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Review: The Price of Surrender – C.J. Dragon

The Price of Surrender - CJ Dragon l- Daranii Justice

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

The war with the Daranii, instigated by Earth, was short and brutal.

Outgunned by superior weapons, the obliteration of the military outpost on Jupiter’s moon, Io, ended with Earth’s unconditional surrender.

Captain Jonathan Thomsin of the warship Excalibur was the only Captain of Earth’s combined forces to successfully destroy Daranii ships, not by confronting them, but with guerilla warfare. Outraged by Thomsin’s dishonorable tactics, the Daranii demand the captain as part of Earth’s reparations to Daran.

Captain Thomsin was given to Daran to protect Earth from Daranii vengeance.

A Sacrifice.

He expected to be tormented by loss and grief.

He expected to be tortured and die on Daran.

He never expected to fall in love.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a slow burn, male/male romance with on-page torture scenes, health issues, and adult sexual situations.

The Review

In order to save Mars Colony, Lunar Outpost and Earth, and to prevent more devastating attacks by Daranii, Captain Jonathan Thomsin has become a prisoner, and has been sacrificed as reparations to the Daranii. Jon will never be able to return to Earth. He will face the most horrific torture by Daranii Government Council until he is dead.

Jon is not a superhero or a warrior. Under the circumstances, he had to make a decision based on miscommunication and a standoff. Now in the hands of Talin, Adjutant of the Order of Warriors, he is humiliated and tortured beyond belief. All he can do is wish for the release of death.

After his torture, he is helped by Dulan, of the Order of Artisans. Dulan understands English, while Jon does not have any knowledge of the Daran language.

Calal is a physician, and is also there to aid Jon.  Neither agrees with the harsh treatment that Jon is receiving, but there is nothing either of them can do. Still, they don’t hesitate to express their disgust. With the care of both Calal and Dulan, Jon just barely survives the torture required by the Governing Council.  

Months have now passed, and Jon holds no grudges. He’s learned to live among the Daran, even though he’s treated as a prisoner. He’s learned the language and has even spent time teaching Dulan more English. He’s even become an educator to the Darana and teaches them the English language.  But even as it seems Jon has adapted well, he is damaged, suffering from PTSD and nightmares. And death can still come.

Talin inflicted terrible suffering on Jon and has no regards for the man. But he’s ordered to be Jon’s protector.  Jon has somehow survived the Sha alat (pain giver) for the third and required time.

The rules are changed on the Day of Remembrance by the Governing Council, and now there’s no other option for Jon but death.  With Talin and Jon’s new commitment to each other, Talin refuses to yield to the Council. 

Will Talin, Calan, Dulan and Jon’s other allies come to his defense against the Governing Council? And will it really make a difference in Jon’s fate?

C.J. Dragon creates a spectacular sci fi tale here with great worldbuilding, including the language of the Daranii. It’s very descriptive in the forms of torture used against Jon, and the laws of the Daranii Council are very cruel, hateful and prejudiced.

The one thing that was skeptical about – why is Jon the only individual having to pay for the war crime?

The Price of Surrender is a well-written novel, a rollercoaster ride of emotions. And as things progress for Jon and Talin, there are moments of fear that something will go wrong.

There are a few supporting characters that show signs of hope for Jon – Calal the physcian, Dulan, and Senior Tidan.

This is the first time I have read something by C.J. Dragon. I’m not giving away any spoilers, but I am more than curious to see where the next “Daranii Justice” novel will take Jon and Talin.  

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 


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