I think we should have a separate genre heading for Japanese Supernatural, as these stories are so different from the ghosts, vampires etc. we expect from the western canon. Quite separately -Could I just mention that the publishers tag line, ‘Where Fluff meets Rough’ is not appropriate to this title and…is just awful!
Author: Lor Rose
Publisher: Rooster and Pig
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
In the wake of battle, Izo Hidehisa found himself injured, confused, and in the care of a Buddhist monk called Harou. After time in the monk’s care Izo could no longer deny his feelings for Harou, but guilt over Shigemi, the lover he left behind, weighed him down.
Izo soon overcame his guilt and settled in with Harou, knowing that a life with Shigemi could never be. However, he hid a secret from his new lover. A secret that could threaten everything he held dear… again. And when Harou learned of Izo’s secret, the monk was enraged, forcing Izo out.
Shigemi appeared then, looking for Izo, only to find Harou. Izo was forced to watch from a distance as the two men he loved most in the world found happiness without him.
This is an atmospheric short story about a Samurai with a secret, additional to the secret that he is gay. This set in a time and culture when being gay was not desired or honourable according to the Samurai code.
The narrative style is calm and quiet much like the story. The author has definitely achieved a zen like quality to the writing style. The story is in third person from Izo, the injured Samurai’s point of view. There is a distance between the characters and the reader caused by this zen like quality, and it means there is no real empathy to be found with the characters. The thought processes of the characters are likewise foreign and this too causes distance. So not a lot of emotional connection to this story to be found in the usual sense. The intimate scenes between Shigemi and Izo, Harou and Izo, Shigemi and Harou and finally Shigemi, Izo and Harou are very stylised, closer to the fade to black and use your imagination than erotic. Even if you do not like menage a trois, I do not think the couplings here will bother you.
So not a lot of emotional connection and no hot and heavy sex scenes, what does this story give the reader? A fairly simple story really, boy loses love, boy finds new love, old love returns and they create a menage. Where this differs is the addition of some Japanese Demonology and no link whatsoever with a reality the west would recognise in any century.
This is why I said there should be a Japanese Supernatural genre because when placed beside the usual paranormal m/m, Forbidden would not feature highly at all. However, add in the zen like mood and strangeness with demonology from the East and it is a well written, interesting, atmospheric very short story.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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