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Truth in the Dark
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Truth in the Dark

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,277 ratings  ·  336 reviews
"I am not beautiful..."

Knife's entire existence has been as twisted as his flesh and his face. The only thing beautiful in his life is his sister. When Gwennie is obliged to turn a suitor down because she fears to leave her brother to the brutality of their village, Knife is desperate for anything to ensure her happiness.

Her suitor's cousin offers him a way out, but it won...more
ebook, 1st Edition, 186 pages
Published June 16th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
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Truth in the Dark by Amy LaneDuck! by Kim DareCinder by Marie SextonThe Pedlar and the Bandit King by Kirby CrowInk and Paper by Megan Derr
Best Gay books based on fairytales
1st out of 136 books — 278 voters
Luck in the Shadows by Lynn FlewellingCaptive Prince by C.S. PacatStalking Darkness by Lynn FlewellingTruth in the Dark by Amy LaneWicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale
Best Gay Fantasy Romance
4th out of 439 books — 714 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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it's been over a year since i read this, and i still—

—when the whiskey flows and the cocaine blows and the moon is quite high in the sky of an evening

—still find myself cornering people at parties, quietly and earnestly explaining to them at length how some stories stay with us across the millennia, and why they're still worth telling, and what it is in these bronze-age murmurings that helps us feel less alone under a sky full of stars all dead a million years before any of us ever l...more
Damon Suede
As a story model for romance, Eros and Psyche is hard to beat. There's a reason that Beauty & the Beast succeeds so completely when it's presented in a new incarnation whether its Cocteau or Disney.

First things first, Amy Lane is a haunting, subtle, skilled writer who refuses to settle for easy solutions. Every book she's written carries pain and secrecy thumping inside its ribs like a dark heart. Faced with the "update a fairytale" challenge, she's not going to settle for a facile approach....more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I'm going to go right out and say it:

This is my favorite Amy Lane book. Hands down.

It is the work of a master.

I got chills while reading it, honest-to-goodness chills running up and down my arms. I started this book right before going to the gym tonight and worked out half-heartedly in a daze. My mind was fully entranced in the world that Amy Lane created. After working out (maybe??), I read this book in my freezing cold car, not wanting to put it down to drive the three blocks to my house, kn...more
2.5 stars

A very unusual take on one of my favourite fairytales Beauty and Beast sadly it didn't quite live up to expectations. I struggled to feel a connection or affection for Knife or Aerie. Despite being an emotional and highly charged story I was strangely unaffected for most of it, there were a few sad moments here and there but not enough for me to say this was brilliant. I could go on but I won't as I seem to be in the minority with this one.
Sep 07, 2014 Natsroshan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Natsroshan by: Anne McPherson
I'm not a fan of fairy tales in general, so I hesitated a lot before I read it. What a shame. (I should really stop doing this, I often let a book hang in my TBR for stupid reasons!)

The dialogues are captivating, the story is moving to tears, very funny sometimes ...
Naef is endearing in his self-pity, but my preference goes to Aerie-Smith (a really weird name lol) whom I found very noble. That's what Nael needed and he found it.

Thank you Amy Lane for making me spend such a good time.
Quick description about this book:

Love... this book is a Fairy Tale about LOVE

Naef is a tortured soul and body. Born with a disability and a "repulsive" body he don't know how to be kind. He love his sister and his mother, and his world is his work, as a woodcraft. When he is working with his knives and doing art with wood he can express all the beauty he would like to see in his life. Only he will be the narrator, and don't fool yourself thinking that is a "fairy-tale" where the narrator talk w...more
T.A. Webb
In a small coastal town on the Archipelago, Naef was born. Club footed, awkward, pained and shunned, he was nonetheless loved and cherished by his sister Gwen and his mother. Gwen was his protector, companion and confidant. He could at least feel normal with her.

Then, when he was but twelve, the young men of the village, in the way such boys will do, attacked and violated Naef. In that moment, the young man decided there must be no value to him. So he started to become as twisted and pained insi...more
May 11, 2014 Lola rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of: M/M romance, Beauty and The Beast and retellings.
Recommended to Lola by: Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

I'm so glad I haven't waited much longer before reading this beathtaking love story. Thank you very much Heather for the recommendation!

Naef may not first seem to you like the kind of guy you'd like to have as a friend, but I came to really like his character and his honesty. Although, I feel like he's the kind of character you really have to 'know' to understand and maybe connect with. The writing is fast-paced and very nice indeed and the story WON-DER-FUL. The story starts with him being 'ug...more
~~D✡ni ♥ ♂♂ smex & semi-colons~~
This was a fantasy, erotic retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I found both frustrating and lovely.

I needed more details about Naef and Aerie-Smith's relationship; as such, I wasn't sure why either would fall in love with the other and why Naef was chosen to "save" the island in the first place. Aerie-Smith was a little too perfect, and Naef was a little too self-loathing (I understand he had a shit life, but the characterization of that fell mostly to him being bitter and hateful and sweari...more
There are good books and great books and then there are books you can read again and again and never get tired of, books that grab you, suck you in and make you fly. This is one of them.

Naef is an ugly clubfooted cripple,despised by everyone but his mother and sister. Living in a twisted body has left him bitter and disillusioned, and so he's beyond wary when a stranger appears on his native island, claiming he wants to hire Naef as a "companion for a year with a regrettable task at the end". I...more
I might review later...when my chest stops hurting and the tears dry up.
Christina Marie
Damn. Amy Lane punches me right in the emotions EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So, it took me awhile to get into this. I actually thought for a second that I finally found an Amy Lane book I didn't like (not that I was looking). I think I was just having some trouble connecting with the characters for a little bit.

That was quickly remedied. Somewhere around 20% I was dragged fully into the story, and I did end up really enjoying this.

And then, towards the end, I could not stop crying. Not sad tears. No....more
Kaje Harper
This book is structured as a fairy tale, but Knife, the narrator, is one of the most real characters Lane has created. The story allows Lane to be more lyrical and poetic in her language than anything else of hers that I have read, but there is an interesting human relationship in there as well. There are moments of humor, and elements of universal truth. The narrative voice is occasionally glaringly modern in its phrasing, but somehow it works with the character and the story. Well worth the re...more
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
This is the type of book I could reread numerous times and never get bored with or stop myself from crying while reading it. It's such a sweet story, a fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.

I connected with the characters right from the start. Naef and Aerie-Smith buried themselves into my heart. Their pain was my pain, their happiness was my happiness. And no matter how many times I read this it always feels like I'm reading it for the first time. Experiencing the curse, watching Naef find himsel...more
Vivian Archer
Nov 05, 2013 Vivian Archer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vivian by: Don Bradshaw
Shelves: erotica-fantasy
Love isn't blind. Love transforms.

Respun Fairy Tales are not my usual fare, but I have to say that this one rocks. From the vitriolic spewing to the cruelty and charm I was thoroughly engaged and vacillating between smirks and smiles. It is a worthwhile retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Naef is a tormented soul in a twisted body. His physical pain is only exceeded by the psychological.
I tried very hard not to ponder the horrible irony that I was too ugly to love, and too ugly not to violate.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Wow. A really powerful story!

This is one of my favorites, I love fairytales and true love and this has that.
I did wish for a slightly different resolution to one issue, but I can overlook it because the rest of this book is just plain awesome.
Heather C
This was such an beautiful story.

What defines beauty? Is it who you are on the inside? Is it who you are on the outside? Or is it what your beloved sees in you...flaws and all.

So there lies the Truth of Naef and Aerie-Smith. Inspired by the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, with some interesting twists. Naef, or shall I say 'Knife', broke my heart! (view spoiler) Although I didn't cry I did feel st...more
When I first started this I really didn't think it was going to be for me, but the more I read the more my imagination was captured.While it follows along the lines of Beauty and the Beast it becomes much more. At times I was a little put off by Naef/Knifes speech, but then I realise that it was in fact extremely accurate for him. After all a bitter twisted soul will spout bitter twisted words.

For me the ending was perfect in the way it didn't have a perfect fairy tale ending. Amy Lane again sh...more
Amy Lane's re-telling of 'Beauty and the Beast' with a gay twist. An unusual yet intriguing fantasy told from Naef's pov in the first person. An odd use of english profanity to my British ears!

Bitter abused cripple Naef (Knife) is taken as companion by lion man Aerie-Smith to his island where Naef undergoes a dramatic transformation.

'I was terrified of my weakness, of my sharp tongue, of my every flaw. I was terrified that this moment, my chance to live in happiness for however short a time we m...more
'We are good at seeing the truth in the dark, right?'
This is a wonderful spin on beauty and the beast theme. I spent more than half of this book crying. Don't worry, it might not affect you the same. I cry when reading.

The protagonist Knife is a brave choice: he is actually deformed and ugly. It is not just in his head. He had a childhood from nightmares except in his own home. There his mother and sister loved him unconditionally. When he gets an opportunity to stop being an albatross aroun...more
I love fairy tales and I love Amy Lane and when they come together, it's magical.

Once upon a time, there lived a boy named Naef. Naef was not a beautiful boy, in fact everyone in his village thought him ugly. People were cruel to young Naef and when very bad things happened to him, he became Knife. Knife was a bitter, angry man whom none dared get close to. One who decided that it was better if his inside matched his outside because when people can't get close, they can't hurt you. Then one day...more
Truth in the Dark is one of my favorite stories of the year. Lane takes the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and makes a story that is moving, emotional, funny, raunchy, and filled with all the expected life lessons. It’s also terribly romantic, which suits the soft spot in my heart for these types of stories. While the story likely never would have worked as a contemporary, keeping the magical atmosphere lets readers suspend all disbelief and sink into the core of why everyone loves fair...more
Jan 25, 2012 Simsala rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Simsala by: Mandy*reads obsessively*
Shelves: m-m, fantasy
2,5 stars

Fairytale - a short story with a simple black-and-white world outlook
and a message/moral shouted from the highest rooftop - written for children.
This adult version was not short,I`m not deaf and perhaps I lost my inner child but I really missed the shades of gray.
Excellent m/m version of Beauty and the Beast about a bitter, disfigured woodcarver who agrees to leave with a strange part man, part beast so that he will no longer be a barrier to his sister's happiness.
Don Bradshaw
A truly remarkable and heart warming book about the power of love. Naef, a young misshapen man with a bitter attitude, leaves his home to spend a year as the companion to Aerie-Smith, a cursed man with the body of a lion. Naef does this unselfish act in the hopes of giving his sister a chance at true love. Aerie-Smith's island is under a curse placed by the fae that has turned all of the inhabitants into animals who are slowly losing their humanity. Naef discovers that the curse has somehow wor...more
4.5 Stars

Wow. As I've mentioned before, Amy Lane is hit and miss with me. *ducks and jives to avoid being pelted by rotten tomatoes* I know, I know! I'm sorry, but it's true. However, I'm happy to report that AL hit this one outta the park! This charming take on the "Beauty and the Beast" concept was thoroughly enjoyable.

I felt that Aerie-Smith's (view spoiler)...more
Missy Welsh
Oh, this one cut right to the bone for me. I cried in that startled-into-a-sob sort of way a few times here simply for how the whole story laid Naef bare over and over again. Everything about this book sliced a little deeper the longer I read. It's a fairytale and I applaud everything Amy Lane did with it. In between the stark realities and Naef's growing pains were laugh-out-loud moments I actually highlighted simply because I could. Great book. Highly recommended. (Forgive me all the knife-rel...more
I haven't really read any fantasy books so this one was a little strange for me to read in the beginning and I hadn't expected to enjoy it as much as I did. I know this was sort of a Beauty and the Beast type story, it was still unique and enjoyable to read. I liked the characters and the snarkiness. I think what I like the most is that even though there was a happy ending, it was far from perfect.
Bubbles  Hunty Honest & Direct Opinions
It was good. it wasn't as sad as i thought it would be which i was thankful for, happy to say i never cried while reading this one
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Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail u...more
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“You cannot take a person's humanity and then retain your own” 25 likes
“Sex was lovely. Sex was sublime. Sex was flesh and cock and suck and fuck and come. This night sex was starlight. Sex was oxygen. Sex was us, and we were beautiful, beautiful and perfect in each other's arms.” 17 likes
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