A MelanieM Release Day Review: Flying Fish (Sword and Silk Trilogy #1) by Sedonia Guillone

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

FlyingFish_postcard_front_DSPSword 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.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

Release Date Aug 17, 2016
Type Novellas
Words 27,707
Pages 81
ISBN-13 978-1-63477-542-7
File Formats epub, mobi, pdf

 

An Ali Review: Perilous by Cari Z

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

PerilousIn 1803, England declares war on France, staking the fates of two mighty empires against one another. Thousands of men serve in the British navy, hungry for distinction in the battle against Bonaparte.

One of them, Lieutenant Thomas Williams, thinks he knows what he wants out of life: prize money at sea, a career of decent note, and the means to maintain his independence when he leaves the navy. What he finds is service under Captain Christopher Knightly: a tactical genius, inveterate charmer, and the youngest son of a wealthy noble house.

Their unexpected and perilous love affair is a gamble against the odds, for in a time of war, nothing is sure to last. If the French don’t tear them apart, one slip in front of the wrong eyes or ears might. When the demands of Christopher’s family take him from Thomas’s side, he thinks it might be the best thing for his captain. Little does Tom realize just how far Christopher will go to return to him, and when life takes a turn for the worse, how much further he will go to save him.

I really liked the setting of this book.  It was a different time period than I’ve read in historicals before and the atmosphere was done so well I could easily picture the ships and the sailors on their missions.  The aspect that was lacking for me was the romance.  I never felt the connection between the two men.  The story was told from Thomas’ point of view and I connected with him much more.  Christopher didn’t feel like an equal character to me, more like a supporting character, and in fact I didn’t really care for him that much.  I never felt his love of Thomas until the very end of the book.
Overall I thought this was an average read.  The rich world building and unique setting make it something that you should check out if you’re a fan of historicals.
Cover:  I love the cover.  I think it’s gorgeous and it totally captures the plot/mood of the book.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:
ebook, 129 pages
Published May 9th 2016 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781911153504
Edition LanguageEnglish