A Taste of Honey

Kai Ashante Wilson. Tor.com, $2.99 e-book (160p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9005-9
Wilson’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to his lauded debut, The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, beautifully meets expectations while delivering a romantic story that is more intimate than its predecessor. It also reveals more details about the books’ setting, which weaves in elements of Earth cultures, fantastical wonders, and strange technology. Aqib bmg Sadiqi, youngest child of the Olorum royal menagerie’s Master of Beasts, has the weight of his entire family resting on him. After his father’s rank-decreasing marriage, it falls to Aqib to raise his family’s fortune by marrying a well-off woman. But when he meets Lucrio, a foreign soldier from a land with different ideas about love, he realizes that the local ideas of acceptable behavior and his devotion to duty both run counter to his true wishes. As Aqib’s priorities clash, the narrative takes on a successfully ambitious structure, interleaving scenes of Aqib’s future life as the husband of the favored royal princess with the 10 days of his passionate affair with Lucrio. Setting the rewards of duty against loyalty to self, Wilson displays his talent for tugging the reader’s heartstrings and underplaying hard emotion, and he delivers a poignant and satisfying conclusion. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/05/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 160 pages - 978-0-7653-9004-2
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