Title: Taken to Sasor
Author: Elizabeth Stephens
Series: Xiveri Mates (Book 3)
Page Length: 398
Publication Date: Aug. 28, 2020
Don’t run. Don’t fight. Just hide. That’s all we can do against the Sasor barbarian horde – huge megalithic aliens, born to fight, who can shape shift at will into monsters. We’re only human, and me, just a slave among them.
Getting caught is not part of the plan, but when they raid our village, I do the only thing I can think of to spare the whole. I offer myself up to their leader. Infuriating, and strangely funny, I have a lot to learn – his languages and customs, the roles I’m meant to fulfill in his tribe, and how to keep him at arm’s length when he’s seemingly everywhere, blocking any chances I have to find a mate and keeping me at his side.
She’s funny, this human. A fast learner, already adapting to our language with ease. She’s forgiving. Quick to smile, it’s easy to smile back. Too easy. She’s slipping under my skin, infecting me and my manerak.
The monster that I can become seems more ready to do her will than my own. Like she’s controlling it. I should let her go. I should let her find a mate. I should let the tribes that come for her, take her…
My manerak says no. Its defiance is something I’ve never felt before and I will need to find a way to deny them both – but how can I when my manerak wants her close?
Taken to Sasor is a full-length (95k words), standalone, interracial, shifter, SciFi romance complete with an alpha snakeshifter alien overlord, warrior heroine, fated mates who are also enemies-to-lovers, world building and extra steamy bits. All Xiveri Mates books can be read as standalones, each one with a guaranteed HEA. NO cheating, harem or love triangles. Some dark themes, illusions to abuse, and debatable consent due to intergalactic cultural misunderstandings may be trigger warnings.
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Elizabeth Stephens blew my mind again with a steamy and immersive sci-fi romance that I couldn’t put down. I love her Xiveri Mates series, and Taken to Sasor is no exception. The story follows Mian and Neheyuu, a life-long slave and a snake-shifting clan leader who find themselves questioning everything they believe in the name of love.
Mian is an incredibly brave woman. A slave her entire life, she bravely offers herself to save fellow slaves when a raiding party invades their village. Neheyuu, the leader of the raiding party and chief of his clan, takes her, allowing the other slaves to remain hidden. His manerak feels an instant connection to the fierce and brave slave. However, Neheyuu is conflicted. His desire to grow his clan and gain power among the other clans comes with certain expectations, and these expectations don’t leave room for his feelings for Mian. Mian, in turn, struggles with her desire for Neheyuu and her desire for safety and security with a kind partner, something Neheyuu cannot guarantee.
The story is told from both Mian and Neheyuu’s points of view. I like the use of dual narration and feel it adds to the character development. You get to understand Mian’s conflicting feelings and how she acclimates to this new and different world. Neheyuu is just as interesting since he is constantly battling his manerak almost to the brink of insanity.
In one of my previous reviews, I wrote about Stephens’ skill in creating a vivid and immersive universe. She continues this in Taken to Sasor, presenting not just a new world, but new cultures, traditions, and languages. As Mian learns the language, the reader does as well. Now, I can say things like, “yes,” “no problem,” and “f*ck of,” which I think is really sviking cool!
Something else I really liked about the book is the tremendous growth displayed by so many of the characters, especially Neheyuu and Mian. Neheyuu shows an incredible amount of growth and development as he struggles with his growing feelings for Mian, his sense of duty to his people, and his desire to lead and gain power. As the youngest clan leader, Neheyuu has a lot to prove. However, he acts rashly and doesn’t always think things through, which causes even more conflict. He also fights his feelings out of a sense of duty. Neheyuu has a lot to learn about being a leader and being true to himself before he can be a good partner to Mian, and his personal journey is fascinating.
Mian grows as well. She is a woman who suffered abuse and maltreatment as a slave for years. She is smart, kind, and curious, but she struggles with self-worth. Mian often considers herself unworthy of friendship, love, and affection even though she longs for security, safety, and a kind partner. As she becomes more ingratiated and accepted in Neheyuu’s tribe, she learns what it feels like to be part of a community and to be respected and cared for. Chimara, who is half-human, is one of the few who can easily communicate with Mian. The females develop a lovely friendship and support each other throughout the book, and I think Chimara contributes to Mian’s sense of worth. Of course, her growing feelings for Neheyuu and their powerful bond contributes to her growth the most. As the story progresses, Mian becomes more confident and self-assured, which is fantastic to see.
Finally, I have to talk about the super-steamy romance! The chemistry between Mian and Neheyuu is on fire! Attraction is certainly not their problem. Mian and Neheyuu are drawn to each other, and their connection is profound. Past experiences, social expectations and implications, and fear are Mian and Neheyuu’s biggest obstacles. Plus, there is an outside force that threatens their happiness and future as well.
A richly developed and steamy sci-fi romance, Taken to Sasor is a fabulous addition to the Xiveri Mates series. Even though it’s the third book in the series, it can totally be read as a standalone. However, I recommend you read the entire series because each story is amazing! Thanks so much to Elizabeth Stephens for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance, of course! Mian and Neheyuu have a fantastically steamy love story.
- The universe-building! I mean, I’m learning an alien language as I read this series. How cool is that?
- The writing. Elizabeth Stephens is a talented storyteller, and I love her writing style. It’s so vivid and immersive!
We both made the mistake of walking down a path with no destination. It’s time to change the course.
She blinks at me, her expression hollow. Lost. A deep chasm opens up at the sight of it, and I feel, for the span of a heartbeat, her mirrored emotions even though I have never felt them myself before. She is utterly transparent and through her, I can see and feel and experience everything.