Book Reviews

Unnatural Means by T.C. Mill at Storm Moon Press

Genre Gay / Historical / Fantasy / Magic / Wizards & Witches / Dubious Consent / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 10-July-2013

Book Blurb

Confessor Isak is charged with the task of forcing Sain to confess his sins of murder and witchcraft before inevitable execution. Torturing in the name of the Divine is difficult enough, but the process is nothing new to him, and he is confident he can effect Sain's salvation. This time is different, though, when he begins to feel Sain's seductive magic take hold of him. Suddenly, Isak isn't at all sure it will be Sain who breaks under pressure to find release.

 

 

NOTE: This story was previously pubilshed in the Like It Or Not anthology.

 

Book Review

When witchcraft is involved, the result could go either way. I can definitely see why "the church" or any religious institution intent on controlling what its followers believe might be interested in stamping it out. By "any means necessary", as the Inquisition has proven in our history, or as "the Question" does in the fantasy world created by the authors of this short story. Same difference, except the authors have removed the Christian aspect, possibly to make a more generalized point.

Isak is a Confessor, tasked with getting witches and other sinners to repent before they are executed. He takes his responsibilities seriously, but knows he is tempted to "the sins of the flesh". When he is given Sein's case, things escalate fast. Despite all the prayer and meditation he can muster, he cannot forget the attractive witch and having to torture him (one severe whipping scene and lots of threats), he has as hard a time of it as Sein.

Sein is a witch, accused of seducing a man then manipulating him to hand over all his wealth. While we don't get to see his point of view, his actions and hints of his abilities made me suspect something more might be going on than meets the eye. And even though Sein is the one who is tied up when Isak "takes advantage of him", it's clear the he holds the power.

This is a very clever role reversal. The confessor becomes the confessee, and the prisoner holds a lot more power than normal. If you like cleverly written short stories with a few twists and a surprise ending, if you enjoy psychological drama and expert manipulation skills, and if you're looking for a short read that will make you think, you might 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 purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 27 pages/10900 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-June-2013
Price
Buy Link