A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson (The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps #2)

Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.

Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pressing concerns. His heart has been captured for the first time by a handsome Daluçan soldier named Lucrio. In defiance of Saintly Canon, gossiping servants, and the furious disapproval of his father and brother, Aqib finds himself swept up in a whirlwind romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.

YEAR: 2016
LENGTH: 162 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy

Queer Rep Summary: Gay/Achillean Main Character(s).

A TASTE OF HONEY seems more like a stand-alone story in the same world as THE SORCERER OF THE WILDEEPS, not really a direct sequel. Because of that, it doesn’t seem to matter in which order to read both books. The whole storyline in A TASTE OF HONEY is completely new. If it specifically relied on any information only obtained from the first book, I completely missed the connection. They’re clearly in the same world, but I don’t think they’re in the same country based on some of the linguistic differences. So much of the worldbuilding is conveyed through language and how the characters discuss language. For a long time, I didn’t quite know where the story was going, but I enjoyed it. The ending really pulls everything together, explaining in the final chapter of the structure something that had been hinted at from the beginning.

This does really cool things with gender and language in a way that enhances the story, but turns out pretty badly for some of the characters. I enjoyed this and would be interested in more stories in this setting.

Moderate CW for sexual content, abandonment, classism, homophobia, blood, violence, injury detail.

Minor CW for war, murder, animal death, death.

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