S.E. rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sex and Sorcery: The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles is a unique mash-up of erotic and fantasy fiction. One reason I read this was to lure me out of my comfort zone of Sword & Sorcery, and this was a fun route to take. If one were to take a typical dark fantasy novel with elves & grand battles, and replace all the warfare with steamy sex scenes, then you would get this book. In fact, this book has no real battle scenes with substantial duels or military tactics on display. This book may define a new sub-genre: "Sex and Sorcery."
The closest thing I have ever read to this would be Brian McNaughton's The Throne of Bones, which has copious amounts of ghoul sex (~zombie sex). "Throne" was not stimulating as much as it was horrific & weird. The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles likely reflects more traditional romance novels.
The book's primary conflict regards the mistreatment of elven women, which are subjugated to rape and slavery by humans. A human magician who sympathizes becomes the savior of many elves. What can be jarring (to a "virgin" erotic fiction reader at least) is the willingness of the victimized women to satisfy their savior with the same carnal tricks the bad humans desire. The good human is also older than the elf he saves/falls-in-love-with; this coupling inflamed two-decades of sexual harassment training "no-no's" I have received by various employers. I eventually forgave this discomfort since this was (a) a fantasy book and (b) the human was not being deceptive as an influential mentor.
There were hints that love-making may empower sorcery, but the connection was not explicit. This is just the beginning of a series, and I would welcome the notion of the sexual energy fueling magic being developed more. A small quibble: the author's voice strangely sneaks into all of the dialogue (across characters). They all...pause as they...consider a synonym...or...recast their words.
In all, an entertaining read. Not recommended for young adults due to content; not recommend for those seeking bloody battles. This is recommended for fantasy readers who desire some...spice in their reading.
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