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“Obsidian Sun” by Jon Keys

Obsidian SunGenre: MM Romantic Fantasy

Length: Novella

 

WEAVERS AND spinners are two peoples of the Talac—phenotypically different, and the way they use the ancient magic of their peoples is different. Out of tradition they keep to their own social clusters, but Anan, a spellweaver, and Terja, a spellspinner, are about to discover through hardship that the two peoples are meant to be as one.

When their village is attacked, Anan and Terja ban together in blood vengeance against the tribe that enslaved and killed their people. Their trust is fleeting, but as they fight and care for one another, it grows stronger. They may not be strong enough to stop the Varas slavers, but the gods are on their side, and they have each other.

This is a great fantasy story. The magic system is unique and intricate, the characters are authentic, and the world is nearly touchable it seems so real. I felt the dry dust of the earth in my mouth, and smelled the blood drying off skin. Grit was in my teeth, and my adrenaline was one spike away from giving me a heart attack. Tension balanced on the point of a knife. Besides being rich with sensory detail, the story also emotionally impactful. Two people who had been bred to mistrust the other are thrust together to find vengeance, absolution, and ultimately a new life.

One thing I love about speculative fiction, is the ability to explore contemporary issues in a more relaxed setting, and in sometimes a more truthful manner. Both Terja and Anan are male, but not a single reference is made to cast their enjoyment of each other as profane. In fact, they have a very frank discussion about it that lasts all of two sentences and is very anticlimactic (as it should be). However, spinners and weavers aren’t supposed to bond, and that is considered profane. Watching Terja and Anan negotiate these prejudices may seem like fantasy, but their struggles have deep roots in the real world.

I was a bit surprised by some of the reviews I read. I read all kinds of warnings that suggested that Obsidian Sun wasn’t romantic in nature. I don’t have a problem with reading Non-Romance, so I picked up the book thinking that there wouldn’t be a romantic thread to the story, and that was fine with me. However, because of those warnings I wasn’t prepared for the beautiful love story that simmered in the pages. Terja and Anan’s angst and love towards one another seemed so obvious to me, and their struggle for peace was inspiring. I’m not quite sure how people were missing it.

The fantasy is solid, and the romantic elements are a delightful bonus. Whatever you enjoy, I think you’ll enjoy Obsidian Sun.

Jon Keys has written speculative and contemporary fiction, novels and shorts stories—the works. He even has quite a few free reads. Check out his website: http://www.jonkeys.com.


 

B. A. Brock is a reviewer for DSP and QSF. He enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is http://www.babrockbooks.com. You can find him on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BABrockBooks.

Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com

DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com

Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com

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