Inheritance (Dominion #1) and Reclamation (Dominion #2) by Lissa Kasey
Seiran Rou’s life was marked for misery the moment he was born into the female dominated society of witches, made all the more difficult by the fact that his mother is the leader of the Dominion–the governing body of witches–as well as the fact that she saw his being born a boy as reason enough to mistreat and torment him throughout his childhood.
Seiran’s life has been punctuated by random acts of abuse, everything from rape to being repeatedly bullied and hexed during his freshman year of college. His first sexual experience at the age of eleven, with an older boy, marked the beginning of Seiran’s downward spiral into intimacy and commitment issues. Matthew Pierson’s betrayal continues to haunt Seiran psychologically, and he fights back by being emotionally unavailable, seduces men simply because he can, but it’s strictly one and done, sex with no strings attached.
His one and only exception is Gabe Santini, the millenniums old vampire who has loved Seiran since the moment they met five years earlier. Gabe is the one and only man with the power to make or break Seiran. Gabe is the one and only man Seiran could love, if only he could find the courage and strength to let it happen.
Lissa Kasey has created a supernatural world in contemporary Minnesota, where vampires, shapeshifters, and elemental witches coexist. It’s a place where a witch can still be burnt at the stake as punishment for magical crimes. It’s a place where sometimes the only crime one commits is that of being born the wrong sex. Seiran’s fate and the balance of his future hinge on the fact that he is the son of Tanaka Rou, he’s male, and he’s the most powerful male earth witch to come along in decades. Seiran is a target and his life is in near constant danger. When the murder of a coworker brings that danger directly to his threshold, the race begins to find and stop a serial killer who is disposing of witches and stealing their powers, before the killer gets to him.
Opposing factions in the witch community want Seiran, someone within one of those factions wants him dead, and it’s his own mother who’s at the top of the list of suspects that might be attempting to frame Seiran for the crimes.
Well written and briskly paced, this series is one of those lucky finds for me, where I stumbled across a couple of great reads by virtue of little more than an interesting blurb, but the purchases paid off 100% in the introduction of compelling characters living in a world that I don’t claim to fully understand the inner machinations of yet (I’m not sure I’m supposed to know all the political underpinnings at this point) but am more than excited for another installment in the series.
I think my only area of concern, really, was a momentary feeling of “this again?” in Reclamation (Book 2), fueling my belief that there might be an unfortunate formula the series was falling into, but the final result was a suspenseful and emotional climax that left me pulling for Seiran and reconfirmed that I’ll be on board for book 3.