Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Prince's Boy Volume One by Cecilia Tan


We are warned at the beginning that this story was written as a serial, and thus it has something exciting in every chapter. I did find this to be the case, but it wasn't a problem for me. Not all of the titillating bits were my thing, so I still found that the enjoyable bits (for me) were mostly spread out enough that I wasn't on sensual overload.

As for the story, I must warn that this is Volume One, so it ends on a cliffhanger. I went looking and discovered the rest of the story is being given out one chapter at a time over at Circlet Press. It looks like there are another few weeks left until we reach the end of the story, so I'll be checking in on Wednesdays for a while, I suppose. Yes, the story is that interesting.

This is fantasy... a world where there are kings and whipping boys and magic. And, of course, there is more than one kind of magic, with one being seen as good and one being seen as bad -- Day Magic and Night Magic. The world building is very well done, I felt the rules of this world were well defined and I had no confusion about what was and was not possible.

Some of the BDSM activity is consensual, some is not. The story is a good one, the characters are well developed. I went looking for the next installment more for the story than the sex, though I will also say that there are areas that the sex carries the story, so that isn't the case throughout.

Here's the blurb:

In a fantasy world where male/male lust fuels Night Magic, Prince Kenet lives a sheltered life. Isolated from the war that threatens the kingdom, he and his whipping boy Jorin are of age, but still sneak forbidden pleasures in their bed at night. When a dark mage tries to bespell Kenet into sexual submission, the prince and his boy are thrust into the world of intrigue, sex, and war.

Volume One of The Prince's Boy collects chapters 1 through 56 of this wildly popular gay erotic web serial by Cecilia Tan. Begun on July 29, 2009, chapters were posted weekly, following the adventures of Prince Kenet and his whipping boy, Jorin. Drawing on complex themes of dominance and submission, the need for secrecy in a world where homosexuality is not accepted, and the intertwining of sex with magic, Tan weaves a complex, sex-filled adventure that is part  "Three Musketeers" and part  "Claiming of Sleeping Beauty."

I'm not sure I agree with the last part, as I don't really see it as all that similar to either the Three Musketeers or the Beauty series, but that's okay. It's an enjoyable story with interesting plot lines and good reasons to throw in a lot of sex with elements that include various BDSM type activities.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: Most is not consensual, 3 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: A decent amount is consensual, sort of,  3 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: There is a good bit of pain, but most of it is not really enjoyed in a masochistic way, 1 of 3 
  • Extra Point: No
As for the writing elements plot pacing prose dialogue character development world-building
  • Book Rating: The Prince's Boy Volume One: 8 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: The pain and subjection is intense at times, but the sum of the parts is only a 7 of 10 
  • Heat Level: 5 of 5
Cecelia Tan has done a good job of creating an interesting world with intriguing characters.  I am looking forward to seeing where the story takes us next.

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