Under the Rushesby Amy Lane
Ten years after Dorjan trusted a boy's word over his superior officer's, he and his best friend, Areau, are still living the aftermath-and trying to stop the man responsible. Locked in a careful dance to bring down a corrupt government, Dorjan struggles to balance his grief with Areau's anger. Just when Dorjan reaches the end of his rope, he sees a familiar face in
Ten years after Dorjan trusted a boy's word over his superior officer's, he and his best friend, Areau, are still living the aftermath-and trying to stop the man responsible. Locked in a careful dance to bring down a corrupt government, Dorjan struggles to balance his grief with Areau's anger. Just when Dorjan reaches the end of his rope, he sees a familiar face in the shadows, and the boy he trusted a decade before offers him unexpected kindness.
Taern remembers the soldier who found him under the rushes and listened to his pleas to save his family. When Dorjan reappears in his life, Taern is both captured by his commitment to justice and terrified by the risks he takes. All Taern wants to do is fix him, but the oncoming destruction has been ten years in the making, and Dorjan doesn't want his help. Not if it puts Taern at risk.
Powers clash and a world's fate dangles between Areau's madness and Dorjan's nobility. While Dorjan fights to save the world, Taern joins the battle simply to save Dorjan, knowing everything hinges on the heart of a man in armor and the strength of the man who loves him.
- Dreamspinner Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)
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This is a different type of a book than what author, Amy Lane, usually writes. Under the Rushes takes you to a steampunk Victorian era with a whole new language. She created a very fascinating world with strange steam engines and clothing of olden eras, with a ruling political body (the Forum) that reminds you of the Roman Republic with Senators. You are introduced to Dorjan (Dori), a young military professional on a training exercise. It is made clear that this military is, essentially, peacekeeping and that Dori's world and it's provinces have been in a state of peace for a long time. Dori stumbles into a betrayal by his commanding officer, a man who is out for power. In an attempt to stop the damage, Dori and his best friend, Areau (Ari), are injured and captured as traitors. So, he is thrown out of the military and Ari is left scarred and damaged from repeated abuse and torture. Dori rescues his friend and discovers that the leaders of his land have joined with the dishonest military commander and are going to start a war. Dori takes up the flag of revenge and justice for the murder of his father and the trashing of their province from peace to war. With the help of Ari, Dori becomes, basically, a superhero, fighting against the crime and injustice from the shadows while fooling the ruling body into believing he is somewhat dimwitted. Dori manages the political machinations with an ease that will leave you in awe. It is after Dori's first revenge against the assassin who killed his father that he learns the full scope of the damage done to Ari under his torturers. They tortured him and made him like the pain, crave it and need the release the extreme pain brings him. Ari can not receive pleasure without pain and it is to his best friend that he turns even though Ari is not a lover of men. Dorjan, in trying to give Areau what he so desperately needs, the pain, the humiliation, the degradation,begins to lose a piece of his own soul each encounter. Jump ahead 10 years. Dori continues serving vengeance and justice on the streets as Nyx while coming home to an Ari forcing him to beat him for sexual release. Something is going to have to give because Dorjan can not continue this way, not and keep his soul. Enter Taern a whore who meets Dorjan when Nyx kills the man slaying the young female prostitutes. This leads to Dorjan finding a girl (a prostitute) to come live with them and take care of Areau's needs. So, Dorjan buys the contract for Krissa and for Taern, bringing them home to his world. It is here where we begin to get to the true heart of this novel and its people. Dorjan, so broken by all he's endured. He is a good man. In the best and noblest sense of the word, but he does not see himself that way. The vulnerability of Dori thinking no one knows he's Nyx, when the ones closest to him have always known. Taern, so determined to fix Dori and bring him the gentleness and caring that has been missing in his life for all of these years. The hope Taern brings to Dorjan. The changes Krissa brings about to Areau. Ari slowly coming back to life and back to the person he was and the friend he was before his capture and torture. Mrs. Wrinkles, the housekeeper, and her love for these boys as she's seen them through from boys to men. The way Amy Lane builds the story is a gift. Inserting a backstory at just the right moment. Introducing a character just when needed the most. Very inspiring to read. The intricateness
This is a tale of what happens when higher-ups make a decision that goes against everything you are all about and how the clean up is out of your hands. But Dorjan is not about just roll over and accept what life has become. His world is definitely not where he thought it would be but his determination to fix things is admirable. Watching Dorjan and his best friend Areau, who is a shell of the boy he grew up with, tackle their enemies from inside is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Even if they think they are doing a fine job, it becomes pretty obvious to the reader that they need help and that help comes in the form of Taern and Krissa, prostitutes that have an uncanny way of being exactly what their counterparts need. I would not label Under the Rushes as any kind of superhero story but if I am completely honest, there are most definitely moments that scream Batman, Robin, and their trusty butler Alfred. Under is classic Amy Lane with a sci-fi twist that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. Reviewer Note: I have to say that I don't really get the whole terminology of steampunk. I know what it means and I know it is a sub-genre of science fiction but to me science fiction is science fiction, nothing more, nothing less. As a reader, I will be putting this and others labeled steampunk on my science fiction library shelf but as a book blogger I will defer to the whole steampunk terminology labeling. Just wanted to put that out there.