Author: Kai Ashante Wilson
Published: October 25th 2016
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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 romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.
I really hoped I would love this book, but in the end I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. The writing is fabulous- by far my favorite aspect of A taste of honey. I also really liked our main character and his relationship with Lucrio, but I felt like I was seeing everything from the surface. I felt distanced to the characters and the events that take place in the book. Not to mention that I was confused for the better part of the story (that may be a problem from my part so I won’t take it out on the book).
What I liked:
Non-chronological story-telling: I loved how the story was woven together. The narration jumps between different instances in Aqib’s life after he meets Lucrio. Although it contributed in large to my confusion while reading, I still felt like it payed off in the end just because of how the story unfolded. I thought it was very original and somewhat effective.
The writing: Like I mentioned before, the writing is gorgeous. It was very bold and unique; the language the characters use and the dialects were masterfully done.
The romance: I really liked the romance. It might’ve been kinda insta-love but that moment they meet was adorable. Just every scene with them both was lovely. I wanted so much more of them though.
The ending: It kinda took me by surprise to be honest. I should’ve seen it coming but the fact that I din’t made it more enjoyable; it packed more of a punch that way.
What I didn’t like:
I went into this expecting lush world-building and an atmospheric setting, but there was none of that; we don’t get much insight into the world. I feel like this book is a sort of introduction to another fantasy book because it does feel like there is a complex a fantasy world at the tip of your fingers but it’s not fleshed out yet so you feel the potential but don’t actually get to see it.
Overall, I enjoyed A taste of honey. I wanted a bit more of the characters, their relationships and the world but I still felt like the story is enjoyable.
Kai Ashante Wilson’s stories ‘Super Bass’ and the Nebula-nominated ‘The Devil in America’ can be read online gratis at Tor.com.
His story «Légendaire.» can be read in the anthology Stories for Chip, which celebrates the legacy of science fiction grandmaster Samuel Delany.
His debut short novel The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps won the 2016 Crawford Award. Kai Ashante Wilson lives in New York City.