Title: Inheritance (Dominion #1)
Author Name: Lissa Kasey
Publication Date & Length: March 3, 2015 – 176 pgs
As the only male studying magic in a female-dominant society, Seiran Rou’s life is already on a precarious perch. Then he finds a dead co-worker on his doorstep, and Sei realizes someone is trying to set him up for the fall. It could be anyone—including his own mother, a powerful witch and leader of the Dominion, the ruling body of elemental magic.
Sei’s only saving graces are his on-again, off-again vampire boyfriend, Gabe, and the mysterious Jamie, who wants to help him for reasons Sei doesn’t understand. They may be all that stand between Sei and the Dominion’s demands to control his magic. One man’s devotion could be the key to save Sei’s life and pull him back from the brink of losing his humanity to the magic he possesses.
This is fantastic. Finally an m/m urban fantasy series to rival the best of the mainstream offerings.
Seiran is a witch. A male witch. Possibly one of the most powerful earth elemental witches in the world. His mother is the most powerful witch in the world and Seiran is pretty sure she’s just waiting for the right moment to kill him.
Lissa Kasey has done her reading before developing Seiran’s world. We have a little of Jennifer Estep’s elemental assassin, a little of Laurel K Hamilton’s posh vampire lairs and necessary heirs, Keri Arthur’s sexual freedom, Patricia Briggs’ shifters and Chloe Neil’s magical world.
But Seiran isn’t a composite. He’s not as nasty as Gin. He’s not as helpless as Mercy. His lover is powerful but not the war lord Anitia’s is. He may call himself slutty, but has so many more hang-ups than Arthur’s Riley or Hamilton’s Anita.
Like all New Adult books, this is a coming of age story. Seiran doesn’t trust easily. He doesn’t do relationships, he just wants to fuck. When his powers develop and bad things start happening, Seiran must learn to trust and he must trust himself to choose the right people.
There isn’t a simple love story in this novel. Seiran doesn’t “double dip”. At least he didn’t until Gabe, and now he’s not too sure that his one-time hook-up hasn’t started to look like a relationship. So he runs scared.
Gabe is a great character. He’s an ancient vampire who runs a bar (Laurell K Hamilton again?) and tries desperately to keep his relationship with Seiran as casual as Seiran wants so he can continue to take care of the young witch.
Oh – and Seiran’s mother. I’m almost frightened to write her name here! Fabulous. We only see moments of her here, and we only see her through Seiran’s fearful eyes. I’m going to guess she develops into a most terrifyingly intriguing character later in the series.
I love the reverse sexism in the witch world. A story of powerful women and disenfranchised men is fresh. I like the way the series has started in college, but we know we will soon be leaving college as Seiran develops into a very powerful, independent young man. I love the hints the author gives us of much more complicated happenings just outside of Seiran’s perception. And I love the way she uses these hints to promise a very exciting series.
On top of all this – the book is beautifully written.
I can’t wait for the next book.
Professor Wrig gestured to the stump. “Seiran, if you will demonstrate, please?”
Rose looked like she’d swallowed a lemon. “I can show them how it’s done, Professor,” she said.
“I’m sure you can, Miss Pewette. However, I already asked Mr. Rou.”
I took a deep breath and stepped up to the stump, wondering if I was allowed to actually focus with the earth this time. “Can I kneel?” I asked Wrig quietly.
“Whatever you feel is necessary.”
I knelt and waited for instructions.
Professor Wrig explained, “As Mr. Rou is showing you, he is putting himself in close contact with his element. He will be pulling power from the earth. Should he accidentally pull too much, he can give it back without causing damage to us or the surrounding area. He will take the time he needs to focus his power, and then he will place his hands to the stump. All witches with a measurable level will make something grow. A level one will produce moss or ivy. A level two will create flowers or even a small bud of a new tree. His level is set by what grows. Whenever you’re ready, Seiran.”
“Try not to kill any of us,” Rose sneered from behind me.
I sighed, closed my eyes, and left all their scattered whispering behind. It didn’t matter that Rose didn’t shut up or that Blond Hair looked at me like he was imagining what sex with me would be like. The earth and I knew each other well. I let it flow through me, like I was nothing more than a pebble in a lake to be shaped and guided by it. Each breath brought renewed life. I set my hands to the stump, remembering the last time, when I’d made wildflowers burst forth from the dead tree. This time I didn’t even look. The earth would grow what it wanted to with me as its conduit.
The power flowed through me in natural peaks and waves. The crowd gasped. The wood shifted and moved beneath my hands. I let the earth move as it wanted until the final wave subsided. Letting go, I opened my eyes and stared at a giant oak tree, leaves growing to a rich, vibrant green. No wildflowers this time. I smiled at the tree and patted its strong, new trunk, which split the old stump in half.
“Very good, Mr. Rou,” Professor Wrig told me. She offered me a hand up. I stood, dusted off my pants, and went to the back of the line. “Next,” she said.
And so began the testing.
Lissa Kasey lives in St. Paul, MN, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing, and collects Asian Ball Joint Dolls who look like her characters. She has three cats who enjoy waking her up an hour before her alarm every morning and sitting on her lap to help her write. She can often be found at Anime Conventions masquerading as random characters when she’s not writing about boy romance.