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The Invisible Chains - Part 1: Bonds of Hate (Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Ashling
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Anaxantis, prince of Ximerion. You will hate him... if your heart isn't big enough.

While the kingdom of Ximerion is threatened at its southern border by a major power, the high king sends his two youngest sons, the half brothers Anaxantis and Ehandar, as Lord Governors to the Northern Marches where minor raids by wild barbarians are expected. Under the guidance of an old and trusted general, the king hopes to keep the young princes far from the major conflict in the south, while at the same time providing them with a valuable learning experience. The estranged half brothers are rivals, but soon they feel attracted to each other. As if this was not enough of a complication, they begin to suspect that they were set up by their own father. The result is a fierce struggle for power where the lines between hate and love become almost indistinguishable and where nothing is what it seems.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1803 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ormidon Publishing (11 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,076 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

My current project is the Dark Tales of Randamor the Recluse series. By now there are several volumes. Not certain if you want to invest that much time and money in a long, epic series? Individual book samples too short? To help you decide the first twelve chapters (60,000+ words) of Bonds of Hate, the first book, are online as a free read:
I started writing in January 2009, mainly gay, m/m, slash, yaoi stories. I suppose, with a few exceptions, I should call them novels really.
I have no great literary ambitions. I just tell stories, and I try to do it as good as I can, hoping other people will enjoy reading them.
Most of them have explicit scenes in them, often of a rather kinky nature. But they're only the raisins in the pudding, because -- as I already said -- I actually enjoy telling stories. That means there always is a plot, or, more often, several plots.
I love exploring what makes people tick, what makes them do the often quirky things they do. Also, I enjoy playing with expectations, boundaries, taboos even.
I'm a self publisher by choice.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant FREE read! 10 Jan. 2015
By Teddy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this read so damn intriguing, I really enjoyed it. Now in parts this book is written in the third person, and others in the first person. At first I was a little thrown by this but once I settled into this read, I became comfortable with it and liked it! There are many characters introduced throughout and all have good reason to be part of the story. I liked that I was standing on the outside watching the story unfold and then given privy to the characters thoughts and feelings on the situation taking place or to the opposing characters.

The only criticism I have is that I found a small amount of the dialogue and depth lacking with various characters. Although for the majority it is well written.

The role reversal of the Prince brother’s is gripping. Anaxantis is prudent and appealing, once released from his sickness and imprisonment he goes from strength to strength. He still appears to very aware of his weaknesses and respectful, so therefore doesn’t appear to become egotistical. From underdog to top dog took intelligence, calculation and integrity, but he conquer or fail? I am so intrigued by this I’m off to download book two.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love these books, I enjoy them really much.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure filth. 29 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't know how Amazon have allowed this book to be put on their site, it feature a brother raping his brother! This goes beyond erotic fiction, I am not a prude by any means but this book steps over the line.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 Mar. 2015
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, intense and engrossing. 29 April 2012
By L - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow. Just feaking WOW. I am SO impressed! Thrilling, intense and engrossing. The plot is fantastic. I couldn't put this book down. It's a brilliant piece of storytelling. The characters all have their own very distinct voices and personalities. Even the bad guys are totally awesome!

What impressed me the most though, was how intricate and solid the plot was. The story arc is over 3 books and through all 3 books the plot is rock solid. There are multiple plot lines and they all work seamlessly together. Things aren't spelled out and spoon fed so when a plot point finally culminated, you were at least a little surprised every time. I hate being spoon-fed a plot so that I can guess how it ends 20 pages into the book. In this series, I wasn't even sure the main character would live through all 3 books!

The author is also not afraid to kill people or cause massive damage for the main characters if it's the right thing to do plot-wise. Which I applaud. It takes a certain amount of balls for an author to really put his lead characters through hell knowing that somewhere a reader who loves fluffy bunnies and rainbows is going to complain because everything didn't go perfectly for the hero.

Anyway, I'm very impressed with the quality of the books and I'm sure I'll reread them in the future.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Car-Wreck You Can't Turn Away From 1 July 2012
By Taylor - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First off let me say that this is not traditional "historical fiction", in that, the story supposedly takes place 1400 years AFTER the apocalypse that destroys our modern world. The people have rebuilt somewhat, but all of the "modern" technology and conveniences have been lost- so the story is set in a medieval-type culture complete with kings, dukes, counts and barons. Unlike our historical medieval period, this society does not have a hateful religion dictating its morals and beliefs, thus, homosexuality is accepted. However, they don't have traditional gay marriage; nobles are still expected to produce heirs to carry on the name- especially the first-born sons. It was nice to finally read a book that wasn't full of men hiding their sexuality or having to read about characters forced to bed women.

With that being said, this book is an extremely psychologically painful book to read- it was the first book I've ever read where I felt sick through most of it. It had nothing to do with the 'content' of the storyline, but had to do with the emotional and psychological pain between Anaxantis and Ehandar. I was drawn to Anaxantis in the beginning, but then found myself more on Ehandar's side... yet, towards the end when Anaxantis explained everything to his friend Hermarchidas and you saw the events through Anaxantis' eyes- only then do you realize the full impact it had upon him. When the event occurred early in the story, it was see from above, and not through the eyes of either- yet hearing the event from Anaxantis, you realize how much it truly did scar him. However, I still didn't lose my feelings for Ehandar, as he truly wanted to do everything he possibly could to make it up to Anaxantis.

Their story made the book, even though the author felt a need to introduce character after character after character, making it difficult to keep up with who is who and why you should even care. I am not a fan of this type of writing style, I much prefer first-person narratives, so this story was difficult to follow at times and I found myself skipping page after page until I returned to some of the MAIN characters- such as Anaxantis, Ehandar, their father and Anaxantis' mother- most other characters just didn't interest me in the least and I didn't feel that anything that was involved with the extra characters would be that important; as it turned out, I was right. I managed to skip about 1/3 of the book and still was able to keep up with the story and never felt I had missed anything.

So all in all, the story was worth the read. I love stories with complex and complicated characters, and this, by far, has the cast of most screwed up characters I've ever read. ;-) I also have to add that, after reading all four books in the series, the writing and story improves a LOT over time! The fourth book, "Invisible Hands Pt 1", is my favorite so far. We also get to hear less of Randamor the Recluse's commentary as the books progress- which is a good thing IMO.

I also felt I should state that the majority of characters are young men between the ages of 15-20, so if the idea of sex or rape involving teenage boys is a problem for you, then you probably will not like this series.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new favorite series! 28 Oct. 2011
By Robert S. Tyler - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first book by Mr. Andrew Ashling that I have read. Several other friends / people I follow either were reading or had read one of his newer books "A Dish Served Cold" and gave it great reviews. Because I didn't dare read it first (it has some scary plot lines, to me anyway!) I decided to start with a genre I'm more familiar with, the science fiction / fantasy category. I now know this is more of a post apocalyptic novel, but for me this category still fits.

I am very happy I started here because I really loved Mr. Ashling's story. There are several interesting threads running through this first book in the Bonds of Hate series. The first one, and the one the reader gets the least number of clues about , is that of the story teller himself. Who is he, who is the man who is his audience, and what the heck is up with that stool! Many of the scenes between the two young prince / half brothers make me feel sad and lonely for them and make me angry at their despicable treatment of each other. They seem to be, in essence, two broken children unable to climb out of their predicament.

There are also at least four other significant story threads that wrap around themselves throughout the book adding complexity, character development, and continuity. The writer handles scenes of hilarity, camp, and human suffering with equal aplomb and in the end, I am left with excitement for the remaining books in this series and a new found appreciation and warmth for Mr. Ashling's writing.

Thank you, Andrew Ashling, for writing one of my new favorites!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Invisible Chains 1: Bonds of Hate by Andrew Ashling 18 Aug. 2011
By Elisa - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
At more than 300 pages and only part 1 of a trilogy, this book is already pushing your level of comfort if you are looking for a "comfort" romance... Bonds of Hate is definitely not that. Plus it has (SPOILER) two elements that will probably push away a lot of potential readers: an incestuous relationship between two half-brothers and non-con sex, at least at the beginning.

I think the strength in this novel is the completely turn around the author did with the characters: Anaxantis and Ehandar, the two half-brothers, start with clear chosen role, Ehandar is the warrior, one year older than Anaxantis at 17 years old, strong and virile; Anaxantis instead is the intellectual, bookish and often ill. They are also different in looks, Ehandar dark and strong, Anaxantis blond and petite.

At the beginning Anaxantis is fascinated by his brother, and he also tries to imitate him, but there is really nothing to do, they are in two different leagues; then Ehandar does the unthinkable, he rapes his own brother and he initiates a chain of events that will lead to his own demise, or better to him being turned into sex-slaves for the pleasure of Anaxantis. Why, from Ehandar's point of view that is acceptable? Since he strongly believes to be in love with his brother, and even when faced with the chance to run away, he chooses to remain faithful to his own brother. Anaxantis instead, according to me, proves to be a little temperamental...

These are not easy characters to like. I think that most of the readers will take the side for one or the other, but in the end, they will also admit that no one is really right and no one is really wrong. Ehandar with the rape that he commits at the beginning will be disliked by most romantic readers, but those same readers will have to admit that later in the novel, he seems the one with the more honest love feelings. On the other side bookish Anaxantis will have the support of those same readers, but then he will prove to have led his vengeance well over the edge, even if, again, there are some people (me probably) that believes nothing will payback for a rape. True, with the turning of Ehandar's character, he loses all the characteristic of the rapist, he moves exactly at the opposite, becoming the sex-slave, the one who is object.

The plot is complex and for once, while this is obviously a fantasy, since there is no real setting, it's not "magical"; true, there are potions and conspiracies, but that was pretty normal even in our real past. Yes, there is an homosexual relationship, but that is justified by the plot: it would have been probably impossible for Anaxantis to be a woman, since in that case, there would have been no chance for him to enslave Ehandar.

Truth be told, I'm not sure about my feelings towards this novel, I can recognize that is well plotted (even if fantasy is not my cup of tea), but probably I need to see how Anaxantis and Ehandar's relationship will evolve in the following books.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Instant Favorite! 17 July 2011
By Bleu Skye - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the first m/m book that gave me a truly fantastic imaginative journey amongst royals, nobles, followers, enemies, impostors and barbarians. The world-building started with a bang. For a book with hundreds of pages, there were no over-written narratives that would have made me skip pages. The fascinating characters, cunning power plays, and crafty twists had me wanting to observe the gripping gameplay going on in the book from a bird's-eye view. If I'm that engaged from all angles, minor typos do not even affect me. It was a long read but there were tons of characters with their own stories of dangerous secrets, stubborn quests for power and intriguing family dynamics that all relate to the main plot.

The book is an action-adventure fiction with mystery and unromantic tough love. It is medieval in setting but it is NOT the type of fantasy that has any kind of magic, folklore or anything supernatural. Just some princely twink, poisonous concoctions and a weird stool with a knob in the center of the seat:)

Note the subtitle of the series, "The Dark Tales..." so expect some dark moments in the book but trust the author to get you past those. The first book is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I have yet to read the next two books which I already purchased.

You can see my full review at:[...]. You can also see other great reviews there for your reference.
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