December is a strange month for me because of traveling to get home and other plans, and having to recon with my own success at completing my own goals (not going to touch on that whatsoever here). It was a month where I read a bunch of things in translation and a singular ARC which feels more in the direction of how I want to be reading into 2023.
Genre: Fantasy Josei Year Release in English: 2022 Source: Physical Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Review of Volume 1 can be found here Content warnings: Dubious consent with lots of male sexuality on display; fantasy prejudice
The second half of the story of Pulau’s political system of having a coming tournament every four years focuses on the relationships between its chosens and the origins of the Great Wyrm Tournament. It’s earnest, it’s sexy, and there are so many men in love with other men.
We get the full introduction to Harto and his lover, Matthew, who were roommates in college. They got along as more than just students, with Harto telling Matthew about his culture to comedic and earnest effect. The way their relationship develops is swoony and romantic.
Then we cut to others who also had chance encounters connected to some loosely developed mythology. Bulan had been saved by a stag that loosely reminds him of Roro, and years later, the two get stuck in a snowstorm and there’s only one bed. Another couple are gifted a whole lot of lube to improve their “technique.” There’s even a wedding. It’s a wonderful snapshot of different types of relationships, and, honestly, this had me smiling and flailing from cover to cover.
Very fluffy, raunchy, and full of gay earnestness.
October was my first month without my main WIP. Because I’ve been in such an intense state of revision, I took October off to tap into things I’ve wanted to watch and read for a while, and honestly, it’s been quite restorative. 10/10 highly recommend. I might have a new project in the works, but it’s all joy and no stress. Book-shaped, but without all the other intensity.
Which, speaking of, it’s November. Am I doing NaNoWriMo? Who knows.
Genre: Fantasy Josei Year Release in English: 2021 Source: Physical Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Content warnings: Dubious consent with lots of male sexuality on display
This over-the-top sexual fantasy story has chosen warriors from various clans vying for the spot of king in a tournament where whoever comes first loses.
The lads who are signed up for this are so enthusiastic about participating and giving sexual pleasure to their opponent. One of them, Harto, returns from studying abroad with a new technique that’s destined to decimate his enemies. But he also has a secret that might disqualify him. There’s tenderness and so much mutual respect as warriors and interesting powers that verge on magic. It’s so earnest, and the characterizations are top notch. My personal favorite is Vampir, but that’s because I’m predictable.
The art is high quality and the variety of dicks is delightful. Each one has elaborate armor that comes off during the battle. If you want to squeal in the delight that is the absurdity of a political system that revolves around orgasms, this one is for you.