elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Best Gay Fantasy (3° place): Spring of the Stag God by J.C. Herneson

My credo is to read anything at least once, since if I don’t, I can’t really say no. But I’m also convinced that some readings are probably not for me; be careful though, not being for me doesn’t mean that they are not good or that they don’t have their own fans. I suppose the Stag God Chronicles are an example, and then, if I’m sincere, I felt an almost guilty fascination with this novel.

I’m true, this is not a book for everyone; there is rape, and it’s rape, not the fancy dressed type of some savage romance. I suppose the reason is that J.C. Herneson is a man, and I think he is writing mainly for men; now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to fall in the trap of saying that since this is sex for the sake of sex, then it’s not for women. We all know that women like sex, oh yes, we know, but in my limited experience (and it’s very limited, really), the type of sex described in Spring of the Stag God, so rough and primal, I found only in book by men.

The book is basically divided in three part: the birth, the growing and the full adulthood of a Stag God, and when the Stag God is born, the human he was before, Ashlan, is only 15 years old. Ashlan is raped by his own uncle, and it’s painful, but it’s also the triggering event who will push him towards his destiny. What probably I found more unsettling is that Ashlan doesn’t hate his uncle, as he doesn’t hate all the other men who will wrong him. On the contrary, to some of them he is grateful, almost loving.

This is a fantasy tale, so maybe I should not try to find a connection to everyday experience on abused teenagers inside their own family, but I do. His uncle Artemi is an important element in Ashlan’s growing, he is a fatherly figure Ashlan is looking upon to; Ashlan is also in a moment when his body is betraying him, when it’s easier to mistake lust and love. I sincerely can comprehend Ashlan’s behavior with his uncle, since loosing him he would loose everything he knows and loves.

The second and third part of the book are easier, less problematic for me, but not less explicit. Sex remains the main weapon for Ashlan in good and bad; through sex Ashlan shows love and hate, and sex is also the main bond he has with everyone. Ashlan is a Stag God, and for this reason he is as primitive as possible, and sex is the most primitive way to bond.



http://lethepressbooks.com/gay.htm#herneson-spring-of-the-stag-god

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Tags: author: j.c. herneson, genre: fantasy, length: novel, rainbow awards 2010, review, theme: elves, theme: shapeshifters
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