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Gloria's Pages

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The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
Progress: 27/268 pages
Robert Harris
Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Thich Nhat Hanh
Like Fire Through Bone - E.E. Ottoman Oh wow, looks like I'm the first person to rate or review this book, go me.

Vasilios is a eunuch and slave in the vaguely Late Roman-ish "Holy Empire". When he starts having dreams of a demon devouring babies he turns to General Markos, a long-time acquaintance of his master, and long-time crush, for help. Markus has been tasked to hunt down the murderer of the babies. Over the course of the novel they realize they're long-standing love for each other, and along the way meet some very interesting characters in the form of Arite, a holy woman living out in the desert, and Brother Strovos, a half-man, half snake monk.

The plot is a bit simplistic over all, but Vasilios makes up for it by his grace and competence throughout the story. He bends, but he does not break. Markos is slightly more enigmatic at first, he appears to be a compassionate and caring person, but his attraction to Vasilios, a person who in their society is nearly invisible, is not well developed. It's clear they have some sort of history, but anything prior to the novel is not expanded on and it leaves the romance a little abrupt-feeling. Still, by the end his respect and love for Vasilios feels completely natural.

Readers looking for a hot Master/slave story will be greatly disappointed. Fortunately I was not looking for that and don't usually enjoy that sort of story. Markos admires Vasilios as an equal, and Vasilios likewise. This novel is not particularly hot and heavy, there's a couple sex scenes toward the end that, while interesting, are not particularly hot (ie, no anal sex). Vasilios is a eunuch who has been cut with what was historically the most common, and most extreme, form of human castration, complete removal of cock and balls, so it's fairly interesting watching the characters work around that. It's also quite interesting reading a novel where the main character's ability to feel sexual desire is severely hampered, he can still fall in love, but it's a slow, graceful, and very clear-headed sort of love.

The end is more of HFN rather than HEA, but it's sweet and gives me hope for the character's future together.

Over all this is a solid 4 star read, and I would certainly keep an eye out for this author's future works.