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Nor Iron Bars a Cage (Don't Read in the Closet Events)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,919 Ratings  ·  263 Reviews
First I was a sorcerer. Then I was a hermit. For so long—for years that seemed to go on forever—I couldn't bear to be touched. I put up not just walls but whole stone bunkers to keep everyone out, emotionally, and physically as well. I was protected from people, from ghosts, from specters real and imagined. Sure, I was alone. But I felt safe. Only, after a while, I wasn't ...more
ebook, 244 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by M/M Romance Group @ goodreads
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Lyon was a sorcerer; started as an apprentice for Meldov. But for the past fifteen years he closed himself from the world. A tragic event with a wraith that took over his teacher's body and mind, and tortured Lyon, had forced Lyon to kill in order to survive. His right hand crippled and he suffered from nightmares. Until Tobin, one time Lyon's best friend, came to his front door, asking him to help the King.


Honestly, I don't know how Kaje Harper did it. The fact that she wrot
Jun 04, 2013 julio rated it liked it
Harper is so damned good at those action scenes.

I found the occasional anachronism frustrating, and one or two nits to pick in the plot, but for god's sake—100k words in a month and a half?

Aug 10, 2013 Nina rated it really liked it
First class romance, high quality light fantasy and top-notch writing.
I know, right? There's got to be a catch. Well, the worst thing I can say about this book is that it took a while for it to hit its stride, which is why it took me a week to read it.
As soon as it did, though, I was hooked. It's an intriguing, suspenseful and masterfully told story. The world that the author created is atmospheric and wholly satisfying, despite having as a basis the classic fantasy realm of kings, foreign tribe
Lisa Henry
Jun 03, 2013 Lisa Henry rated it really liked it
Love this one to bits. The world building is fantastic: rich, and dark, and wonderful. Lyon was a wonderful character -- crippled by his own past, and tormented by his memories of dark magic. And Tobin was a perfect hero: honourable, steadfast, and loving.

And Just wow. I think his emotional journey was even more satisfying than Lyon's. Just so full of sadness, and regret, and just beautifully realised.
...and now for something completely different. A different read for me as this was my first foray into fantasy and a different kind of story for Kaje Harper compared to her previous works to date.

I was a little sceptical about this story first as I haven't tried fantasy in the M/M genre to date. I LOVED it. Kaje's writing soon drew me into her fantasy world and didn't let me go for the whole visit to this faraway place with sorcerers, kings, ghosts, mages and magic.

Lyon is a recluse, possessed b
Jun 12, 2013 ttg rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars – Really enjoyable fantasy novel with very likeable and appealing characters. (And has the extra fantastic bonus of being free to download.)

I’m a fan of Harper’s mysteries and shifter books. I find her style excessively readable, and I always dig her characters and their relationships. This is her first “high fantasy” work, and I found it just as readable and enjoyable as her more “modern” world works.

The story focuses on Lyon, a sorcerer “in hiding,” from his past and from the world,
Oct 08, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it
Up until I started reading the, oh so addictive, M/M genre, fantasy was my bag. So imagine my delight when I found a book by one of my favourite authors that combines the two.

Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper was a delight to read. Lyon and Tobin were fantastic characters. Written in the first person from Lyon's POV we see how he struggles with events from his past and how, with Tobin's help, he is able to conquer his fears.

I loved the fantasy element details, they really kept the story moving
Kaje Harper
Jun 04, 2013 Kaje Harper added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-books
Available to read online on the Goodreads M/M group today (June first) and now, thanks to Jen taking pity on peoples' eyesight, also available for download. The download link is in the first post of the thread, after the picture and letter request, and also now in the url for the book listing here on GR. That link works even if you're not a group member.
Vivian ♪(┌・。・)┌
Truly, utterly and deeply romantic; the best thing about this book would have to be their relationship. Such genuine and delightfully real and endearing characters with a romance that charmed me right down to My toes. Tobin was absolutely amazing with his unending devotion, patience and love. One of the most memorable and amazing characters though would have to be Xan. It takes immense courage to overcome your own hatred and prejudices, and to go further than even that is simply amazing.

Other t
3.5 stars

This was especially hard for me to rate - and to review, I might add. I adored Lyon and Tobin. They were wonderful together, so sweet and loving. While I loved them, I was just so bored through parts of this book.

Lyon , who is a hermit, barely speaks to anyone and can’t bear to be touched, is contacted by the King to do some translating for him. The man sent to find Lyon is his childhood friend, Tobin. Tobin, not knowing that Lyon was even alive still, was ecstatic to see his old friend
Eric Westfall
Jun 04, 2013 Eric Westfall rated it it was amazing
I think I'm going to have to sacrifice my principles for Kaje Harper.


You see, I try to get the most "bang for the buck" when buying books and I think far too many ebooks are overpriced. Way overpriced. I figure that an average "mainstream" paperback, selling for $7.99, is about 300 pages. I have some quick math, based on the ebook price and page numbers (or word count) that tells me if my $3.99 ebook is the equivalent of a 350 page paperback at $7.99, or the equivalent of a $25 paperback.
God, this fits into almost all the shelves. There are so many elements to the long-short-story. This involved and intricate world-building fits perfectly with Harper's attention-to-detail style.

The care that has been taken with developing Lyon's backstory reaps rewards for readers when we see him work through his psychological issues with Tobin.

I love how Tobin never gives up on his lion-boy. So patient, so steady, so integral to Lyon's recovery.

The quest aspect was a lovely parallel to the roma
Jun 24, 2013 Vivian rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-pn, freebies
Strong fantasy adventure read with magic, mayhem, and true love.

When you get the second chance you never thought was possible--you hold on tight. Tobin and Lyon's friendship is beautiful; finding someone who can be strong for you when you need it, being able to relax. Love their journey and there are some great secondary characters--Xan, he stole my heart.

Favorite quote:
"He was my safety and my wall, the mirror in whose eyes I somehow looked brave and desirable."
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Kaje, Kaje, Kaje, how I feel as though you rule me with these words. Simply fantabulous.
Ahem, now then…

Lyon and Tobin – wait, I really can’t start there because it’s definitely Lyon that grabs you by the shabby shirt collar and just doesn’t let go, which makes sense because he’s finding it very difficult to do that himself. Of course, this makes sense considering what’s happened and what still has a firm hold on him and his days and his dreams. Being surrounded makes it difficult for anyone to
Jun 03, 2013 Octobercountry rated it it was amazing
I confess I have a certain weakness for tales about fellows who have gone through some traumatic experience in their past, and have withdrawn from the world as a result---only to be brought back to life, so to speak, by the love of a special man.

This story fits the trope perfectly; you can’t help but feel for Lyon when you hear what he went through as a young apprentice mage. Things went horribly wrong for him when he was 18, and he spent the following 15 years in seclusion, just trying to deal
Nov 04, 2014 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, magic, free, m-m
3.5 stars

This is the first non-contemporary I’ve read from Harper and I was very happy with it. She created a vivid world filled with magic and darkness. There was just enough of the magic/history/politics to get a good feel of the world, however it could have used more background/details on the sorcery and mages. There were a couple of parts that dragged, but for the most part I enjoyed the story.

First and foremost this is a story about Lyon, breaking through his stone walls (both physically a
First of all, that was exactly what I needed: magic, sorcery, good and evil. And boys, beautiful boys.

Second, this story was born into the fantastic happening that is Love Has No Boundaries within the m/m romance group here on Goodreads, and for an author to write an epic story like this one (100k words!) in some six weeks? Ridiculously gifted author. Really!

I adored the storyline, the world, the characters, especially Tobin. I adore a steady presence. I read it nice and slow, and really tried t
Nov 19, 2014 Mandapanda rated it really liked it
Amazing that the author can write a fantasy novel with considerable depth in such a short time. I was completely drawn in by the storyline. In particular in the beginning Lyon's agoraphobia and fears were excellently written. I was enjoying the story so much that the sex scenes didn't even feel necessary and I skimmed through them a little.
Jun 13, 2013 Sagajo rated it really liked it
This was a very good story. So good actually, that I think she should write mainstream fantasy, though this story had a bit too much erotica to be mainstream. Maybe an author capable of something like the Nightrunner series?
Ulysses Dietz
Jul 07, 2013 Ulysses Dietz rated it it was amazing
I am a Kaje Harper fan, and having read Kim Fielding's excellent "Brute" recently, this sounded like a good fit for my other-worldly-fantasy mood these days.

I was not disappointed.

Amazingly, this long novel (over 100,000 words) was part of a challenge competition (?) for writers, and was downloadable for free - a series of books and stories that are part of a "Love Has No Boundaries" effort to inspire authors based on an image and a letter prompting them to begin.

This is another of those books
Jun 06, 2013 Steelwhisper rated it it was amazing
This normally would have been somewhere between 3.75 and 4*, because I don't usually like fantasy that much and am terribly picky.

However, I enjoyed the ride Kaje gives me with this book, and I am simply blown away by her writing a 100k novel in such a short time and still putting out a quality story simultaneously! Kudos!

Recommended reading for everyone needing a longish out-time in m/m-landia!
Mar 18, 2014 Shelley rated it really liked it
I'm so sorry I forgot to leave a review for this book and now it's months later and I can only recall that I really, really liked it. Great magicks and a lovely romance? It's free and you should read it?

Sorry, I suck.
Such an unusual direction for one of my favorite authors. I had the privilege of reading it before she published and was blown away by it. I would love to read more like this. Kaje I love you!

Offered for FREE from the M/M Romance Group's Love Has No Boundaries event. Thank you too all the amazing authors who participated!

4.5 stars I was pleasantly surprised when reading this to find that it's a full length story, despite most of Don't Read In The Closet being comprised of shorts (although often good ones). The story was complex. The plot arc creative and intense. The characters real, genuine, and just fucking great! When I got to the end and saw the authors page and realized this was
Jun 04, 2013 Sunne rated it it was amazing
How can I explain?

I'm not a huge fantasy-fan. And then I read that Kaje Harper's LHNB-story would be fantasy. I was kind of reluctantly sure that I would like it but I wasn't sure that I would love it.

Baaam - hit in the heart, I love it. It is just adorable with wonderful MCs and the right amount of fantasy that was good for me.

Lyon is a deeply hurt man, he has a past of abuse (mental and physical rape). He has sworn off soccery and leads a quiet and reclusive life, balancing on the edge.

Tobin h
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
Kaje never disappoints. This is a finely crafted story, character driven with a great plot. Lyon has been hiding from the world for 15 years because of terror in his past. One day, that past comes knocking at his door, metaphorically as well as literally. It's a great examination of PTSD and moving forward, set in a fantastical realm where sorcery is real, but the characters and plot are rooted in realism. So many other authors would have gone for melodrama, but not Kaje. There's drama, yes, but ...more
Jul 03, 2016 Irina rated it liked it
Despite a slow first half of it, the story did pick up eventually, and I enjoyed that part much more. The turning point for me was a millennia-old ghost's story which I found fascinating and heartbreaking. Very interesting idea to explore, and I wanted to spend more time with Xan, learning of his ancient world.

***3.5 stars***
Kaje Harper does it again. This book is magic, love, pain, and renewal all wrapped up in one magnificent story. Beautiful story.
Chris, the Dalek King

A stone shelter.

Others may see the stone walls as some type of prison, but Lyon's seen prisons. They can be made of metal. They can be made of circles drawn. They can be made of flesh and bone. To him, the stone is the defense against a past that wakes in his dreams and marked his skin. For fifteen years he has been safe behind stone walls and iron bars.

A past that walks still.

Tobin was Lyon's best friend. His first boyhood love. The other half of a pair that was shattered by time and an evil th
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The Backlot Gay B...: Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper 8 59 Jul 08, 2013 04:30AM  
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“Each moment of love in the world lifts us all up. Any kind of love.” 3 likes
“I looked up at the shelf that held my books. I had dozens now. Faithful friends who took me on journeys without judgement and without pity.” 2 likes
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