REVIEW: Sorcha’s Story by Samuel Z Jones

While on a diplomatic mission to neghbouring Daricia, a young Silvan envoy is kidnapped and forced to join the harem of the rebel warlord Odacon Karmensis. Raised in militantly religious Silveneir, Sorcha must adjust to now being trained and used as a sex slave. But Odacon has darker plans for Sorcha and all his captive women. Warlord and sorcerer, he will use them to overcome the Darian Warmaster not by force of armies, but by the forbidden magic of Naril.

Warnings: Slavery, dubcon, mentions of noncon

Category: M/F, F/F

Sorcha’s Story is a fantasy novel in the tradition of the Gor series; a fantastical tale in a world of magic and adventure, but filled with BDSM fantasy. It is more explicit, and certainly more exciting, than Gor, and gives us an epic high seas adventure through civil war and wizard’s duels. It is followed by the sequel Sorcha’s Revenge, and makes for a good old fashioned romp if you’re looking for both magic and fantasy, as well as pretty ladies tied up and flogged.

WRITING
The story follows Sorcha through her sexual adventures as she and her fellow Silvan soldiers are captured and enslaved in Odacon’s harem. The first half of the book is the training and breaking in that the newly initiated sex slaves receive at the hands of their new masters and fellow slaves, while the second half focuses on a fairly loose plot involving the wizard-warrior Odacon battling other wizards for supremacy and using his magic to cultivate his women’s life force to do it. The story feels a little forced into the book, but wasn’t lacking in excitement. I appreciate the blend of fetish with fantasy, and found it at the very least entertaining in it’s fantastical tropes and adventures. I do wish that the Silvan warriors had been able to do more; the book tells us that they are skilled fighters and sailors but we are dropped immediately into their midst post-defeat rather than seeing them in their battle glory, and they all but one succumb to their new masters without any resistance, leaving the reader to have no real impression of them as warriors at all.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
There is little emotional depth to the characters, and they all fit into pretty one dimensional archetypes. That said, the author delivers pretty good dialogue and character interaction which does a lot of the heavy lifting to make up for this. There are a few very believable relationships developed over the course of the story and the feelings characters come to have for each other, either positive or negative, is pretty well explored. However, Sorcha herself is a bit inconsistent as a character, and I wish that the author had had a firmer grasp of what makes her tick. Since a large portion of her character development concerns a sexual awakening and coming to grips with her own sexually repressive society forcing down her own sexuality, I would have liked to see her wrestle more with the shift in her ways of thinking about sex, and with religious guilt. She’s also quite wishy washy in terms of her submission, and when she makes her escape it seems to come out of nowhere. There are also side characters that I thought would have made more interesting leads, like the one Silvan who actually resisted training. Odacon, too, could have been better fleshed out. I wanted this villainous and powerful master of the harem to be more… impressive, personality-wise, but instead he’s overly cartoonish in his arrogance in a way that feels much less imposing and more posturing.

WORLDBUILDING
Worldbuilding is pretty standard; there are various countries in this quasi-medieval world, and they have varying kinds of political ties to each other. Silvans are an ascetic matriarch of warrior women, who shun sexuality and sexual desire. There are wizards that do battle and kings and warrior queens and it’s all very generic in terms of it’s landscape, though the politics do have potential. What it does do very well is it’s magic system, which involves siphoning life energy from bonded subjects, implemented by magically applied tattoos on all of the harem women. I really liked all the descriptions of magic use and Odacon’s battles, and thought that the author did a good job at weaving magic into the D/s inherent to the book’s concepts.

STEAMINESS
While there is a lot of sex in this book, it was more visually descriptive than emotionally, and the scenes lacked an experiential quality. For a book mostly about sex, it didn’t really linger much on most of it, though it does cover a wide array of kinks and features bondage, flogging, D/s ect, all of which does make for fun reading. It didn’t really go hard enough for my tastes; I would have preferred to have been in the POV of the side character who had managed to resist being broken in, as she apparently got much rougher treatment, and psychological development from it. The descriptions of how she came to feel for the trainer, the combination of adoration and hatred would have been much more interesting fare to explore, rather than the almost immediate acquiescence we see in Sorcha to her new position.

All in all Sorcha’s Story has a lot of very interesting ideas and concepts, and there is a lot in it that I enjoyed quite a bit. While it didn’t manage to come together for me the way I would have liked it to, I thought there was a lot of potential in it, and it’s certainly one to get if you’ve read the Gor series and wished there was more smut, or if you’ve read the Sleeping Beauty series and wished there was more magic.

Have you read Sorcha’s Story? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s