Read Scorpion by Aleksandr Voinov Online


You learn your wisest lessons from your enemies. Assuming, of course, you survive the encounter. Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he's ever known—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed stranger offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret You learn your wisest lessons from your enemies. Assuming, of course, you survive the encounter. Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he's ever known—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed stranger offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret task, Kendras has no choice but to accept. He is a Scorpion; he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.But his true goal is to rebuild the Scorpions. Neither Steel’s possessive nature nor Kendras’s shattered foot can keep him from finding the last of his brothers... or the mysterious leader of the Scorpions, a man who held Kendras’s heart long before Steel tried to take it for himself. The goal is simple, the situation anything but. To rescue his leader and escape from Steel for good, Kendras must fight through a morass of politics and intrigue, where enemies are allies and even allies have hidden agendas....

Title : Scorpion
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781615818600
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 242 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Scorpion Reviews

  • Aleksandr Voinov
    2019-01-07 21:12

    This book is currently not available. Expect the series to be re-launched (with several new books and re-edited) in late 2018/early 2019.

  • Ingela
    2018-12-29 20:22

    Written March 20, 20144.4 Strong Stars - a fabulous adventure about brave men with strong desire and lustI enjoyed my first Aleksandr Voinov novel a lot. It was Gold Digger a contemporary romance. This time was it a quite different genre. Among other, my friend Andrea, and also Lena, recommended this steamy M/M fantasy. ~ A slightly dark and raw story perhaps? ~ Not a true romance said someone.......and, was it a romance?If you like to read books with rough gay, not always very romantic, steam - you might be very satisfied with this book. The world we meet here is a significant gorgeous hot erotic (gay paradise) place. But is was romantic also. But not in a sugar sweet way.I'm an impressed and happy reader. Cause I got everything I like in a Fantasy; adventure, interesting characters, plots, heat, lust and finally grand love in an amazing tale.~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~Scorpion is about the warrior Kendras. Blue-eyed and black-skinned - hurray! last. - It all takes place in a old historical fantacy world. Kendras was an homeless young man (he didn't even remember if he dad any parents) who was luckily saved (view spoiler)[ - from an execution and an executioner, who abused him for several days ...disgusting rough -(hide spoiler)] by a nice man, called "the officer". A man who was an respected leader for an old elite fighting force, the legendary mercenaries in the Seventeenth, the Scorpions. “If you'd lie with scorpions, you need a taste for poison.” The Scorpions train and live in the largest city, Dalman. (Where could it be..?) (view spoiler)[ ~ Maybe located near the Mediterranean Sea in northern Africa or possibly on the Spanish (Iberian) peninsula or in the old Middle East? However, who knoes, it may just be a fantasy place. ~(hide spoiler)] Anyway reigns priests from the temple through an obedient, by themself, crowned King, parts of this fantacy world. Three major cities are, more or less, always fighting for power. These independent very revered men in the Scorpions legion sell their mercenary services to different mighty men, rulers etc. ~ But not to anyone or for everthing. Their myterious leader, 'the officer' (without a known name), have an old secret book and he, and only he, sets the rules for these men and make arrangements with the purchasers of their services. His men loves him... so also Kendras.~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~We first meet Kendras eight years later when he is wounded in latest war between rival cities. He is in big pain, lonely, without money and belongings and don't know if all his Scorpions comrads are dead and destroyed. He is sad, tired and completely confused helpless with his broken foot. Then he meet Grey Eyes or Steel as he later is calling himself. But who is this heartless man? ~ These two professional mercenarie" have a steamy (maybe not so sweet) first encounter (paid) and this grand tale begin there... “All men die, Kendras. Better get used to it. And then fight until the end, with every breath, every heartbeat, every single, last thought.” This is an eventful story with a lot of unpredictable events and unexplained meetings and statements, etc. There are both a complicated plot, many interesting characters (as I liked; as the officer, Adrates, Steel, Widow, Selvan, Vistar and the Lady Protector etc) and some inticate political games. I would not even dare, to try me on, to tell you what the book was really about. ~ I really believe that it is gaining this novel much to be read with brand new virging eyes.I'd not a real clue what this novel really was about when I started, and it made it all so much more exciting and surprising. ~ For example; I had no idea who (which of these men he met) our hero Kendras would merge his bags with in. (This is after all also a quite romantic "need-romance".) I guessed wildly during the first half of the book. ~ And I was so happy (greateful) about how it turned out in the end. Yummy good!“I'm not pure without you,” Kendras murmured. “I'm nothing. and I won't be anything if you leave.”As I wrote in an update: This buddy camaraderie and the way they take care of each other is pretty cute and just lovely. I liked this comrade way... It seems like it was mostly sex between men in this world, a lot and with both male buddies and male slaves. The "male & female" way, might exist in this old fantasy world, but it was anyway kind of inviseble here. (view spoiler)[ Though we got to meet a tough female group of warriors. The men who were in their gang had first been obliged to sacrifice and cut away ... well, yes, you got it.(hide spoiler)] - This rough, sexy, hard "male & male" way of sex, seems also to be very accepted in this society. ~ Interesting and a nice thought. Even if it was a bit hard and next to orgys sometimes. (I loved and cared for their dear lovely sub Selvan...and so did they, thanks god.)~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~Looking for excitement, sword-fighting mercenaries, male tough (horny) men, assassinations and cruel bad guys, tough real 'oldish' heroes, big muscles, much sweat, rough laungish, thrilling suspense, manly sex in "amounts" - everywhere - with anyone, and also a well-written great story? And some great romantic stuff, MC's to care and feel for and a satisfying end? ~ If that is what you also want in a book, then you get all of that here in the Scorpion VERY good. I loved it.Scorpion, is just my second novel by Mr Voinov.He just got a new adoring reader. It will be more books. To start with first; the next installment; Lying with Scorpions.And what about Vadim's story you might wonder? (view spoiler)[I know, I know, I know that I MUST read the great Special Forces series soonish. I know it is an amazing story with an unforgetable man (or two). - A lot of friends have already told me. I will - some day.(hide spoiler)]I LIKE - very much - spellbinding well done!~~~~~~~~~I know that the men in the pics and in my gif should have been partially dark-skinned. I really tried, but found no good ones. I hope you can forgive me that really obvious lack....and a third book.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Julio Genao
    2019-01-16 18:14

    A cherished favorite, redone.Kendras lives in my brain....and so does Steel.I think the more polished ending works well, but do wish each titanic shift had time to flower on its own, so I could savor each revelation before the next one came along.I can see why fantasy authors have trouble keeping these things under a million words: when things happen at this scale, with the fate of a shattered empire in the balance, it's difficult to conclude cataclysmic upheaval with a show of hands in a tent.Still.With characters this compelling, a man's allowed to be greedy. I may have wanted more regardless—a million words, or a thousand.God, I love me some Kendras.And Steel. And ...Sylvan?Mmmm. Him maybe best of all.Recommended.

  • Susan
    2018-12-31 15:07

    4.5 starsThis is what I was thinking to myself: "Self, how is it possible that Aleksandr Freaking Voinov, The Genius, is THIS good?!" and also "Hey dork, what took you so long to read this book?"What I so loved about Scorpion is that every single character meant something in this book...had a role...not one was a throwaway. That's pretty amazing. Widowmaker. Vistar An Grekaran. Riktan. Dev. Kiran. Lady. High Priest. Smoke. Executioner. Puppy. You know what else I loved? Kendras...and his intense loyalty to the Scorpions. And you know what else? Adrastes...freaking DREAM MAN...I love him!And you know what else? Selvan...mine...he's mine...I want to hug him and kiss him and hold him and pet him!And you know what else? Kendras and Adrastes...*sigh*...And you know what else? The MC's were men of COLOR!And you know what else? There were female warriors and leaders!Now, my only tiny grievance is this: Steel. I liked him! And after being prominent in the 1st half of the book, he basically disappeared in the 2nd half. Felt like AV gave up on him. And then (view spoiler)[he dies unceremoniously and w/o much description (hide spoiler)]. Heck...I miss him. I think there was potential for more story...Per usual, great book, too short, waiting on a sequel, highly recommended.

  • Shelley
    2019-01-01 20:01

    Christ! Aleksandr Voinov rocks my freaking world AGAIN!This author nails it for me. Every. Single. Time. Nobody writes military m/m like this.Scorpion is a dark(er) military fantasy set in the old empire of Shara, where three cities fight and plot against each other. This is a tale of warriors and nobles and the battles they wage for ultimate power. Politics and skulduggery, power plays with brutal costs and sex - really fierce warrior type sex. Voinov gives you front row seats to this story. His words painting images of an ancient war torn world filled with larger than life characters. Your senses will reel with the illusory smells of sweat, sex, leather and dust; the pain and pleasure is real enough to engage any reader’s empathy. The writing is a joy (as always), with just enough subtle mystery between the lines to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. You won’t find any needless flamboyant prose in Scorpion as Voinov conveys his point with effortless exacting precision.He wow’s me with concise descriptions like this: “…handsome in a way that a clean, well-kept blade was attractive.”– That’s all you get, and yet you know everything there is to know in that one line. Brilliance my friends!The Scorpions are an elite warrior force - strong and fierce with heart, soul and plenty of, er … stamina (pause to fan myself) they are all worthy, honourable and fiercely loyal.“We are the Seventeenth, the Scorpions, what remains of one of the great legions of Shara,”Each one handpicked, and plucked from the jaws of death or slavery for their unique will to fight and never give up. Scorpions never give up!Kendras is a Scorpion warrior, injured and separated from his unit after a battle gone wrong when he is lured by Gray eyes (Steel) to do his bidding. With no choice and being a rather pragmatic warrior, Kendras agrees. His honour, loyalty and devotion to his unit fuels his need to find his comrades and his Officer who is more than just his leader, he is his heart. Kendras does whatever he can to reach them.With thoughts and memories of his Officer’s and mentor’s words to guide him and remind him of whom he is, we gain a vital insight into the character of the Scorpion leader – an honourable, self-sacrificing powerful warrior who would die for his men.“All men die, Kendras. Better get used to it. And then fight until the end, with every breath, every heartbeat, every single, last thought.”Scorpion is a gritty compact story that encompasses everything an 800 page fantasy novel ever could, but this is better. It’s flawless storytelling by my favourite wordsmith that should not be overlooked. Scorpion has given me goosebumps on my goosebumps, full body blushes and hot flushes. I’ve swallowed back tears and held my breath longer than is normal, I have laughed and raged and it’s bloody (and) awesome.There is no real reason to rate this book anything less than 5 Stars. Sure, things didn’t go as I would have liked or expected and perhaps I would have appreciated more page time with the soulless Steel (gray eyes)who I really liked (view spoiler)[ grrr...(hide spoiler)] but in the scheme of things it would have left big gaping flaws in the plot if I wanted things to go my way; and thus, I am just the reader and submit to the all-knowing greatness of this author. I’ll take nothing away from those stars.Just be warned that this is not your conventional romance, not at all. It’s darker, edgier, and fiercer. There is no pussy footing about; Scorpion is raw and brutal at times, but softened just so with certain vulnerabilities, a significant gaze and a warriors heart.“If you lie with scorpions . . . you’d better have a taste for poison." – I do! It’s bitter sweet, and oh so addictive.Highly recommended! Reviewed for The Blog of Sid Love["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Aleksandr Voinov
    2019-01-12 13:56

    And now in general circulation. Second part in the series hopefully coming in around October.

  • Christina
    2019-01-15 13:22

    4.5 stars. This was such a great read! Aleksandr Voinov created a highly developed world with strong, multi-faceted characters. The world was fascinating. It was like I stepped right into the lands of Dalman and Fetin with the Scorpions lined up and ready for battle.The story begins with Kendras, alone and badly hurt after fighting in a war with his fellow brothers - The Scorpions. The Scorpions are a unit of elite warriors that fight side by side as brothers and who follow the motto "Never Stop Fighting". Kendras is picked up and offered help by a gray-eyed mercenary named Steel. Steel helps Kendras but of course Steel's assistance isn't for free. Although Kendras agrees to Steels terms, his first priority is to find his surviving brothers or any who may have fallen. Nothing else matters to Kendras. Most importantly he needs to find the leader of the Scorpions, "The Officer". Kendras finds himself entangled in a web of political and religious struggles all the while dealing with his own internal turmoil; his resolve to never stop fighting versus his self-doubt. I love Kendras. He's strong and loyal, yet he shows touches of vulnerability. Great combo!All the characters were so well developed, I loved them all. The only issue I had was with Steel. I was constantly waiting for more from him. Even though he's ruthless, I still felt like there was a place in his heart for Kendras but I just wish I saw it or I felt it a bit more. (view spoiler)[ And I can't believe he died, not good! (hide spoiler)]I really hope to see more of Widow, Selvan, and Kiran. They're great characters. We don't know much about Kiran but he's very interesting. And Widow, well he's in a class by himself. Need more of him! I also liked the little touches of humor throughout. What really came through for me most was "The Officer" and what Kendras felt for him. I loved the flash backs and listening to the officer's words through Kendras. I felt like I knew him even without having met him. This was such a wonderful fantasy story of loyalty, honor, survival, and love.

  • Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog
    2018-12-26 18:23

    ~~~Voinov created this rather small, compact world with huge outer fringes. He brought big concepts down to a tightly woven story that led me along an unexpected path. Once I got started on that path, I couldn't stop. "Hatred had blossomed from the vine of contempt in his heart, flowers of dark, grim splendor."Voinov's character development once again, shined through. The story has a war torn grittiness that still allowed for characters that were complex, rich and worthy. The main character, Kendras, has an innocent simplicity which allows the reader to look upon a manipulative, political environment from a very vulnerable viewpoint. However, the MC has an iron will and inner strength that is fascinating to watch develop. Brilliant!"It was easier being strong when another man was strong enough to be weak."There was a point in the story where I was gripping my kindle so tightly I'm surprised that I didn't break it. That may not sound like an endorsement for reading but it certainly is. I was so absorbed in the story that I was bodily in the other world. That folks, is precisely why I read and it takes quite a storyteller to get me there. I very much appreciate the strength of Voinov's writing. He has a way of weaving layer upon layer of engrossing plot, conflict and conclusion that just builds and builds and never lets go. Not even, long after I have finished reading.~~~Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:

  • Mel
    2019-01-01 19:57

    I'm going to start out by saying that, because this is an Aleksandr Voinov story, I expected perfection. That's why I might be extra strict.Scorpion is not your everyday m/m novel. It's a fantasy story (with heavy erotic undercurrents), it's quite dark and it features a strong, multilayered hero: Kendras.Kendras was the most interesting part of the story. His will to survive, his inner and outer struggles, his strength and his journey to self discovery were really engaging.In the beginning of the story we meet Kendras when he has just escaped death. He is tired, wounded and alone but he is determined. He's a Scorpion afterall and they never give up. As the story unfolds, so does the world and we learn more about its inhabitants, the political issues, the power struggles and the way Kendras and the Scorpions fit in the whole.I loved how this was set up, I loved the world building and I especially loved the attention to detail.Typical for Voinov, the characters are morally ambiguous, with Widowmaker being the most notable (his name alone tells many tales). Another character which I found interesting was Selvan, the slave who showed strength while appearing weak.However, the two other major secondary characters, Steele and Adrastes, fell flat for me -both for different reasons.I really liked the potential of Steele. He started out great but his character and characterization grew weaker with each chapter. I felt like there could have been so much more. I just didn't feel him.Adrastes on the other hand had archetypal qualities. I understand that his perfect hero elements were ascribed to him by Kendras- whose head we were in the entire book- but it did make him feel like a cardboard cutout, especially compared to Kendras.Another peeve were some parts of the dialogue. I felt like certain segments didn't flow well, I had to go back and reread parts. Especially in the beginning, there is more inner monologue and reflection than dialogue and I couldn't follow the characters' verbal reactions to each other, given the little amount of talk that was actually done. There was also some word repetition which I think could have been avoided. I was also slightly disappointed by the ending. The last part of the book just didn't quite reach the quality of the beginning of the book.This all being said: Scorpion still is a well written story with a great main character and an interesting world. I know it's unfair to expect perfection, but I just don't feel we've seen Voinov's full potential. A 4- rating, rounding it up to 4.

  • The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
    2018-12-25 12:59

    Update: Just read the newest version of this book and it still rocks. I know Aleksandr Voinov rails against doorstop fantasy novels, but seriously, this rollicking dark fantasy tale deserves to be longer. The world is rich, the characters complex as well as multi-ethnic (something that other fantasy authors need to take into account if they want to broaden their readership), and no genderfail. Too many M/M authors (sadly most of them female) totally flunk the Bechdel test when it comes to depicting female characters. I adore Kendras and Adrastes even more, though Widow has really started growing on me. This novel is a definite keeper, one of those books that I hated to see end. The new cover is just drool-worthy. I can't wait to return to the world of the Scorpions, so Aleks, hurry the hell up won't you?Scorpion is the kind of high fantasy novel that there should be far more of. The fact that it came about because of a RaceFail discussion in which author Aleksandr Voinov was confronted by the serious lack of diversity not just in M/M romance, but in fantasy books in general goes to prove that such intense discussions about race are not to be feared or shunned, but can and do have a profound and positive impact upon those who are willing to change the paradigm. As Voinov writes so thoughfully: "I think what triggered a big "ah-HA!" moment for me was a blog post that was linked during the race discussion, where a girl (I believe) wrote about how she felt excluded from fantasy and sci-fi, which she loved, because it was full of white people, and what a huge impact discovering that Le Guin's Earth Sea was populated by coloured people had on her. I found that incredibly touching - it really brought home that sense of exclusion and marginalization that I could empathize with." For those who wonder, Kendras as a man of color is no token, nor does Voinov commit epic fail by describing him in a stereotyped fashion. He is, as any good character should be, multifaceted and yet he's heroic as all hell. Kendras is Jaishani, a member of a dark-skinned race of people. More importantly, Voinov's men are not stock M/M tropes (not even Selvan the Scorpion slave). They are men who love, hate, fight and fuck with passion, intensity, love and loyalty. Think of Frank Miller's 300 the way it should have been written without watering down the sexual love between Spartan men (because homophobic fanboys wouldn't be able to handle it). Even the female characters, from the elite Flames to the Lady Protector are treated with respect and are as much a part of the narrative as are the Scorpions.The Scorpions are an elite fighting unit and they are loyal unto death (and perhaps beyond). Into this band of misfit brothers comes Kendras, rescued from the streets and from eventual execution by a stranger known as "the officer". Under his tutelage, Kendras hones his deadly fighting skills as he also bonds with those who fight with him, especially the man who saved his life and gave him a new purpose. When war comes and the Scorpions are separated, perhaps even dead, Kendras' paramount task is to seek out his remaining brothers and to rebuild the Scorpions. Unfortunately, injured and penniless, he is rescued by a steel-eyed stranger who provides healing and shelter in exchange for sexual submission and a mysterious task. The world of the Scorpions is brutal, gritty and raw. It is also high fantasy at its best and Voinov easily has enough material to create his own Song of Ice and Fire series that actually includes characters of color as pivotal figures instead of sidekicks. It would be nice to see more M/M authors (and authors generally) regardless of gender, take Voinov's example and stop making up lame-ass excuses as to why they still insist upon populating their books with nothing but white characters even though their readership is wide and varied. On the other hand, writers of color aren't waiting around for that to happen, choosing to craft their own stories and make a place for themselves at the table.Overall, this was a book I didn't want to finish and I hope there will be more to come. One more thing: this cover is what masturbatory fantasies are truly made of. Even if I didn't know the author, I would have bought this book just because the cover is just so hot!

  • Lena♥Ribka
    2019-01-17 13:12

    4,5 fascinating stars!There are two reasons why I was waiting with the reading of this book:♥ I am not a big fantasy fan. I read it from time to time, and there were even really great books among them, but it is not my usual genre.♥ The second book is supposed to be released around October. The later I read it, the less time I have to wait for the next book- I hate to wait too long. There is one reason why I even though have read it before the second book is available:♥I found out that it was alone the work of Aleksandr Voinov without any of his usual co-writers. It is Voinov pure!!! Hard to resist for me.***As always I am not going to tell you the plot, all that you need for the beginning you'll find in the blurb, and to know more you have to read it yourself.Scorpion is not a typical fantasy, it is a wonderful mixture out of fantasy and historical. I think it can be read as a historical novel in spite of the fact that all the places and the figures in the book have never existed in reality. For me it is just another proof for the writing skills of Aleskandr Voinov as a highly talented author in the genre of historical fiction.The author created in a very realistic manner a world full of intrigues, corrupt priesthoods, battles and assassinations, dark violence and slavery,betrayal and loyalty, brotherhood and passion. The story line is very complex and multilayered with a lot of unexpected twists and turns that are absolutely unpredictable. The author leads you right into his world without much explanation, you are thrown right into it, from the very first page and you won't be able to leave it until you turn the last page.But still the most remarkable thing that makes this story stand out from the crowd is its characters and the great chemistry between them: Kendras, Widow, Adrastes, Steel, Vistar An Grekaran, Lady Protector, Selvan and other survival Scorpions...(view spoiler)[ I wanted more of Steel. The scene where he was fatally injured in the fight with Adrastes broke my heart. WTF?!Was I the only one who wished more of Kendras/Steel relationship?! I hoped even that Steel could win this fight!... (hide spoiler)]Writing:I have to say this again and again...Aleks, A great written, intriguing, addicting and captivating read!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Heather C
    2019-01-13 14:23

    I finished this book yesterday and I'm still torn on how I feel about it. I mean, I liked it but I also didn't like it. My biggest problem was all the impersonal fucking. Not because it was rough and gritty, I actually liked that, but because there was so much of it with so many different people. It seemed to pull me out of the story and away from Kendras.I did really like the dark and dirty world that has been created here. The author does an excellent job with imagery and I had no trouble picturing the scenes in my head. I loved what being a Scorpion stood for and the deep loyalty between comrades. In a world of backstabbers and murders, being a Scorpion meant there would always be another Scorpion there to protect your back. What would you do if you thought you were the last surviving Scorpion?? So that is where Kendras's journey begins. The war has ended...for the moment...and we follow him on his quest to find and reunite his men. Most importantly, he needs to find "The Officer" who is the leader of the Scorpions.Throughout most of the story I was frustrated with Kendras. I wanted him to be stronger and see himself as the leader he could be instead of the follower he had always been. I was mostly uncomfortable with Kendras's obsession with the officer and saw it as a weakness and not love for the majority of the book. I guess one could also say that love is a weakness. But by the end it all made sense to me and I accepted it. I was even proud of Kendras.The secondary characters are well developed and fleshed out. One of my favorite characters happened to be the man that (view spoiler)[ had been castrated!!! And, yes, I cried when Steel was killed. (hide spoiler)]I think as time passes I may grow to appreciate this story a lot more, and I think I will be interested in reading the sequel.ETA: this review is for the original release of Scorpion

  • Ilhem
    2019-01-04 17:13

    4,5 starsThe Voinov gate teleported me in a world made of blazing sun, cicadas and olive trees, leather and steel, blood and dirt, high ideals and raw reality, where Empires and Civilizations are weaved tightly and blend to create a fantasy that I actually found historically accurate! That beats everything, no?The story begins after a battle, at the heart of a war for dominance and political machinations between cities which destinies are closely intertwined. It bears epic undertones while drawing portraits of warriors, men gravitating around Kendras or crossing his path.Kendras is not a slave but he is owned. He’s been chosen, saved and taught by a man, absorbed by a unit which aims glory and honour in being fiercely loyal and faithful to the battalion and disdaining death for the benefit of fighting. At any cost.” All men die, Kendras. Better get used to it. And then fight until the end, with every breath, every heartbeat, every single, last thought”He finds himself alone in the world again, wounded and lost but guided by his officer’s voice, yields and fights, struggles to survive and find wholeness again, accomplishing himself in the process, owning, belonging, finding his own voice and becoming a man and a lover. Don’t expect any sensitive romance though, love is brutal here. Raw, fascinating reality, remember?Kendras, Steel, the officer, Widow are the portraits I’m keeping in mind. Some are only sketched and even though this book is a standalone and achieved, it has the definite feel of a beginning and it would leave me an unfinished aftertaste if it stayed that way. Or is it because I want Widow’s book, new Scorpions and (view spoiler)[Adrastes and Kendras struggling with the corruption of power (hide spoiler)]?

  • Tara♥
    2019-01-15 17:54

    "Because we focused on the snake, we missed the scorpion."I'm in love. I'm in love with Kendras and I'm in love with his Scorpions and I'm in love with this world and I'm in awe and may be crushing a bit on Aleksandr Voinov.Kendras is a wonderful character, from the very first page I was enthralled by him (a gift he seems to have with many in this world) and what a start it was. Kendras doesn't seem to have had anything come to him easily and from the beginning of this book we see him struggling, struggling to find safety, find his comrades and survive in a world that is full of intrigue and backstabbing and one he doesn't fully understand. But Kendras does not know how to give up and as a Scorpion, whose motto is 'never stop fighting', it makes for some wonderful reading. Voinov does not go easy on you in this book (my experience of him so far tells me that this is what I should always expect) there are twists and turns and nobody his safe. It's absolutely awesome and makes putting this book down almost impossible. This series has so much potential and I'm excited for what is to come from both Kendras and the Scorpions. "Men like you make empires possible, Kendras." BR with Kat and Nick (and whomever else would like to join) on Sunday 14 September 2014. Discussion thread

  • Bookwatcher
    2019-01-07 14:21

    I WANT MOOOOOOORE!!!It's an amazing adventure, and I LOOOOOOVE all the characters and I WANT MORE!pleeeeease?

  • Em
    2019-01-18 17:15

    Fantasy will always be my favourite genre and of course this book by Aleksandr Voinov didn't disappoint. The intense relationship between Adrastes and Kendras was super hot and I also found the other characters such as Selvan and Kiran really interesting and I can't wait to see what happens with them in the next book.

  • Mel
    2019-01-02 15:17

    All men die, Kendras. Better get used to it. And then fight until the end, with every breath, every heartbeat, every single last thought.Scorpion is a story of loyalty, love, survival, fight, and perseverance.It was amazing, a new favourite, a bliss and comfort read all around. I can't recommend it enough.***I absolutely loved starting this story, only having read the blurb, not knowing what I was getting into. And seeing how Scorpion is written, I can't emphasis enough, the less you know the better. The fantasy world is revealed little by little, the story of who the Scorpions are slowly told, and insight given into the characters page after page.The pace of the story was perfect. I can't remember the last time I was so engrossed in a book, without being anxious to read further, without having a care in the world of where and when and how. I was just there and nothing else mattered, my unrest ceased, my thoughts disappeared, and I was at peace.Ironic that, with what happens throughout the book.And I won't tell you, because I know I might never have picked it up, and what a loss that would have been.And I won't tell you, because I don't like to make excuses on behalf of a book, like it needs to be defended, like it needs to come with a warning tag, just because it crosses all standards and genre lines."Maybe if you believe in me, I can believe in myself."***I shortly want to comment on the characters, the world, and the plot of the story.Kendras is the hero of our story, the scorpion that we are closest to, as we are seeing through his eyes, listening to his thoughts, living his adventures in love and war. He is tough and lethal, yet tender and good-hearted. There is an ambiguity to him, to his personality and his role as a scorpion. I'm very curious on how he will grow and what he's gonna experience in the next two books.Adrastes, a man of hidden qualities, a man of mystery, a mere soldier and commoner yet of royal blood. I think he intrigues me even more than Kendras, and I can see why he is everything to him, why he is his life."I'm not pure without you," Kendras murmured. "I'm nothing. And I won't be anything if you leave."There are a lot more secondary characters, three of them playing a larger role, and wow, they are all just as amazingly crafted.I have a special place in my heart for Selvan, a man who chose to remain a slave. He is such a strong and powerful character, a man who holds them together yet needs to be hold. I admire him deeply.Steel aka Grey Eyes is a fascinating man of unclear motivations and allegiances. I won't say no more. The less you know, the better ;-)Widow... The jury is still out on this one. I hate him, I respect him, I maybe even hope for him to be happy.The world and the plot unravel naturally. There is much to discover, much to fight about, much to wonder... A complex word of politics and intrigue.***Some thoughts on the aspect of sexuality that I had while reading:I find myself envying the bond the Scorpions have with each other, and I am especially fascinated by the sexual aspect that includes.I keep thinking the word 'friendship' doesn't really cut it here, because it is more, but for lack of a better word, I'm gonna use it.Their friendship is full of trust, a trust that includes not only the fighting aspect of their lives, but a trust that includes their whole personalities and sexuality. They are there for each other in their every need, and they share everything they want to give. That is... it's a bit hard to really relate to it, because real life is different, but I think it is desirable.I think it is most delightful that sex is depicted here in the book in a morally different way than what we know from our own society. The most important difference is that there is no judgement, and how wonderful is that!It doesn't matter if you have sex with a man, a woman, or an eunuch.It doesn't matter if you are in love with the other person, share pleasure with a friend, or pay for it.It doesn't matter if you like it rough or tender, if you submit or dominate.It doesn't matter if you are a slave, free man, or whore.You have every right to do as you please and no one will look down on you. This is so freeing and I love to read about this.***I'm gonna conclude with"They [scorpions] never stop fighting. That is how I choose the men. Some men would die rather than fight, and for you an me, that may seem strange, but most people prefer dying. I've heard it said that death is easy and sure, while combat is hard and unsure. That is why many just go to their deaths without raising a weapon."an hope you're gonna give this great book a chance :-)*** My review for Lying with Scorpions My review for A Taste for Poison

  • Lauraadriana
    2019-01-06 19:11

    Ruthless men fucking and fighting and surviving...yep I guess this could be a lot of what you see in this book...And there was that, but damn there was so much more.Kendras is thelast man in his unit, of the Scorpions, after a heinous battle he is reduced to begging on the streets he is injured and destitute with nowhere to turn to. He is picked up as a trick by awarrior, he's not sure what this man wants with him, but he is in no position to refuse...Steel takes him to a safe place and helps him start to heal...Steel leads a band of mercenaries and takes Kendras with him as part of this group to execute a very special job.This world I still don't fully understand, but what I learned of it I loved, Aleksandr can write these brutal, violent men that have a depth that always blows me away there were moments in this book that were SO brutal and cruel, but I couldn't recoil, because it was what was necessary or so it seemed to me...I loved the intrigue and the corrupt religious figures, the backstabbing and all of that made for great twists and turns. The characters I loved...nothing overstated with these personalities, nothing in your face, but there was strength, loyalty, obedience, respect, endurance...honor, nobility, faith...I loved Steel I thought he was honest and clear about who he was and how he lived, Kendras was steady and true and Widow was A DELIGHT to get to know.Damn good book if you ask me...

  • Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs
    2018-12-28 18:19

    4 PoIsOnOuS StArS If you lie with scorpions, you'd better have a taste for poisonKendrasOut of this world intriguing, I mean literally, OUT.OF. THIS. WORLD. - yes, you step straight into the abyss of Voinov's captivating world of Scorpions.The Scorpions indulged in epicurean pleasures, fiercely protective of each other.The story is brilliantly crafted, the characters the plot, everything was so thoroughly engaging.Kendras is such a fascinating character, he has sinfully beautiful skin with captivating eyes.All of the characters come to life, from the Officer, to Widow, Selvan to Steel (Grey Eyes) I loved Steel.SteelYou learn the best lessons from you enemy. If you live.I proceeded to literally devour the pages, unable to put this book down until my eye’s involuntary closed sending me to sleep with imagery I couldn't get out of my head.Read it for the intimacy, for the beauty of the writing and yes, for the escapism into a decadently enchanting world that will have you wanting more.

  • Kaje Harper
    2018-12-27 19:19

    4.5 stars. This is classic Voinov, dark and intense with strong men who very rarely allow themselves to be vulnerable. Kendras is injured and separated from the rest of his mercenary troupe, the Scorpions. He doesn't know the fate of the others,of the men with whom he is closer than brothers, or of their officer, whom he would have followed into hell. In his determination to find the survivors and bring back what he can of the Scorpions, he is willing to do whatever it takes to survive and succeed in his search. When he finds the few remaining men and locates the officer in captivity, he is severely tested. Scorpions never break and never give up, but there may be times when breaking means being allowed to live, in order to try again.The politics in this story are complex and brutal, and force the characters into roles and actions they try hard to resist. Men die for being in the way, or in the wrong family. There is sex that is meaningless and physical, sex that is comfort between close friends, sex that is dub con and rape, and sex that binds two men who are more to each other than to anyone else in the world. The characters are complex and multi-faceted. Kendras does a lot of growing over the course of the story, stepping into bigger roles than he would have felt capable of when it began. This is intense and engrossing, and although it ends in a solid HFN, I do hope there is a sequel.

  • Loederkoningin
    2018-12-24 18:56

    3.5 Pretty good fantasy story with well-rounded characters.

  • ¸. • * ° *❧Gwendolyn❧°**★•°**★
    2018-12-24 19:20

    A Majestical Read!~"A Book of Love ,War and Death...The Goal~ " Never Stop Fighting"Gosh, where shall I start, okay, the findings~ I found that this book has so many dreamy elements that allow me to feel like I was riding horse back into a different realm..a lovely realm to say the least! Thus,the descriptive writing and world building was spectacular without a doubt. Names of the character's are simply unforgettable...Puppy...gosh, I just want to hug him just for his name alone, Steele, hummmm he was actually to me a real mis-guided puppy,I kind of grew attached to him...go figure...Officer, well that name was simply irritating...but it served a great purpose and the Widowmaker, wow that name alone states almost everything about him.The plot, was outstanding, but I so tired of the whorish parts...but, I found it to be more about survival than simply smex'in...but, still not my thing ~The Love Story in this book....I felt many air brushes of a love within this book~ below is one of my favorite air-brushed quotes in this book~ "He could stand there for the rest of his life and watch the man breathe" That quote simply took my breath away~I enjoyed reading about this majestical world it truly was like taking a lazy horse-back ride into another realm~and it simply was breathtaking!

  • Rachel Haimowitz
    2018-12-31 20:03

    Full disclosure: I did a beta read on this one. I loved it then and I love it now. The whole concept of the Scorpions is creative and alluring. The main characters--and there are many, because really, this is an ensemble cast orbiting around the bright star that is Kendras--are all vivid, unique individuals, and Aleks creates the sense that he knows the history and mythology for each of them down to how they lost their first baby tooth (without inundating us with details; it's all spare subtle brush strokes, well placed). Kendras is a wonderfully sympathetic character, tough as nails, mercilessly pragmatic, and in so far over his head at some points you can't help but want to gather all your friends around to cheer him on.If you love fantasy, history, or even a good military novel--or, of course, Aleks himself :D--then you'll want to move this one to the top of your TBR pile.

  • Laura
    2018-12-22 16:18

    Loved it! Every line and word was filled with everything I love about Voinov. The way he uses words never fails to leave me in awe. His words can burn, burrow in, and bless you with an amazing reading experience. I can feel the power and impact of his storytelling long after the book is closed. This line hit me right through the heart…”What would I have to do to keep you?”To keep you…love that.Every blade on blade, hiss of pain and fight came alive in this story. But it was the loyalty, weight of responsibility and leadership that will live on in my head and heart.Another powerful punch from Aleksandr Voinov.Read it!

  • Vanessa North
    2019-01-05 13:56

    I haven't read much fantasy in recent years. I've found my requirements for what I enjoy in a fantasy story have gotten pickier, and I simply haven't wanted to spend the time hunting for new fantasy authors to try.Well, Aleksandr Voinov could write just about anything and I would read it, because he's just that good. When I found out Scorpion would be re-released, I added it to my TBR immediately, preordered it, and couldn't wait to read it. This is one of those books I kept setting aside as I was reading because I didn't *want* to devour it all in one sitting, I wanted it to LAST. Of course, I also couldn't stop picking it right back up because I found Kendras's story so compelling, and I ended up devouring it far too quickly anyway.This book is violent and sexy. The world-building is lush without being over-wrought, and the relationships between the characters illustrate a full spectrum from loyalty, love, and trust to betrayal, abuse, and manipulation. The plot is riveting.I think not only has Aleksandr written another great story, he's reminded me what I loved about the fantasy genre in the first place, and maybe inspired me to start reading more of it. Probably beginning with ScorpionII. ;)

  • Lady*M
    2019-01-14 17:23

    Exceptional. If Voinov ever decides to give us another book set in this world, I'll follow him as gladly as Scorpions followed their officer. I can't recommend the book strongly enough. And I won't say more, because you have to experience this book on your own. Just read it.Edit after reading the second edition:Well, now. I don't know if it was the editing or the fact that I savored the book or maybe even the fact that I have more experience now with the author's books, but Scorpion worked even better for me this time. I remember parts of the book made me mildly uncomfortable earlier, yet this time I enjoyed everything about the book - the pure maleness that permeates the pages, the little details that reveal the characters and their relationships that I missed the first time, the flow of the narrative... I like Kendras and his growth and I'm looking forward to learn more about Adrastes. And Widow. Let us not forget Widow, the crazy bastard. I cannot wait for Lying with Scorpions because I've acquired "a taste for poison". ^^

  • Simsala
    2019-01-03 19:11

    The four stars are an "appreciate",not a "like".Yes,this is an exceptional and very well written story - but absolutely not my thing.Men! - fucking,fighting and hurting each other...and revel in it.Oh my,....

  • Emanuela ~plastic duck~
    2018-12-26 21:12

    Sequel, please.Look at the cover, how could you resist?Fantastic, I loved it. Where to begin?Kendras. When we meet him, he's broken in body and maybe in spirit, but he knows he has to go on. He's the ultimate fighter, an orphan alone on perilous streets, saved by a man who can see his indomitable will. You don't have to think that Kendras is THE strongest, that he won't bend, that he never loses hope. He has his moments of weakness, he has a lot of doubts, insecurities which sprout from his precarious youth, but he can be fierce and he's honorable and loyal. He is also not above exploiting other men's weaknesses, seeking revenge, lending himself to traitorous plots, but you can feel there are lines he'll never cross. And then there is his one and only passion, the man he is willing to die for, and their moments are so intense.The officer. He looks like the man who can do no wrong, the perfect leader, but remember that it's Kendras' perspective and when it concerns the officer, it's a little bit skewed. The officer is a born leader - and we later learn a bit about his past, and that he was also raised a leader, unlike Kendras - so it's easy for someone like our hero to envelop him in a mythical aura, but in his words and deeds we sometimes have glimpses of his doubts and insecurities. In the last part of the book, we can see how he leans on Kendras, bringing out Kendras' abilities as a commander and not only a warrior. I had the impression both the officer and Kendras were sort of resigned to be on their own, but they found someone with whom they could be themselves and let their defenses down. I also had the impression that the officer realized it even before Kendras, when the other man seemed to be attracted to him because of his role, and not because of the man he was.Widow. The most elusive character of the book. Widow is a mercenary and a spy and a troublemaker, he's irritating and vicious, and he has only one loyalty. You don't want to trust him, because Kendras knows he can't turn his back to him, but by the end of the book you won't be able to resist to the combination of his stinging tongue and his obsequious manners.Steel. Wow. Second chances and inescapable fate all rolled into one. Steel is a man who tries to be something or someone else throughout the book, but he can't find the strength to oppose the others and stand for himself. Kendras is his occasion, but circumstances and his own weakness prevent him from being the man Kendras could desire. If there is one romantic character in the book, it's him. I know he takes decisions which are highly unpopular, and that he seems to take advantage of Kendras, but his desperation was sort of appealing.And then there are the Scorpions, their rites and the wonderful concept of memory; the interesting world building, the politics, kings and priests, opposing cities, familial ties, treason and cunning; the promise of... a sequel?The only little little little remark I can make is that I wished the final battle would be longer. I almost felt it was a bit taken away from my enjoyment. I was prepared for Helm's Deep and, well, you know, it was a bit too short, I wanted to see Kendras discharge all his power and magnificence on the battlefield.Is it here I'm begging for a sequel? A collection of deleted scenes? A couple of paragraphs, just to know if they're ok? Please.

  • Tina
    2018-12-29 20:53

    I'm not usually a reader of Fantasy, especially in the M/M genre, but as I loved reading all of Alek's stories, I had to give Scorpion a try. It's a dark intriguing story about war, alliances, betrayal, loyalty... and love. The characters are complex and well developed, the storyline is well-conceived and fast paced. I didn't love Kendras from the start, but I respected him for all that he has been through. Although my affection grew in the course of the story... :)Steel - Grey Eyes - is very difficult to figure out. He definitely is a heartbreaking character, forced into serving a corrupt religious system and completely in love with Kendras. The most fascinating supporting characters are definitely Widow and Adrastes and I'm relieved that they are going to get their own stories. There is so much to discover!Scorpion intrigued me from the first page and I can't wait to read the second installment. Highly recommended!Very entertaining buddy read with Tharayin with lots of funny status-updates here and on Twitter! :)

  • Heller
    2019-01-12 13:58

    Fantastic story focusing on a member of an elite fighting unit called the Scorpions. Injured and separated from his crew, we follow Kendras as he struggles both back to health and back to his comrades. There is a lot of political intrigue here as war brews and the players are shifted on the field. I love the loyalty that Kendras shows both to the men in the unit and his officer. Lots of non-con here but a really wonderfully tight storyline with compelling characters. Kendras and the officer have intense chemistry and I really wanted them to find a way to be together and make things work out, so much tension. Wonderful atmosphere and great world-building with complex secondary characters that bring a bleak war torn story to life. Recommended.