Alvarr is a being that should not be. He is both a stallion shifter and an earth Mage. But only mares are supposed to have magic and here, among the stallion herd, Alvarr is feared and distrusted. He only wants to help his herd and does his best to be useful. But after a year, he has no friends and no sense of belonging. It doesn’t help that his magic is growing in power and he no longer has control over it.
As the mating season approaches, Alvarr should be looking forward to finding a mare of his own, but instead he feels more isolated than ever. And now misfortune and injury seem to be threatening the herd at every turn. Alvarr knows there is change on the horizon, but he isn’t sure either he or the herd is ready for what might coming. It could destroy all of them or change their way of life forever.
Stallion Mage was a very enjoyable read. I mean it hits all the right notes from start to finish. It was also incredibly sexually awkward. The story is fairly straightforward, but written in such a way that it evokes emotion and draws the reader in. It blends fantasy and has a very minimal amount of historical flare. It’s often easier to think of this as a completely fantastical story, even though the author suggests it had a prehistoric setting. It is hard not to feel for Alvarr, who struggles with being different and feeling isolated even when surrounded by his own kind. He’s really the only full-formed character, though I feel that may change with further additions to the series. But for now Laren, his lover and most of the other stallions feel a bit blank and it’s hard to really connect with any of them. The mpreg doesn’t really show up here, but you can see the inference of it for the future.
Now for that awkwardness. The characters in this book are shifters. They spend time in their human forms, but much of their mating occurs while they’re stallions. So basically, there’s a fair amount of horsey sex. It’s descriptive and, despite being well written, I didn’t always feel completely comfortable with actually reading it. Now the author was clear about this ahead of time, so I knew to expect it and there’s nothing strictly wrong with those scenes. It’s certainly no odder than the knotting we find in omegaverse books. But, I think because the animalistic natures of these characters are more pronounced than in traditional shifter works, their sexual encounters skirted some taboo areas. And while taboo has its place, there’s a reason it make us uncomfortable. So consider yourself warned.
Anyone who enjoys shifter romances, especially those with mpreg or in the omegaverse, are like going to enjoy Stallion Mage. It’s well written and the author has done a good job setting this up as the start of a new series. There are some potentially unsettling scenes involving the characters and their mating processes, but these can be skimmed over if it’s not your cup of tea.