Review: Concubine by Jill Knowles

Jill Knowles; Kindle Edition
 Published August 10th 2010 by Loose Id LLC (first published August 2010)
Genre: BDSM LGBT Futuristic Fantasy
Scholar, captain…war prize. Prince Kael of Korai is stunned when his father gives him to an enemy warlord in a desperate attempt to salvage Korai’s reputation. With his country’s honor at stake, Kael resolves to submit to Warlord Taren’s every debauched whim.
But life in Zandria isn’t anything like what Kael imagined. Instead of pain and cruelty, Warlord Taren seduces Kael until the bewildered prince craves his Master’s every intimate caress. As he sinks into the decadent, sensual life of a concubine, Kael makes a powerful enemy, one who wants him removed from Zandria by any means necessary.
Betrayed by his body, trapped by his honor, Kael must learn to trust his Master or get them both killed.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: BDSM theme and elements (including/not limited to bondage, gagging, tethering), dubious consent, exhibitionism, male/male sexual practices.
 – Goodreads on  Concubine

Oh my GOD, what a cover!!! I totally fell head over heels for that cover!!  *makes an effort to stop staring*

Ok, so, the book. By the sound of it, it should have been fabulous. I was expecting fabulous, and I blame that amazing cover. I didn’t quite get fabulous, maybe because I was so expecting it.

The plot is interesting-ish, though I wouldn’t say it’s overly elaborate. Of course, I’ve read stories with even sort of meager plots and still loved them, because of the characters, but this wasn’t the case. This plot could have been very enticing, I believe, if the characters would have “sold” it to me, but for some reason, they didn’t.

The story is adult rated, it contains explicit, BDSM-ish scenes. I think that’s what killed my mood, really. I mean, with BDSM stories, I expect intensity. Tons of it. I expect powerful chemistry, explosive even, because in my mind at least, BDSM-play is on the explosive side. And by BDSM-play I don’t mean just throwing on some cuffs and giving a “Call me Master”, I mean real power-play. So yes, there were cuffs involved, some binding, some nipple rings (obvious from the cover, I’m not giving you spoilers :p), but it was sort of half-way done. It didn’t seem like the characters were really meaning it, you know?

Don’t get me wrong, I love master/pet stories as much as the next gal (or maybe slightly more ), but they have to feel right, or they can turn into monumental disasters. This wasn’t a monumental disaster, but I was confused. Was it power-play, or wasn’t it? There wasn’t enough of it going on, though props were put up, and described in such a way that I kept thinking, “Ok, next chapter, the real play begins!”, and I kept thinking that until I read the last chapter. And I was like, wait a minute…where’s the real play then?? It was sort of disappointing, not because I was keen on power-play, but if you’re going to hint to it, and build props for it, go ahead and get into it. Or, if you’re not going that direction, then don’t go there at all.
 At least that’s what I think.

The story-telling was good, a really lovely writing style. There was a sense of beauty and exotic about the story, and I felt like it could have been absolutely brilliant. Perhaps that’s something that worked against the book in the end, I was expecting it to be sort of brilliant for some reason, and it didn’t deliver.
 It was a pleasant read, no doubt, but it could have been smashing, and it wasn’t.
 Others seem to have found it awesome, so maybe I’m being too particular, I dunno. I mean, if you go into it expecting hot PwP (porn without plot), then yes, you’re gonna think it’s fab, probably. But I went into it expecting a great story – and that wasn’t the book’s fault, no doubt.

Anyway, don’t just take my word for it. Check it out for yourselves, if you’re into this kind of read. I’d love to know what you thought about it.


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