REVIEW: The Demon and The Emperor by Yamila Abraham

Newly crowned Emperor Dianese needs the power of the lascivious demon Rodukjo to solidify his authority. The mighty demon asks for a dear price in exchange for his aid, one Dianese has no choice but to accept. The Emperor expects a life of suffering at the hands of the demon, but as their partnership evolves something more profound develops.

Warnings: dubcon, mentions of past child abuse, mentions of rape, mild D/s elements, some violence, con noncon, jealousy

Category: M/M, M/F

The Demon and the Emperor is a BL light novel. It revolves around a young Emperor who, in desperation to solve the economic and political crisis his father the previous Emperor had saddled him with, enters into a deal with a demon to lend power and strength to his reign. This deal binds him to the demon, who is intent on making him his bride in exchange for his aid. It’s a very cheesy drama novel that, while the premise sounds somewhat dark, has a large focus on consent and mutual love and respect between partners, with some fun high fantasy and war plot on the side.

The writing is quite simple and very fitting for the light novel styling. It’s clipped and fast paced, and the plot is fairly generic and tropey. It is quite clearly not intended to be a serious fantasy epic, as much as it’s plot involves war and political upheaval, but rather it’s a cheesy soap opera about an effeminate Emperor and the big burly demon he contracts with to help him win the day. Plotwise, it is more concerning the relational development of the two of them than anything to do with the larger plot of the war and the familial strife, but it does make for some pretty good popcorn reading.

I really really liked the connection that the author forges between the two leads. Both Dianese and Rodukjo are absolute sweethearts, and it was a very compelling romance that took place in the development of their relationship and their feelings for each other. Dianese is young, and still learning how to be comfortable using his unearthly levels of beauty to seduce, how to employ cunning over strength. Rodukjo, meanwhile, is a fearsome warrior and a conscientious lover who loves nothing more than to pamper and please his partner. His help and guidance bring Dianese out of his shell as he tutors him in matters of state as well as matters of love and sex. The stories focus on consent and mutual understanding and pleasure makes it a very emotionally compelling piece.

I never did feel like the world of The Demon and the Emperor was anything more than a backdrop. It was never developed much beyond being a vaguely magical fantasy realm, with some kind of a Hell where various kinds of demons live below the upper world of humans, but it was odd that it had demons living in Hell when the concept of “Hell” is a very catholic construction, featuring a place of pure evil with demons being pure evil as well. Considering the concepts of “demons” that this story is working with are not the catholic concept of demons, it seems odd that it would use “Hell” as a locale. But still, it had some interesting ideas that could have been more fully fleshed out, if it was not quite such a silly melodrama. The author developed the erotic aspects and the emotional aspects so well, it seems a shame that she didn’t do quite as much work on the story or the setting.

This is a very steamy little book… if you are into very sweet, tender, fluffy lovemaking. Personally, I was hoping for harder fare. I found the smut content a little dull, just because I would have enjoyed a lot more roughness, more dubcon, more fear and gradual seduction over the careful loving guidance Rodukjo gives to Dianese. These aspects of the book I praised for giving it a lot of emotional weight also unfortunately hampered the sexiness of it for me, so that it became a compelling romance but a less effective erotica. But that’s just my own taste! I prefer kinkier stuff, and wanted something I could sink my teeth into a bit more. But the sex is very well written and certain audiences will absolutely melt I am sure. It was lovely, if not quite my thing.

I thought this was a charming little book even if it was pretty silly. It’s worth a read if you’re looking for a sweet romance, and it’s a very classic pretty boy bottom with a big burly top major size difference kind of thing so it will be sure to please fans who like that configuration a lot. Don’t go in expecting anything too grandiose and you’re bound to have a fun time with it.

Have you read The Demon and The Emperor? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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