Tag: fantasy

BOOKS: Yes, I read gay romances

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Check it out at Amazon.

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years is to write more about what I read. My reading habits include fanfiction, pro fiction, poetry, religion, magic, philosophy, and a sprinkling of history, biography, and memoir.

I have heard a lot of good things about the Captive Prince trilogy for a few years. I had the impression that it was an erotic bdsm romance; I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. While it starts out as a cruel master/unconsenting pleasure slave scenario, it soon reveals itself as a super-slow-burn m/m romance in a setting of complex political intrigue. The two leads are the deposed rightful ruler of one nation and the crown prince of another; the pleasure slave is the big butch guy and the master is the androgynously beautiful boy (who is actually twenty, on the cusp of being able to take the crown from his Regent).

I have one small quibble about the series and one major warning to potential readers, outside of which I recommend it strongly to m/m romance fans. The quibble is a linguistic one. The language and culture of one nation are modelled on those of ancient Greece, which is fine, but the culture of the other owes a great deal to Renaissance Venice, whereas their language resembles medieval French or Occitan. Then there are place and character names that don’t really fit the pattern of the language they belong to. This caused me some cognitive dissonance, but it’s only a problem if, like me, you practically cut your teeth on Tolkien and read the language materials in the Appendices obsessively (and tried to write in Elvish and then invent your own languages and alphabets, don’t judge me).

The warning is more serious. There is an ongoing thread in the series of sexual relationship between adult males and boys in their early teens, possibly younger. This does not pertain to the leads, who are both adults, maybe five years apart in age, no more than ten at the outside; it is also presented as problematic rather than A Good Thing. If this is a trigger or a squick for you, pass by this series. Otherwise, if you like fantasy with m/m romance or vice versa, I definitely recommend The Captive Prince.