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The Ritual: 1 (Theft and Sorcery) [Paperback]

Erica Dakin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: 8.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

25 Mar 2013 Theft and Sorcery
For Chiarin, a young half-elf thief, life is all about survival. Her race means that she is considered an outcast and disposable, and every day could bring her death. Then she meets fellow thief Zashter, a master of their chosen trade. Against Chiarin’s expectations he agrees to take her on as his pupil, and draws her into a dangerous adventure gathering powerful magical items at the behest of his sinister employer. What purpose these items will serve Chiarin does not know, but it soon becomes apparent that Zashter should not be trusted. Yet she cannot deny the mutual attraction growing between them, and she becomes entangled so deeply that there is no going back. Soon she must face the biggest choice of her life, a choice Zashter no longer has...

Product details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (25 Mar 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1482620200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482620207
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,049,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely fantasy romance 15 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Two twin half-elf sisters, one a thief, one a sorceress, meet two twin half-elf brothers, one a thief, one a sorcerer... what are the odds? And there's this instant attraction... Well, we can see where this is going, can't we? Still, there are enough original twists here to give this a fresh spin. Elves are the rulers in this world, with humans as the underdogs, but the bottom of the heap are the half-elves, where those with magical ability are scooped up and trained and the rest are slaves or (at best) low ranking servants. They can't set up in business or own property... which makes it tricky to live independent lives, except by thievery.

This was my first foray into fantasy romance, which in this case is romance with pointy ears. There is a plot, of sorts, involving stealing four items, one for each of the four elements - earth, air, fire and water - for someone or other, but really it doesn't matter. It's all just an excuse for smouldering glances over the campfire, sizzling accidental touches while hiding from dragons in caves, and a lot of heavy breathing. The first kiss is a quarter of the way into the book, and before the halfway point we're into improbably athletic sex of the panting, thrusting, never-been-so-amazing variety. Elvish porn, if you like. And you know what? It's a helluva lot of fun.

This isn't a masterpiece of epoch-making literature, but then it has no pretensions to be anything other than entertainment. As fantasy, the world-building is sketchy, the plot isn't terribly original and the magic is fairly conventional. There's a lack of realistic detail in the background - the world has a few scattered towns and a lot of emptiness, and the characters simply amble through the scenery, always managing to find enough food and shelter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 15 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not my usual type of book, but I really enjoyed it, in fact I read it in 2 days as I couldn't put it down. Hurry up and finish writing the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy romance, in a unique world 10 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
There are a lot of fantasy romance novels out there now. Romance is romance, erotica is erotica, so for me it's how well the character are developed and how the universe they live in is set out that matters. Here the author has done a sterling job. The political structure of the world is fascinating, and it's back drop gives great motivation to the characters. By setting the scene in this way the characters feel more real, and so we can empathise and care about them a lot more. Thus when the plot becomes passionate it actually means something to the reader, this is not a mills and boon/50 shades of boredom book. It IS highly romantic and erotic, but this works because it's a great book on it's own merits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Like 3 1/2 Stars 30 April 2013
Format:Paperback
I was a little put off from the description of this book and dreaded reading it. Only because I had my fill of elves. Yet, Dakin created a world unlike any I've ever read and rebooted this subject for me. I loved the concept of two sets of half-elf twins meeting and falling for each other. It sounds cliche, especially since there was a thief and a sorcerer/sorceress in each set and they fell for the twin more like themselves (a thief for a thief, a sorcerer for a sorceress). But it didn't come off as cliche. Dakin crafted the story in a way where it was fresh and exciting.

I completely fell into the world she created; where the elves ruled the world even over the humans, and half-elves were despised. The action kept going, with bouts of romance, that kept me from getting bored even once. Rin and Zask were entertaining to read, and I rooted for them from the beginning.

I read this book twice, debating on whether to give it three or four stars. While I enjoyed the first half of the book (I couldn't put it down), the second half slowly declined for me until the end where I thought everything concluded a little too perfectly, compared to how the rest of the book went. I also thought that the other twins (Mior and Shani) fell a little flat at times.

I decided on four stars (I wish that Goodreads allowed half stars) because the author did a great job of revitalizing the elf world and put in enough action and exciting moments to merit at least 3 and 1/2 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Libertas Vs. Ex Machina 28 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
On the whole, The Ritual has so many things going for it that it is hard for me to put it into a "not recommended" category. For its genre, that hybrid world of romantic fantasy in which I myself would lump a considerable portion of the Dragonlance franchise (particularly the Twins trilogy) it stands (or can stand) shoulder to shoulder with some of the more well known books of its canon. It introduces a well-crafted world, full of possibility. A world which Dakin introduces to us through the adventures of her protagonists, who are by turns endearing, frustrating, and most important - likeable.
In fact, had you come to me two days ago, I would have given this novel a 4 star rating. I would have told you that I had sometimes put the novel down reluctantly, and spent time wondering where we would go next, what might be the next turn in the road. Because I was invested. The build up of the relationship between Rin and Zash is tangible, palpable, to the point that I held my breath when they were on that knife edge point of succumbing to desire. The capers (because we are dealing with a novel involving thief twins) were well plotted. The entire scene at the Abbey is one that I won't soon forget, and the action added a great layer to the romance, which brought more tension to the capers and so on. I would have told you two days ago that here was a good time out. Not necessarily 5 stars, not necessarily a life-changing or eye-opening novel, but one that did what it set out to do so well that you couldn't help but grin. And then I hit the end.
I won't throw it, I won't spoil it. But I will give my two cents, and explain the 3 star rating.
When God comes clanking down from the machine, He thunks you over the head like a sledgehammer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars High Fantasy with Believable Characters
The protagonists of this high fantasy novel are members of an oppressed minority, their only options a life of crushing poverty or consistent crime. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dave Higgins
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy novel with one drawback
I really enjoyed reading this, the characters and world seem well realised. My one real problem is that I find the indepth sex scenes spoil the flow of the story. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Sara Emmins
3.0 out of 5 stars A good story from a beginning author
Erica Dakin's The Ritual is the first part of a trilogy, but I was very happy to find out that it works as a stand-alone novel and is not simply a teaser of a larger story. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Marko K. Susimetsa
4.0 out of 5 stars great book
i really enjoyed reading this book, i couldn't put it down and cant wait to read the second book The Conspiracy.
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ritual ( Theft and Sorcery)...................!
Really enjoyed the Theft and Sorcery world that Erica Dakin has created, a world were injustice is rife. Read more
Published 14 months ago by lonegunwoman
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romantic fantasy
Though this is a fantasy, it's primarily a romance. The four main characters are half-elves and half-elves are considered to be bottom of the heap and are either kept as slaves or... Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. Abbott
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspenseful thriller
Well written and suspenseful! Great character interaction. Very much in the adult book category with sexually explicit dialog. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Frederick L. Coxen
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, I read a lot of fantasy and fiction and it was refreshing to read one that combined the romantic and the erotic in good taste and with a storyline... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rusky75
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit of delicious escapism!
If you like stories of elves, magic, and fantasy worlds, you'll love this. It's also sexy, so don't let the kids get hold of it. ;o)
Published 17 months ago by HondaBird007
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
An engaging and interesting book with a well thought out world design and interesting twist on magic. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
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