Book Reviews

Pearls Like Rain by Michael Barnette at Torquere Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 28-June-2013

Book Blurb

Raien and Kaelys have reached the final dueling match that decides the championship and conveys a rich purse for the winner. With their dreams for the future at stake, neither of them is going to make it easy for the other to win. But when a bright flash of light momentarily blinds Kaelys causing him to make a mistake more than money is on the line. With Raien’s life at stake and the outcome of the match undecided they have nothing to do but talk to one another. They discover things that have the potential to change everything. Unfortunately the future each of them desires hinges on one thing: Who won the championship?


Book Review

This is a tension-filled story about two men set to duel for the annual championship, set in a fantasy world where beings of many different races live in peace and unicorns are real. The descriptions of the arena, the dresses, sights and sounds of the setting were great and made me believe I was right there. Raien and Kaelys are both determined to win, but fate interferes. Suddenly, they are faced with some difficult decisions, and figuring out how to proceed regarding the dual in light of their fierce personal attraction presents an issue for both of them.

Raien is a "noble peasant" with a title, but no land and no money. His elder brother made a bad investment, and Raien has to win the championship prize money so he can restore their family's business of breeding half horse-half unicorns. He is extremely skilled and has managed to duel his way into the final round, at some cost, but he believes it is worth it.

Kaelys is a mysterious man who hides his identity by wearing a mask. He, too, needs the prize money to make his dreams come true, but he will be honorable about the whole situation. He's been champion the two previous years, but believes Raien might give him a run for his money. While he doesn’t want to underestimate him, he is surprised by how well he fights. Not one to be deterred easily, he keeps going, but, like I said, fate has other ideas.

This could have easily been a story filled with posturing, an abundance of testosterone, and aggressive threats between the contestants. Instead, their conflict is discussed and all factors are taken into consideration. I found this to be very refreshing, and think it speaks well for the world they live in. If you like stories set in interesting fantasy worlds that are inhabited by a range of new and different species, if you enjoy reading about men who manage to deal with conflict in a very mature and civilized way, and if you're looking for a read that is imaginative and enjoyable, then you will probably like this short story.  





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Torquere Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 60 pages/17400 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-June-2013
Buy Link