Thrones of Desire Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire is an anthology of Erotic Fiction set in High Fantasy and Midevil settings. Edited by Mitzi Szereto who has edited and written for Clies Press, including another I have had the great chance to review Red Velvet and Absinthe which was Paranormal Erotic Romance. So I knew that this would have some fantastic tales inside that where both steamy but would speak to my inner fantasy geek as well. The book itself being inspired by of course the series Game of Thrones which is the television adaptation of A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin. So yes, my geek quota was HIGH for this one.
It starts off with a Forward by Piers Anthony, who has written numerous fantasy and sci-fi novels. Talking about the differences in males vs. female written erotica in the fantasy genre, and how that is slowly changing in the publishing world. I found it gave interesting insight about what readers and writers a like are doing in the realm of Erotic Fantasy from the perspective of a fantasy Author themselves.
From there Mitiz introduces us into the book before we dive head first into the fantasy worlds that each author has given us. Just some of the contributing authors are Janine Ashbless, Sacchi Green, Ashley Lister, Eric Del Carlo, Kim Knox, Anna Meadows, Madeline Moore, Jo Wu, M.H. Crane, Aurelia T. Evans, Nyla Nox, Megan Arkenberg, Zander Vyne, and Mitzi Szereto.
The level of Erotica varies from each story, to some being more tame with their visions and wording for sex. To others being comfortable using words that are much stronger. There are those that tread a nice middle ground as well, but none of them seem to over or under do it when they get down to writing about the sex. Each one seems to really be able to weave it so that no matter how soft or hard they have gone about it, I still seemed to find that blush in my cheeks rising as I read.
Each story is thick plot and setting, allowing you to really feel like they are part of bigger worlds even though you are only getting a small taste of them. This is not to say that the stories don’t feel completed but for me I found they allowed my imagination to wander more about the worlds that they took place in. That I could read a story and then of course have my take place in my head before reading another. I could easily go on about each, but I am going to cover just a couple of the ones that stood out to me. To give a taste of what is inside the book.
Here There Be Dragon by Ashley Lister, A dragon trainer, exacts revenge through a series of lies of omission and oh so subtle wordplay, that he doesn’t realize that he’s being misled. Only to believe that he is the one who is of course misleading her. The back and forth between the two characters was that just right pace that really made the sex burn even hotter when it finally happened. And the ending having an interesting twist that even I did not see coming.
Key to the Queen’s Elixir by Jo Wu, this tale was lovely and haunting. Starting with a Snow Queen and an intruder found on her lands, seeking an Elixer that only she can grant that will save the children of the intruders village. What comes next is a bit of a mystery for the Snow Queen who seeks to find why she cannot just kill this man like any other who would trespass through her lands.
Another thing I did love about this set of stories was that they did not shy away from female/female sex or male/male. Yes in some stories they did say that they were forbidden or taboo, but they where present as much as the male/female parings where as well. They didn’t feel like they were forced or in the case of female/female parings feel like they had been put in simply for taboo reasons. They felt clearly part of the stories and the worlds. Such as a Princess in the story The Kingdom of Roz, who before her time when she would marry a man had many female maids. Of which they of course practiced various sexual things with one another. It reminded me of scenes in other novels, such as Game of Thrones where a character was learning to please her new husband the way his people would go about it. Rather then what she had known, a was taught by what could be seen as a maid.
Overall I was very impressed by Thrones of Desire, it is certainly one that I am going to keep on my bookshelf to read over again when I am in the mood for a some good Fantasy mixed in with my Erotica. I am very glad that Cleis Press was so kind to send me a copy to read, in exchange for a fair and honest review.