Review of The Storyteller by Blaine Arden

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The Storyteller

Rating:  4 stars

The Storyteller is an amazing short story now available as a free read from Storm Moon Press.  It is narrated by Oleg, a young man who has been banished to his family’s country estate because of his blindness.  “Sightless, useless, an abomination”, he is tended to by Neiam who has been hired by his Father to take care of both the estate and his son.  That’s the bare bones of the story that is remarkable in so many ways.

Using Oleg to narrate the story forces the reader to perceive life as he does. Oleg feels the sunlight on his naked body, he listens to the hitch in Neiam’s voice and hears the shuffling of his caretaker’s feet that marks the path he is to follow.  You learn only as much as Oleg does about the estate they are living on.

Neiam is not the typical caretaker/servant either.  Neiam is Oleg’s lover and the storyteller in the title.  As Neiam tells his stories, he forces Oleg to follow his voice and take steps through the house, helping Oleg gain independence and confidence.  Another layer added to this story is the D/s role in their relationship.  Neiam, the servant, is Dominant while Oleg, son of royalty, is happily submissive.  Their sexual relationship is sensual and oh so hot. The D/s here is gentle and loving as Neiam steers Oleg towards self sufficiency.

There is no mention of time and place.  It could be Russia in the 1700’s or a alternate universe.  It really doesn’t matter as the focus is on Oleg and Neiam. Their day is interrupted by “Father” and serves to underscore Oleg’s relationship with his family.

At 3,600 words, this story is short and sweet.  The Storyteller takes place on Valentine’s Day, a perfect time to read this wonderful story.

Cover: This cover is perfection.  Lush and romantic, it really suits the story.