2 reviews. Same book, different book?
On the bright side, this book is one of those that you shouldn't worry too much about falling into the hands of teenagers that you fear are too young to read adult materials because while Saskia Walker also writes erotic romances, this one with its perfect positive sunshine figurehead characters can be read by young kids without having to ask their parents embarrassing questions about the main characters' coital antics. For me, though, while this book is well-written, my issue with it is that it is probably too much like a fantasy story for very young adults for me.
Same book, different book?
While this is Walker's second romantic fantasy, Walker is no stranger to the writing world. She also writes erotica, and it certainly shows in this book. The intense desire felt by Elishiba for Amshazar is tangible, and the sex scenes (despite some purple prose here and there) are definitely hot. There's also the lovely touch of sexual culture in this book. Both Karseedia and Aleem have their own practices and freedoms. Karseedia trains nubiles in the sexual arts, but keeps them as slaves. Hanrah also turns out to be homosexual, and in love with one of the nubile promised as a gift to Elishiba. In contrast, Aleem seems to embrace a number of sexual freedoms. Elishiba is no blushing virgin. She's already been involved with the head of the Immortals (Aleem's elite guard) but has had to distance herself from him due to the arranged marriage. Her handmaidens, the twins, seem to embrace a certain playful, sexual freedom as well, especially when it comes to the seduction of one of the nubiles, Kerr.
There's heterosexual sex, homosexual sex (or at least boy-on-boy action), and masturbation of both the male and female variety. That's a lot of sex. ;)
I bring this up because for whatever reason, the freedom taken in this book was a welcome relief. Walker doesn't treat sex as any sort of taboo in this culture, nor does she make a big deal out of the sex scenes there are. Oh, sure, Hanrah's mother is furious over his relationship with Kazeen, but not because she's homophobic, but because he's the Emperor and must produce heirs. In some ways, this book reminded me of a far less complex version of Kushiel's Dart. Well, without the pleasure-as-pain comparison.
The first is Mrs Giggles on Unveiling the Sorceress (full review here) and the second is by Shara Saunsaucie on Unveiling the Sorceress (full review here.) You can read more reviews here. I'm interested in both reviews, and glad to have the chance to read them. I learn from every comment I get. You wouldn't think it was the same book, though, would you? I guess it's all about viewpoint, where the reader is coming from, and that's important for authors to keep in mind when taking on board what reviewers have said about our work.
It's snowing here today, not very Spring-like at all. Keep warm, and have a great Easter weekend!