Mackenzie's Reviews > Song of Oestend

Song of Oestend by Marie Sexton
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's review
Aug 28, 2011

really liked it
Read from August 27 to 28, 2011 — I own a copy

Marie Sexton, don't ever stop writing. Please.

I was predisposed to feel all kinds of icky for this book because there's an m/m/m warning. As much as I love Marie Sexton, I really don't enjoy it when she makes her main couples in the story do things with other man (such as what her Coda series characters Zach and Angelo do). So when I first heard about the book, I didn't rush to the front line to grab it and read it. But I came around because I love Ms. Sexton's writing too much to pass up this one and... I'm immensely relieved that I didn't give up on it.

Song of Oestend is the first story that she wrote where the setting is in a 'fantasy' realm. I put the quotation mark there because when I say 'fantasy', it's not really in the way that Middle Earth and Westeros are fantasy realms. The place this story takes place, Oestend, bears so much resemblance to the wherever in America that cowboys live and ranches exist, so while the name suggests that the story takes place not in our world, the setting itself is very familiar and its concept easy to grasp. That's good because if you're a fan of Marie Sexton, you'll notice that all of her stories are set in the real world so this proves that this author can still make things work despite doing something different than what she usually does.

Anyway the characters themselves are a marvel to read about. What I like about her characters is that they usually defy stereotype. When I first started reading, the first half of the main couple, Aren, comes across as a soft, sensitive man and the other half, Deacon, is the manly, butch, take-charge one. Naturally, I'm assuming that Aren will be the one doing the pining and the submitting and generally become the bottom of this relationship. As it turns out, their dynamics is not like that at all. Somewhere in the middle of the story, Aren suddenly takes charge - not only of his life and his feelings for Deacon, but also of Deacon himself. It's jarring and yet, at the same time, it's very attractive. I'm thinking, if I ever meet a guy like Aren... I'd probably be idolizing him and ask him to be my mentor. The quiet strength that Aren displays is perhaps slightly too good to be true, but damn if it's not sexy! I love being surprised when I read and Sexton does this very smoothly to me by showing the changes in Aren's personality.

Another thing that surprises me is how gore and violence play heavily into the plot. Deacon's brash personality and his penchant for hitting insubordinate ranch hands... they're not something that can easily be digested if you're used to of the sweetness/cuteness of the Coda series. It's rather shocking when I first read about how easily Deacon punches someone in the face or how easily he can tell people to cut someone else's throat. And later when a very bloody scene occurred in the middle of the story, I had to stop reading for a while because it was outrageously gory. However, this serves to underline the fact that this story does not take place in our world. You end up realizing that "no, this can't be our world, because this guy would've gone to jail in our world. And yet, he's a hero for doing all that thing."

Unfortunately, the plot itself is rather predictable. The supernatural element that manifests itself in the legend of the wraiths in the story and the additional ghost story that haunts the book's characters are very well thought out, but it's not spooky enough to properly give you the chills. Perhaps that's good, but I was kind of let down by the fact that even I managed to figure out what was going on in the story. It makes the twist a little bit less twisted, although I have to admit it doesn't take the charm too much out of the story.

I also feel that I must address the menage part of the book that was the reason for my reluctance to read it. If anyone were to ask me how it turned out, well, I would say that there's honestly nothing to worry about. I won't be able to say much about it without spoiling too much of the plot, but I confess to liking the menage scene very much. One, it's because the third person involved in the menage is a character I adore (whom I hope will be getting his own book in the future). Two, it's because the scene itself is very well-written. That is to say, very, very hot. So if anyone is wondering whether the menage scene would be a hindrance to enjoying the story, I would suggest them to try to keep and open mind and give this book a chance anyway.

I hope Sexton will continue writing in this verse. It'd be very interesting to see what happens to some of the other characters whose journey continues after the end of this book. The clues are already in place and I think a second book is imminent anyway. When and if that sequel comes out, that time I'm pretty sure I'll be first in line to read it!
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami THANK YOU for the very indepth review ( you should do it more often). I'm reading this right now, along with another mainstream book. Hopefully all my doubts will be erased :)

message 2: by Heather C (new) - added it

Heather C Great review!

Ami, I hope you enjoy it

Mackenzie Ami wrote: "THANK YOU for the very indepth review ( you should do it more often). I'm reading this right now, along with another mainstream book. Hopefully all my doubts will be erased :)"

Ach, you know me. I only review when I'm in the mood. Haha, but yeah, I have two other reviews coming up. Let me just get in the zone first so I won't botch up the words. :P

Mackenzie Heather C wrote: "Great review!

Ami, I hope you enjoy it"

Thank you!

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