Monday, August 28, 2017

Tales of Talithia by Ash Gray (#fantasy #trans #lesbian)

Tales of Talithia is a collection of "erotic tales for genre nerds of various sexualities.Ash Gray has put together a series of interconnected stories, all set within the same world, a place where there are no sad endings.

Divide and Conquer was a fantastic tale of lesbian temples, gay bars, and a bisexual pair of biracial lovers. It is a story where the worlds of elves and humans meet. It is the dialogue that makes this one so much fun, the verbal sparring between the handsome Elbryn and beautiful Holonie, with the details of the world and its history creating something bigger than their love.

If the first story was fun and bold, Farther Shores was sweet and magical. In a mix up of the usual fairy tale tropes, a young woman is saved from suicide by a handsome siren, only to fall in love and find something meaningful that her father and sisters could never dream of understanding.

Silently Bound was one of my favorite of the collection, with it's mythological celebration of 'three spirit' souls. It is a lovely story of sexual discovery, of erotic happiness, and of something more . . . something beyond the mortal realm . . . where being transgender is quite literally a gift of the gods.

The darkest and most violent story in the collection is, rather surprisingly, a little tale called Unicorn Blood. It is a tale of magic and mythology that expand upon the world-building introduced in the first three stories. It has a mythological flavor of it own, like something out of the Greek myths, with a powerful love between women of two race that may just be the thing that give the world hope.

The only story in the collection that didn't quite work for me was The Wishing Well. It lacked the magic and mystery of the other stories, being more erotic than romantic, and I felt like there was a missed opportunity for a different happily-ever-after. A decent story, but just not quite up to the standards of the others.

Ash Gray is a dragon with minuscule spectacles perched on her nose, living in a wonderfully dank, musty cave far away in an alternate universe. She types her stories with gigantic claws on a ridiculously small typewriter before sending them through a membrane and into your dimension for your enjoyment.

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