Author: Eded Redd
Publisher: Eded Redd
Publication Date: February 8, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, erotica
While we have heard it before in the Succubus Dungeon saga, this third volume – Shadow Alliance – really is about balance. Having successfully established himself as Dungeon Core, Lucian is ready to begin extending his reach, forging alliances, and seducing others into his crusade.
What I love about the saga Eden Redd is so carefully developing here is that it’s not just about dark versus light, good versus evil, heroes versus villains. This is a world where light has triumphed but, in the process, become cruel and corrupt. Lucian is not looking to destroy the world or have it wholly consumed by darkness, he is simply looking to restore the balance that once was, to encourage and empower the darker, more selfish, erotic passions so as to free the world from tyranny.
Sex, sex magic, and sexual rituals are all a part of restoring that balance, which means there are erotic scenes aplenty to be found, from one-on-one seductions, to violent sexualized battles, to all-out orgies. All of it has a purpose, and the sex really does serve to further the plot, but readers can certainly be forgiven for perhaps lingering over their favorite scenes. Redd has a deft touch when it comes to these scenes, writing erotica that is explicit yet never vulgar or pornographic.
Much of this third volume actually takes place outside the dungeon, which allows us to explore more of the world that’s been created here. We get to see towns big and small, forests full of monsters and mythical creatures, and shimmering lakes full of secrets. There is a quest element to the story that requires a journey, one that leaves Lucian weak and vulnerable to attack. That vulnerability forces characters like Lota (the dark paladin troll) and Opal (the earth succubus) to step up, challenge themselves, and really develop into characters worthy of standing at Lucian’s side. Meanwhile, the journey allows Redd to welcome new characters into the tale, some of whom further flesh out the Dungeon Core’s backstory in interesting ways.
Three books in, it really does feels like the Succubus Dungeon saga has established itself, with Shadow Alliance a truly satisfying read that balances all the aspects – erotica, fantasy, horror, and romance – into a cohesive whole that makes you care as much for the characters as for Lucian’s crusade.
Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀
My sincere thanks to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.