For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king's throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier's imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn't the monstrous king's loyal pet.
Elrid, the invading king's brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He's also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.
However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he's been given--and the man he loves.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Magic Runs Deep is the story of a bear shifter freed from years of captivity and his recovery. I'd call it a slow burn, male/male (gay bear shifter *wink*), slavery to freedom, healing Trigger Warnings: enslavement, violence, PTSD, m/m I really enjoyed this book. At first, I thought it had been miscategorized because there wasn't any mention of attraction or any romance, just simple kindness and major trust issues. As Veier (the bear shifter) heals we see more of this. Normally I want more romance and time together as a couple but I found the journey to be my favorite part. This author captured, for me, some of the struggles of ptsd and mental health. The fact that Veier was struggling just to exist in this new world, that he didn't immediately lust or love, that his trust was hard won, really made this story feel real. Elrid, for all his kindness, makes mistakes and learns with Veier but he listens and respects the other man, giving him a chance. I was certainly rooting for them as the story unfolded. I was worried that it would feel as though, Veier was in love with just the first kindness he received but he learned to stand by himself first. This story had a certain realness to the characters' struggles, to their mistakes, and their leaps of faith, and the slow build of trust. I enjoyed that and the authors writing.
I happened upon this author a couple years ago and was impressed with his writing style and complete, satisfying story arc even in a short story. Since I also enjoy shifter books, Magic Runs Deep was an automatic read for me. I really enjoyed this unique fantasy world full of royalty, bear shifters, wizards, and magic. The writing and dialogue flowed smoothly and drew me in with its interesting descriptions and storyline. Magic Runs Deep is a SLOW burn romance, with the bulk of the novella spent developing a cautious trust and friendship between Veier and Elrid and following Veier’s recovery after being enslaved in his bear form for 5 years by a ruthless king. While I appreciated the attention to Veier’s personal development and thought the slower relationship made sense given the circumstances, I did expect there to be more romance and time with the two men as a couple. I’m hopeful I’ll get the chance to see these two in a future book though. I think fans of shifter fantasies will enjoy this book, but I’d definitely caution readers to expect more of a story about the unique characters rather than a steamy love story. *eARC received via Netgalley. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*