Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Sword and Silk: Book One
In eighteenth century Japan, during the golden age of samurai and of the Kabuki theater, young actors known as “flying fish” traveled the countryside, performing for audiences by day and giving their bodies to their samurai patrons at night.
Genji Sakura is one such flying fish, yet he dreams of finding the man he can give his heart to and leave the loneliness of his itinerant life behind. Though he loves theater, he doesn’t love every part of his profession, especially some of the patrons. So when a handsome ronin comes upon him stealing some solitude for a bath in a hot spring and their encounter turns passionate, Genji’s surprised and delighted.
Daisuke Minamoto’s past fills his life with a bitterness that grips his soul and makes him dangerous. Yet passion takes him when he spies on a graceful young man bathing naked in a hot spring. He has always loved women, but he can’t deny the call of his heart.
After an afternoon of sexual bliss, his heart and soul are tormented and torn. Keeping this miraculous lover will require giving up the one thing that has kept him alive for years: his hatred for the lord who murdered his wife. If he loves another, how will he go on and who will he become?
I found author Sedonia Guillone years ago and then lost track of her and her magical stories. Now once more Sedonia and her lyrical and sometimes violent tales of love are back and I couldn’t be more delighted. In Flying Fish (Sword and Silk Trilogy #1) by Sedonia Guillone, a story of 81 pages seems to carry us back into 18th century Japan where a ronin Samurai and a traveling young actor known as flying fish or tobiko can meet on a trail near a stream and fall gently in love. But like all Japanese tales, there’s darkness the hovers over the characters, following one, and soon the other. You are pulled effortlessly into the era, by language, location, and the sheer gentleness of Genji Sakura, the flying fish and main character here. He’s sweetness, with the lightness of being of a sakura petal, and just as soft. Guillone has painted a full portrait of the actor here and you can’t quite get enough of Genji.
Daisuke Minamoto is a portrait of a man covered in darkness and despair. He’s the sharpness of a blade and the roughness of a lordless life. He’s had one goal all this time and has returned to carry it out. Until he meets Genji Sakura and is shown a light he thought was lost.
There is a beauty to the language and flow of the story and it moves with a pace of its own staying true to the characters and time. I just adored it and them.
As Genji says:
Love is the transformative power of the universe. The only real thing in existence, it can change the course of a human being’s life if that person is open to its healing power. From the highest emperor to the lowest peasant in the field, love is the only great leveler aside from death.
— From Tale of the Loyal Samurai by Sakura Genji (1659-1768), performed for the opening of the Great Kabuki Theater in 1685
This is a tale of hope, and of love and even a future that neither thought possible. Such joy in 81 pages. Pick it up and discover both the author and Flying Fish for yourself.
Cover art by Reese Dante. I like the cover but I’m just not sure that’s the characters of the story. Read it and let me know your opinion.
Release Date Aug 17, 2016
File Formats epub, mobi, pdf