REVIEW: Sacrifice of the Goddesses by Raven Burning

The land of Harvlind has long been a lifeless wasteland where the citizens can barely eke out a living. The two mysterious goddesses that live in the Temple are changing that, but their magic comes at a price. Marleea has long known that she is exactly the type of young woman that the goddesses seek out to help with their magic, but she also knows that no woman who goes to them ever comes back. When she agrees to be sacrificed in exchange for helping her family, she expects it will happen quickly, and probably painfully. What she didn’t realize is the way in which the goddesses take their volunteers: they eat them whole. At any point before her time comes, she can choose to leave. But when a side to her sexuality awakens that she never previously knew existed, her choice between staying to be consumed and leaving gets a lot more complicated.

Warnings: vore, cannibalism, brief scat content, mentions of sexual assault, mentions of homophobia

Category: F/F

Sacrifice of the Goddesses is a lesbian vore fantasy novel involving a religious order that serves two goddesses who restore the land by devouring their volunteer sacrifices whole. It’s a short, but very sweet story of ritual devotion, lesbian sexcapades, and a selection of different kinds of vore fetish sequences all packed together in a bittersweet story that is part coming of age and part celebration of life. If you’re looking for magic in your smut, and a focus on enthusiastic consent, this is a lovely little piece.

WRITING
Plot-wise this book is pretty simple and doesn’t meander too far outside of it’s narrow premise. This, however, is more to it’s strength than detriment as it doesn’t ever feel like it is wasting time or providing too much filler. It keeps the reader invested in the mysteries of the land of Harlvind, invested in the religion of the dual goddesses, and anxious for the next steamy smut sequence. It also provides a lot in the way of queer representation, exploring the lives and experiences of queer women in this fantasy realm where goddesses eat people and magic restores dead land back to life. The prose is written well, the story takes some actually brilliantly surprising turns that I had not been expecting, although I will say that I did find the ending didn’t make as much sense as I would have liked. Other than that though I cannot fault its writing, and found it quite charming to read.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
I really appreciated how much the book fleshes out its characters. The reader becomes incredibly engaged with the experiences and the fate of the volunteers, between the main character Marleea and her doomed-but-happy-about-it girlfriend Loxanna. All of the characters are interesting, and most are sweet and sympathetic, and even the meaner characters are engaging to read. Loxanna and Marleea’s discovery of their own sexual interest in vore and in the concept of devouring and eating in general was very enchanting. Loxanna is into it, Marleea is less sure, but her evolving feelings on the subject over the course of the book, as well as her attachment to her lover and her family and her sense of duty all do a lot to flesh her out and make her feel real. Every scene is so tender, every connection and romance depicted is beautifully explored, I couldn’t have been happier with its portrayal of its characters.


WORLDBUILDING
The world of Sacrifice of the Goddesses is a vibrant one, and I really loved how it fleshed out its world gradually for the reader. The country of Harlvind has been ravaged by famine, and to bring life back to the land, the dual goddesses require ritual sacrifices in order to work their magic and restore it. However, the religion of the dual goddesses is not all as it appears, and Marleea will embark on a mission to discover exactly what the truth is behind the rituals. I think its very interesting that the story centres so exclusively around lesbian and bisexual women; there is a sense that there is something magical or life-giving about being a lesbian and that lesbians are the divine saviours of their land. That said, they also die, and the implication that the best queer women can do in life is to die tragically for the sake of others is… hmm, a little less than ideal. I think this was not of course the intended implication, and rather the author simply wanted to write about their fetish and also about lesbians. I think this could have been avoided if the story hadn’t so strongly leaned in to the concepts of the society of Harlvind being so inhospitable to queer women that dying is often preferable to living there, but I also understand if the author wanted to explore experiences with prejudice.

STEAMINESS
This is an incredibly steamy book filled with both vanilla lesbian sex scenes as well as incredibly esoteric vore fetish scenes. There are several flavours of vore featured here including traditional swallowing vore, vaginal vore, absorption vore, and others, and every single sex and vore scene is described with absolute loving and emotional detail. It was a beautiful read, and if you like incredibly sweet, consensual vore content, look no farther! I found, personally however, that the over emphasis on proper consent practises came off rather PSA-like, and it kind of killed the ‘mood’ for me as it were. That’s not to say it isn’t good; I am particular and vore already isn’t my number one fetish, so while I enjoyed it as a reading experience it didn’t rev my engines as it were. I prefer more violence, more angst and drama in my smut especially for such a hard kink as vore, but if you’re looking for vore content that is romantic and gentle, please give this a try, because it is written beautifully!

Definitely give this book a read if you’re into vore and/or lesbian fiction, it’s a lovely little number that will leave you satisfied. I really liked my time with it, though its a short enough read it packs enough of a punch to quite memorable.

Have you read Sacrifice of the Goddesses? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

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