- Saffron Alley, by A.J. Demas
Saffron Alley, by A.J. Demas
Things aren’t going according to plan.
Varazda’s family members suspect Damiskos’s motives. Varazda grapples with his own desires. Add in a horrible goose, a potentially lethal sculpture, and yet another assassination plot, and any man other than Dami would be boarding a ship straight back to Pheme.
It’s going to take all of Damiskos’s patience, and all of Varazda’s strength, to make this new relationship work. After all that, solving one more murder shouldn’t be too hard.
Saffron Alley is the second book in the Sword Dance trilogy, the continuation of Dami and Varazda’s story from Sword Dance. It crosses over with One Night in Boukos, but you don’t have to have read that book to enjoy this one.
In terms of the story, I enjoyed that this was more of a domestic situation rather than a real military crime, though the plot had continuation elements of the previous book that kept it not only logical but within the realm of possibility. I liked that previous events had relevance, that nothing was cleanly swept under the rug or perfectly resolved. I liked that politics had its place, that decisions weren't always under Varazda or Damiskos' control, despite their positions of power and authority.
It felt more realistic to know that some things were ignored, overlooked, missed, or unexplored due to life getting in the way, or not appearing important at the time. It was also refreshing to see them working as a team without hesitation, both with Damiskos' setting aside his military persona to become soft and flirty with Varazda, while Varazda recalled their military expedition from the previous book and became more comfortable around Damiskos. They both opened up a lot and shared more, in this book, which was nice, because it was realistic for two people who really hadn't spent a lot of time together and were still learning about each other.
“I’ve never had a lover I’d have been ashamed to kiss in the street. I don’t now.” He looked Varazda in the eye. “Want me to prove it?”