Belega Book Cover Belega
The Karthagans, Book 1
Dianne Hartsock
LGBT, Gay, Fantasy, Fiction
Independently published
February 11, 2020

The Karthagans have regained their ancient powers of manipulating nature, but at the price of madness. In their lust for control they’ve destroyed their island and most of their race. They come now to Belega where one of them, Camron, seeks domination over the known world. The Mage has come from the northern continent of Sennia to bring peace, but finding his strength no match for the coming struggle, he passes his abilities on to Natan, who only desires a simple life. Now only Natan has the ability to stop Camron, but the personal cost is more than he imagines. It is only with the combined strength of his friends, his Karthagan lover, Kavi, and his deep desire to bring peace to the earth, that he finds the courage to overcome Camron and restore balance to the world. The power of the mind is immense. In this world, mankind has learned to gather the energies of creation to use at their whim. But absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Sharonica

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

War! A word that brings to mind so many thoughts and emotions for just about anyone with the ability to comprehend the word. From page one of this story you know you are in the middle of a war that has been going on for far too long. Not only are the characters cynical and battle worn, but the land holds on to the spirits of her dead the way a parent clutches the hand of their small child as they attempt to flee their parent’s side to join their peers on the playground.

Sometimes it is hard to tell which side is right, as evil seems to be done on all sides, in my opinion. Kidnapping of heirs, infiltration into different camps, spies, magic users who were pushed from the land years ago are still used (in small capacities) but more as weapons than anything.

The two MCs, Natan and Kavi have a strained and strange relationship that I found hard to wrap my head around. At times it felt like they wanted to have feelings for each other, but the chemistry just was not there. Whether it was the author’s intention because of the constant oppressive and “high alert” vibe or if the two men just didn’t work for me, I must confess I am not 100% certain. It wasn’t until the last 80% of the book they seemed to finally act like they truly loved and cared for one another.

I will say, as individual characters go, I adored Natan. I always love seeing growth in characters, and my favorite fantasy is a hero’s journey. That is precisely what this was.