Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Storming the Barbarian's Gates by Joanna Noor (#futa #bisexual #genderswap)

If you checked out my preview of New & Notable summer reads last week, then you are no doubt familiar with the Kock Rider of Khymeera, which is due to be published at the end of this month. Fortunately, we do not have to wait for our first taste of the World of Khymeera, as Joanna Noor has released a short story to tease and tide us over.

Storming the Barbarian's Gates is pure pulp fantasy erotica. It has all the classic trappings of Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, and even John Norman, right down to the language and the atmosphere, but with a very modern sense of kink.

The story itself is rather simple. An Amazon Queen, betrayed by treachery, is captured by a Barbarian King. He intends to break her, but he has no idea that she is Fu’taanari. With the help of a sissy wizard, Queen Assaria turns the tables, gender-swapping herself with the King, and watching as he is broken by his own men.

What is so exciting about this is the way that Joanna Noor plays with gender and sexuality, showing them to be naturally fluid and adaptable to change - once, of course, masculine pride and macho prejudices are dispensed with. There is some violence at the outset, along with some questions of dubious consent - both of which are entirely fitting for a pulp sword-and-sorcery tale - but there is also genuine pleasure in the climax.

Perhaps even more exciting, Storming the Barbarian's Gates demonstrates a lot of world building for a short story, with hints and suggestions as to cultures, races, and conflicts that I am sure we will see more of in Kock Rider of Khymeera. Not only did this deliver on everything I wanted of a first taste of Khymeera, but it exceeded those expectations, leaving me hungry for more.

With one hand under my skirt, one hand on my keyboard, and tongue firmly in cheek, I write naughty epic fantasy that is thrilling in every way!

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