“At 18 I had pennies, but money didn’t make me bold. At 19 I had dollars, but it didn’t dull the pain of being sold. At 20 I had hundreds, but then I met him and was found. At 21 I had thousands, but all I wanted was to be bound.”
“At 23 I had dollars, but life changed and made me rich. At 25 I had hundreds, but it wasn’t enough to stop my killing itch. At 27 I had thousands, but my reputation didn’t set me free. At 29 I had millions, but I met her and could finally see.”
Tasmin was killed on her 18th birthday. She had everything planned out. A psychology degree, a mother who pushed her to greatness, and a future anyone would die for. But then her murderer saved her life, only to sell her into a totally different existence.
Elder went from penniless to stinking rich with one twist of fate. His lifetime of crime and shadows of thievery are behind him but no matter the power he now wields, it’s not enough. He has an agenda to fulfil and he won’t stop until it’s complete.
But then they meet.
A beaten slave and a richly dressed thief. Money is what guided their separate fates. Money is what brought them together. And money is ultimately what destroys them.
She was poor.
He was rich.
Together…they were bankrupt.
The beginning of this book is an explicit warning of just how dark this book is.
Heed that warning.
This book explores some topics which are not readily accepted within society. The events are hard to imagine, let alone read and have them begin to take shape in your mind. This isn’t some fairy tale with a few grey areas, it’s absolutely black, so really consider that before beginning.
Tasmin is taken when she’s 18 and sold to a man who desires a slave. The life she lives with him is riddled with turmoil. This is not one of those stories where the man has good intentions behind some twisted fantasies. This man revels in her pain and treats her as even less than the commodity he paid for. She finds a way to survive, but there is not one lingering fragment of herself that truly feels as though surviving is worth it.
- Tasmin is smart. I truly admire this character, as a situation like hers is unthinkable. She endures much, and yet finds at least one part of herself to stay true to. She is not the same girl she was when she was abducted, make no mistake this captivity has completely changed her, but even when she is giving up she still seems strong.
Elder enters the scene much later in the story, while conducting a business deal with her captor. He’s a man not to be trifled with. His past is a mystery and he exudes an unexplained air of power. When he meets his associate’s slave, there’s something. It’s like he can hear all the things she cannot say. He is by no means a savior or a knight by any means. There is much darkness within him. But when after his encounter with this slave girl, the whole story changes.
This story was one that took me some time to really get in to. The whole world is dark, in fact I don’t believe I truly saw any light break through in this part of the story. There were so many moments I had no idea what to even thing because the events were so completely unimaginable. Personally, I did not understand how so much darkness could reside in someone. I was chilled to the bone, emotionally, more times than I can count.
If you’ve read Pepper Winter’s work before, this is a different kind of darkness. If you enjoy her work, you will (most likely) enjoy this one as well. If you’re new to her work, take her warning seriously and truly think about whether these dark events will negatively impact your emotional well-being.
- Not all events are graphically described, but I found that was often more effective than going into detail. Having to only imagine her suffering … something about that caused me to break more.
I don’t want to give away more, I just wanted to convey the depth of feeling I experienced in this story. This is something the average reader has (hopefully) never experienced, but something that absolutely exists in this world. Don’t take this story lightly.