throughout the last 12 years. Lark is now 20. This is where we meet up with him. His previous owners have brutalized him, which leaves him a victim of many emotional and physical scars. Other than hatred, Lark has never felt anything for his masters, till now. When his newest owner, Mage Sactaren, treats him with kindness and respect, he is certain that there are underlying motives. Lark misinterprets the physical attraction and love that he feels towards the mage as a spell or enchantment. These unknown and strange feelings must be fought until the spell wears off.

This story has an extremely interesting, original and imaginative plot. The characters are fascinating and well defined. The imagery and the emotions this author is able to create are very real. Ms. Locke was able to pull me into her world of fantasy and magic, hold me there, and make me care about her characters, no matter how flawed. For an author's first work, this story is nothing short of amazing. Do yourself a favor, and buy the book! You won't be disappointed.

Thank you Ms. Locke, can I have another?
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Magebound
Magebound by Katica Locke (Paperback - August 6, 2009)
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