elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Blood and Roses by Aislinn Kerry

Blood and Roses is a novella that I think will appeal to the most romantic readers. It’s fantasy, without doubt, but it’s not so clearly bounded by this genre. The world where Arjen, male whore, lives, is an Amsterdam lost in time; from some small details, the use of specific words, the absence of machines, the presence of carriages and other “old-fashioned” elements, all let you think that this is a fantasy world that takes inspiration from a not long ago past, maybe nineteen or eighteen century. Probably if not for the presence of a vampire, the novella could have been an historical romance, and even if there is the paranormal elements, truth be told, it tends to be more historical than other.

Maikel, the vampire, is like a lord among the other men. Again, there is a good reason for him to be a vampire, the author needed probably all the gothic feelings that derives from that fact, but other than that, he behaves more like an aristocrat than an otherworldly being. Him and also the other vampires in the novella, they live among the other people, worshipped and feared, but seldom loved. They are seen like a breed among the others, the lure to be a vampire, and the possibility to gain immortality with them, make this people favourite among the whores who all want to be the chosen one for the night.

All other than Arjen. But I don’t think that for him is really a question of moral or other, I think Arjen is a very proud man, with still a lot of dreams despite his job. He doesn’t want to be with a vampire probably since, if in the end all the legends weren’t true, it would be another disappointed in his life. Arjen has built a thick shell around himself, a shell that protects him from feelings and pains: he doesn’t feel when he is working, he doesn’t feel and so he doesn’t suffer. Having the chance to taste a bit of “paradise” with Maikel, and then being forced to be back to his everyday work as a whore, would be probably create an irreparable break in that shield.

At the beginning probably Arjen doesn’t love Maikel for who he is more than for who he represents. And so, truth be told, Arjen is not so much different from the other people. Instead I think that Maikel is open and loving from the first moment. He is clear in his desires even if he doesn’t speak them aloud. Maikel is probably as much romantic as Arjen, but he is more open to this side of him.

Blood and Roses is a retelling of the One Thousand and One Nights, with Maikel that night after night asks to Arjen to talk to him into sleep, delaying night after night the consummation of their agreement, till the moment I arrived to think that probably Maikel is not really interested in having sex with Arjen, sex is something he can have with everyone, what instead he has with Arjen is something special. And in the end, sex will cause them trouble, since it will level their relationship with all the previous one they had, letting Arjen doubt of Maikel’s words, and destroying Maikel’s image of Arjen. In a way, when Maikel sees Arjen, he doesn’t see a whore, he sees a man with a royal behaviour, he sees the simple things of life, the things he can’t no more appreciate. Being with Arjen, without sex with them, allows to Maikel to think that he isn’t different from all the other men.

Anyway, even when the sex arrives, it’s always almost ethereal, I liked very much the use of words of the author during that moment, she is able to convey completely the moment, and the eroticism, without being too explicit.


Amazon Kindle: Blood and Roses

The Rainbow Awards: Third (and last!) Phase: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/850354.html

Cover Art by Anne Cain
Tags: author: aislinn kerry, genre: fantasy, genre: historical, genre: paranormal, length: novella, review, theme: hustlers, theme: vampires

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