Book Reviews

Silk Dragon Salsa (Kai Gracen 4) by Rhys Ford at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Post-Apocalyptic / Urban Fantasy / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Magic / Mythological Creatures / Royalty/Nobility / Warriors/Soldiers / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 19-October-2020

Book Blurb

SoCalGov Stalker Kai Gracen always knew Death walked in his shadow. Enough people told him that, including his human mentor, Dempsey. Problem was, the old man never told him what to do when Death eventually caught up.

Where Tanic, his elfin father and the Wild Hunt Master of the Unsidhe Court, brought Kai pain and suffering, Dempsey gave him focus and a will to live… at least until everything unraveled. Now caught in a web of old lies and half-truths, Kai is torn between the human and elfin worlds, unsure of who he is anymore. Left with a hollowness he can’t fill, Kai aches to find solace in the one elfin he trusts—a Sidhe Lord named Ryder—but he has unfinished business with Dempsey’s estranged brother, a man who long ago swore off anything to do with the feral elfin child Dempsey dragged up from the gutter.

Reeling from past betrayals, Kai searches for Dempsey’s brother, hoping to do right by the man who saved him while trying to keep ahead of the death haunting his every step. Kai never thought he’d find love or happiness as a Stalker, but when Death comes knocking at his door, Kai discovers a fierce need to live life to the fullest—even if that means turning his back on the people he calls family.


Book Review

One would think that I’d be used to the worldbuilding in Rhys Ford’s ‘Kai Gracen’ series, but even after three books I was still amazed at some of the constructs I found in ‘Silk Dragon Salsa’. The descriptiveness of the writing, particularly in regards to the creatures/monsters that came from Underhill during the Merge, is particularly vivid to the point where I can almost see these animals in my mind. An incredible feat for me as I’m not very creative.


“I didn’t know what to do with myself. To make matters worse, I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore. Everyone who had a hand in shaping my character had lied to me. I’d been so desperate for any scrap of affection, any hint of kindness after decades of torture and pain, that I’d taken their lack of physical violence as being welcomed into their hearts.” ~ Kai


I’d been expecting the demise of Kai’s mentor for quite a while now but what surprised me was the truth Dempsey told Kai before he died. I was fifty-fifty on whether to be angry at the old man or relieved that Kai finally knew the truth. I waffled with that for quite a bit, to be honest, but in the end, I felt that Kai knowing the truth and dealing with his emotions about it was the best thing for him and everyone in his small circle.


I was intrigued by the author’s introduction of a former long-term lover of Kai’s. Another Stalker so Kai didn’t term it a relationship, but it did last for a few years and it was interesting to watch the dynamic… and Ryder’s jealousy. Kai and Ryder have been dancing around each other ever since they met with each successive story having them growing closer and closer. To be honest, books three and four had me wondering, often, “will they, or won’t they?” I’m not going to spoil it by saying, but I was delighted with where their relationship is heading.


“I felt raw and scraped apart, peeling myself open for Ryder to plunge his hand into my guts to play with what he found there. “I just don’t want to sleep alone. I’m just so… fucking tired of being alone, Ryder.” I couldn’t read him. Not then. He was so still I wasn’t even sure he was breathing. “I can definitely spend the night holding you,” ~ Kai and Ryder


As always, the author did a marvelous job intermingling the storylines and keeping me on my toes. Kai’s brother’s return was eye-opening, in more ways than one, although I’m really looking forward to the day that Kai kills that a**hole. There were more questions answered in this fourth installment but a few answers are still to be revealed and I’m looking forward to where the author plans on taking Kai and Ryder next. I am confident that there is a reckoning coming for Ryder’s grandmother and I can’t wait to see Kai go after her!




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 202 pages/81957 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-July-2020
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
Buy Link