Review: A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

A Taste of Honey is an African-inspired fantasy set in a world where gods exist. Aqib is the son of the Master of Beasts and falls in love with a soldier of a visiting delegation from an empire across the sea. Their love seems doomed to be limited to the few days that remain before Lucrio has to return home. Or is it?

kai ashante wilson a tasate of honey

I’ve been excited about this ever since I heard about it, because there isn’t enough fantasy inspired by settings other than Europe, and there is also not enough fantasy with LGBTAIQ* characters. So Pride Month was the perfect excuse to finally buy and read this book.

I absolutely adored Aqib. He’s very sweet and I found myself hoping for his happiness from the first page to the resolution. He and Lucrio were such a great pairing, and they worked so well together. It was just amazing to read. The relationship is a bit love-at-first-sight-ish but I don’t have a problem with that personally and I think it worked really well with the overall plot. Besides they only have about 10 days until Lucrio has to leave so it wasn’t too unexpected.

The world building was really good, considering the number of pages (there’s only a bit over 100 pages, Goodreads tells me there are 136 pages in the ebook). A lot of things were either explained indirectly or they were described in a way that meant I could take them at face value and move on. Plus it is just really fascinating.

I have to admit that the writing style threw me off a bit in the beginning. It felt a bit stilted and overly formal, but as the story progressed it either got better or I just managed to get more used to it.

The story also focusses alternately onto the days Aqib has with Lucrio, and his time after Lurio leaves. This format confused me a little for some time, but in the end it made sense and looking back, I think it’s a really intriguing and good way to tell this story. And it is certainly one that’s suited better to a shorter work, especially in the way it is done here.

I can only recommend reading A Taste of Honey and I already downloaded Wilson’s novel The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, which is set in the same world. I can’t wait to read it. My rating takes off a half-star but that’s simply due to me feeling it’s not quite at 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★1/2 ☆ (4 1/2 Stars)

Additional Information

Goodreads

Publication Date: 25 October 2016
Publisher: Tor.com
Format: ebook
Page Count: 136
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, LGBTAIQ*
ISBN: 9780765390059

Summary:

Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.

Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pressing concerns. His heart has been captured for the first time by a handsome Daluçan soldier named Lucrio. In defiance of Saintly Canon, gossiping servants, and the furious disapproval of his father and brother, Aqib finds himself swept up in a whirlwind gay romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.

A Taste of Honey is a new novella in the world of Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps.

(Source: Goodreads.com)

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