Title: Black Sun
Author: Uki Ogasawara
Publisher: 801 Media
May Contain Spoilers
I was disappointed with this book. After looking forward to it since seeing the super sexy cover at the 801 booth at Anime Expo, the reading experience was a bit of a let down. The art is gorgeous, but I did not care for the story at all.
Leonard is the commanding officer of Gerun Fortress, and when it falls to the invading hordes of enemy warriors, he’s left with little choice but to surrender. Giving himself up to the fierce General Jamal Jan, he agrees to suffer humiliation and indignities in order to stop the massacre of his men. Will he ever find freedom from the chains that now bind him?
This book is chock full of BL plot devices that I don’t care for. After Leonard agrees to lay down his arms in order to save his men, he is publically humiliated by Jamal in a loathsome show of power. This then seems to be the theme of the story – forced sex committed time and again while a character is helpless to fight back against it. Bizarrely, the rapes often occur in public, with an audience of indifferent witnesses. That is just so far from what is acceptable that I couldn’t even look past it in a work of fiction. Ick.
Leonard is a pious Monastic Knight, and his world comes crashing around him when Jamal’s troops descend upon his coastal fortress. Having been left in command by Lord Francis, a man he served with great devotion, Leonard doesn’t believe that he’s up to the task of commanding the fort. Francis is off to help defend another fort, taking a large body of soldiers with him. When Jamal and his men arrive, they face a nearly empty garrison, and it’s child’s play breaching the walls. Only Leonard’s agreement to sacrifice himself earns the freedom, and safety, of his men.
Jamal was a slave, who was raised by the king of his country and elevated to a general in the army. He’s a renowned warrior, fearless and cunning, and he quickly subdues his enemies. He’s infatuated by Leonard after defeating him, and vows to take him back to his homeland as his prisoner. When he arrives home, the king is furious that he’s allowed Leonard’s troops to escape, and that he’s brought the knight back for his own pleasures. Most of the king’s fury seems to be fanned by Nicolaides, the king’s consort and faithful servant. He has ulterior motives, which also include public indecency. What is with these guys?
The plot, what there is of it, is meandering and often confusing. There are sudden flashbacks, or Leonard is given to flights of fancy, that are jarring and disrupt the flow of events. There is a lack of cohesion, and the ending is abrupt and painfully unsatisfying.
The art kept me turning the pages. The characters designs are very attractive; these are muscled, lean men who looked like they could stand up to a battle or two. The sex scenes are graphic and a little too intense for my tastes. If they weren’t so degrading, I might have liked them more. The setting is lush and exotic, and the surroundings were much more romantic than the story itself.
Rated for Mature
Review copy provided by 801 Media