Unsettling, dark, and deeply erotic…
Set in an alternative world with an Indo-Persian flavor, Templeton’s debut is a deft blend of the elements of romance, high erotica, and speculative fiction. Nahar, the beautiful young queen of Samandal, is content ruling her city and people until a semi-human race of ferocious and savage conquerors, the Mrrrg, led by Timur attack and capture her along with her people and the city of Samandal. Forced to serve the pleasure of the conquering Mrrrg, Nahar soon finds her soulmate in the vicious Timur. But with the powerful matriarchs of Samandal’s Great Houses joining to revolt and free Samandal, the young queen must find her way not only to the perfection of love with her soulmate but to her own self-fulfillment. Templeton’s book features all of the requirements of the genre, such as ferocious and savage race of semi-human creatures, courageous warriors, a maiden in distress, and a dark anti-hero. Almost all of the characters have an acute darkness to their persona but that does not detract from their appeal. Initially, the story seems to be presenting a familiar plotline about a young queen captured by the enemy force, who goes on to change her savage captor to an empathetic being capable of feeling emotion. But Nahar isn’t just a naive young queen. She has this dark tint to her personality that makes her susceptible not only to Timur’s sexual fantasies but also to several others’ sexual advances. Still, the story’s main focus lies in her erotic love story with Timur, who has no emotion to speak off but is capable of empathy in the presence of the lovely queen. Templeton does a good job of moving Nahar and Timur’s relationship along while sustaining the threads that come together and form the larger narrative. He neatly brings various plot threads together while establishing the psychological groundwork for his protagonists, making both Timur and Nahar’s dilemmas believably wrenching, helping to offset the latter’s considerable darkness and the former’s brute power. The bulk of the narrative consists of Nahar’s highly explicit sex scenes with Timur and various other characters. While Nahar’s relationship with Timur is well-developed, there is little emphasis on other secondary characters and the never-ending struggle between humans and the Mrrrg. Graphic scenes of erotic sex, gang rape and acute sexual violence, bloodshed, and war urge caution on readers’ part. A satisfying story for those who are able to ignore any feminist reservations and enjoy a disturbing, highly erotic fantasy steeped in violence and sex.
By Kirk Templeton
Kirk Templeton Books
Pub date January 12, 2022
Price $15.95 (USD) Paperback, $7.94 Kindle edition