Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson

A Taste of Honey is Kai Ashante Wilson's second story set in his Sorcerer of the Wildeeps universe.  Goodreads readers rate it as a better book than the first, and I tend to agree.  It's a much richer story.

It starts out as a sort of straight up gay romance.  We have a powerful, masculine warrior seducing an effeminate, closeted boy of royal blood.  But as we go along the story gets more complex.  Aqib, the effete prince, is physically weak but discovers a power in his voice--his words have influence.  He moves on from this early affair to marry and sire a daughter of great power.  He matures into a man of wisdom, strongly supportive of his wife and daughter "witches".  We see hints of how the "magic" is based in very advanced science and literacy, which here is viewed as "women's work". 

The story of the initial seduction and the prince's subsequent life are interwoven, and contrast well.  The writing is beautiful, just like the first book, but with more variety so it's even more interesting to read.  I think this one will be a strong contender in the Nebula novella category this year, and I give it 4 stars.

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