When I encountered the story for the first time, I put it away almost at once: a writing exercise in erotic love scenes? And set in a quasi 1001-nights context? Gawd…
The other day, however, I read a remark on Facebook which was full of praise for the story, and that made me curious.
In brief, Dae, a daughter of a well-to-do family, is captured by slave traders when she crosses the desert of Jaharri. After Zafirah Al’Intisar, Scion of the great city of El’Kasari, eliminates these traders (because they had been unwise enough not to follow the laws of the desert), Dae becomes part of Zafirah’s harem, but she makes it clear from the start that she will never *ever* engage sexually with her new mistress. Lucky for her, that Zafirah is not into forcing herself onto the unwilling.
Of course, Dae’s attitude changes over time; her sexual awakening and her growing respect, later attraction, for and to her “captress” build the ground for the erotic love scenes the story was written for in the first place.
And whadda-you-know, despite my misgivings I actually liked it. Not only did the authoress treat the subject with taste, she also built enough material around it that a real plot could develop. As Amber herself says, “what was to be a short tale quickly grew and evolved into what I consider to be a fairly good … story”, and I have to agree.
I can’t help being reminded of Chopin’s etudes: music to tax the abilities of a pianist, but still nice to listen to.
A very interesting read.
I was surprised just how much I enjoyed this story. I have one thing to add… don’t read this at work. Or, as a friend of mine found out, on a plane where you can’t find some relief!
If you want to hear the Cocktail Hour podcast which Andy and I discussed this work, you can find it here: http://cocktailhour.us/archives/42
This was a damn fine story. My only issue is when Dae and Zafirah finally get together it was somewhat anti-climatic. BUT don't let that stand in your way. Overall it was a fun romp and well worth the time to read.
Great review, I felt the same way about the story.