BANE OF EXISTENCE
Dark Fantasy, Gay m/m
Rating: 5 Cups
After tragedy left his brother dead by his own hand, Bane of Existence began a life in the Death Squad as an assassin. Known for his fast hand and berserker like rages, even soldiers learned to fear him. When the war between the Demon Lord and the Seven Kingdoms came to an end, Bane was not sure what he would do with his life or where to go from there.
Lieutenant Kelson is part of the Triace, an elite team of men and women dedicated to peace and justice for all. When he first meets up with Bane, he finds himself enchanted with the assassin addicted to a drug known for enhancing certain gifts. Willing to give him a chance, he must first give the young man a reason to trust him.
Bane is taken to Vanimen, a school of sorts to begin his training. Here he will meet with many obstacles as well as make new friends. Bane can feel a passion growing between himself and Kel even as his past and all that has been done to him continues to haunt his nights. Unless he can learn to trust those around him, then he will never get the chance to find his other brother and may never realize that Kel is his soul mate and the man destined to be his one true love.
While the title Bane of Existence is a definition of where the character is from, for me it is also a play on words to describe the character's self-depiction. Melissa El-Hajjar has written a staggering epic journey whose magnitude is full of anger, hate, drug use, torture, abuse, neglect, racism, love, friendship, trust, overcoming unbelievable odds, and acceptance. From the moment I opened the pages of this outstanding novel I was hooked, staying awake until the wee morning hours just so I could continue to read about Bane's ever-changing character and the people who touched him with their lives. The emotional highs and lows that this poor soul went through was heart wrenching and made me so angry I wanted to scream at the agony he endured as well as the times he felt beat down and broken. But by the time his expedition neared its conclusion and the tale came toward the end, the peace and cleansing I felt was worth every single teardrop I shed for this exceptional man and all he learns on his mission. I can guarantee you will fall in love with the author's work as well as the character known as Bane of Existence!
Caution: This tale does not contain graphic scenes of rape; however, the phrase is mentioned repeatedly as well as graphic scenes of physical abuse bordering on torture.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More