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Like Fire Through Bone

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  95 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Vasilios Eleni has learned to make the best of life as a eunuch and valued slave in the household of a wealthy silk merchant. When he begins having dreams of a demon who steals away children and eats them alive, Vasilios's well-ordered life begins to unravel. General Markos Ozdemir has been ordered by the Emperor to investigate the kidnapping and murder of children from th ...more
ebook, 244 pages
Published September 13th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 21st 2012)
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Rating details
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Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! Over the last few days I went to another time, to another universe. EE created a vivid, beautiful, and also very tragic fantasy world.

‘Like Fire Through Bone’ tells the story of eunuch Vasilios Eleni, how he endures many challenges, stands up bravely to help those in need, how he falls in love, and finally finds hope and a future that is his own.
I very much enjoyed to read Vasilios’s story and I was so very happy for him in the end. If anyone deserves a happy ending, it sur
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gb-picked, owned-dsp
Unusual and engrossing tale with a well-developed viewpoint character. The intriguing slow-burn romance shared focus with a nicely paced linear plot.

Vasilios is a slave and full eunuch (castratus, lacking all external genitalia) in a wealthy family, where his duties involve bookkeeping and household administration. He is not a bed slave, although his owner has occasionally made use of him so. Now in his thirties, Vasilios’ future is uncertain. His owner is in poor health, and as property, Vasili
Sonia ~Ruber's fiancé in Crystal Court universe~


Did you expect a coherent and eloquent review from me?

Well, the joke's on you! Cause I can't!

This books was beautiful, heartbreaking, cruel, heartwarming, gentle, romantic, gruesome.... Yes! You read that right! It's all of these things!

I absolutely adore Vasilios and I'm helplessly in love with Markos..

Just one thing I want to mention, when deciding to start this book don't expect your average romance story.. This is about longing, about having the patience to wait for the one you love, a
Laurence C.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I would like to preface this by admitting that I have not read a lot of m/m romance (maybe one or two over the past several years, I can't even recall any titles). I was aware of a few tropes, however, that made me reluctant to try it again. But I was whining about things as usual the other day, and my partner pretty much put the book in my hand and said, "If you're so bored, read this." And honestly, I'm glad that I did, because it's got me thinking that perhaps I should give m/m more of a chan ...more
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I need to think and breathe.
Okay. This book is going towards my "Scared to read" for my personal challenge. It wasn't marked as so, but I hadn't read the blurb, if I had, I would have been too scared to read it. Whatever, it makes sense to me.

I know I typically get something different out of reading something than what everyone else does. I think once all is said and done, this was a beautiful story. It was well written, creating an world I could vividly see and hear and I had no trouble imagin
Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Trix by: Riayl
Well, this was disappointing. 1.5 stars worthy.

I assumed this was meant to be an alternate universe or some sort, where society approved of slaves and eunuchs. But some of the masters did all the work in the house, letting the slaves rest (or maybe they just did that with Vasilios only). Can't say how many times I rolled my eyes at having Markos or Nereida take care of Vasilios. Bottom line was partway into the story, I couldn't really understand the dynamics between the characters. I felt cut o
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was...certainly something. I was very excited to read it, and the premise (pseudo-Byzantine fantasy world, impending supernatural doom, lots of derring-do and a happy romo ending, etc.) seemed awesome. Unfortunately, some major unaddressed worldbuilding issues left me feeling pretty disappointed. I like to think I've got a high threshold for suspension of disbelief but as soon as elements of real-life Christianity started showing up (Mary and Gabriel are mentioned by name at least once ...more
Jeff Erno
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I guess I'd have to call this a historical paranormal fantasy although the setting was actually a fictional world similar to the Roman Empire. The story's main character, Vasilios Eleni, is a eunuch. He wasn't born a slave, though, but was captured during his adolescence and castrated. He was then trained as a slave, forced to serve both as a household servant and sexual slave (like a concubine). The castration process was quite extreme. Not only were the testicles removed, but the entire penis ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: Denise
This novel was doing a few different things. First, there's a Byzantine-esque fantasy world, and all the important characters in the story are eunuch household servants to high-status people. Then, there's haunted dreams, a demon, and a monk who is half-snake. Finally this is capped by eunuch-on-male erotica. More about the character of Vasilios (with spoilers) on Disruptive Dissertation.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
A pretty good book. Not what I was expecting, but the world building was great. Unfortunately, the ending felt a little flat for me because I feel the MCs personal matters haven't been resolved and I was left with questions that need answering.

Anyway, great book for anyone who wants a solid historical paranormal/fantasy without the romance overpowering everything else.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Actually, three and a half stars. I didn't like the sex scenes at the end. It just seemed awkward and pointless.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
The formula is about 60% romance / 40% fantasy, for whatever that means to you.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Maarja by: Mel
The story was tough to read in places, but well-written, and I loved the ending! :) Thanks for the rec, Mel!
Sigh. Let's see.
The world building starts off weak; I was sure for a long time that the story took place in some shadowy, confusing fantasy world, but then it was made clear that the dominant religion is christianity and I was completely thrown off. I spent a ridiculous ammount of time then trying to figure out if the author actually used a historical setting, but things don't quite fit. I looks like someone took big chunks of a bunch of real cultures and thew them into a mixer, and didn't do a
It could have been a lot better than it ended up being. Which is a damn shame.

The setting is pseudo-historical, with bits and pieces that don't quite seem to fit, but since it also appears to be fantasy later on, I'll let that go.

It took me a while to get into it. Luckily, it had a few quite evocative scenes early on that got me wanting to know more about Vasilios.

I think, throughout it all, Vasilios' character was very engaging. He's active, but passive, all at once, even, and so lucid that yo
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent story. I felt that one of the strengths of this book is that it was about Vasilios and his life and his emotional evolution (I hesitate to say growth because that seems to imply immaturity which is definitely not a word I would apply to Vasilios and what he went through was more of a metamorphosis, maybe?) with the investigation secondary to that and the romance almost in the background but constantly threaded through the story holding it together.

A variety of interesting characters so
Thomaidha Papa
3 Hearts
Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Okay so, I start reading this book and I had to force myself to put it down last night and get some sleep (yeah, I do that) only to pick it up first thing in the morning. That said, when it ended I was left with the incredulous look and a thought spinning in my head drilling over and over “was that it?” and turning the next page just in case I missed something. The happily for now ending and the not so satisfactory closure spoiled the entire read fo
Jul 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Christian mythology set in the Holy Roman Empire. The mythology is done fairly creatively, and the use of a eunuch is creative. But the story is paced very poorly, with a somewhat interesting beginning, a loooooong slooooow middle, and speeding up again toward the end.

As slavefic you'll be disappointed to know that there is no sex to speak of (two scenes, consensual, toward the end) . And the overall theme seems to be "slaves have choices" which is an odd choice even given that this is supposed
First time I've read this author, and I thought it was a very interesting story. The premise of a slave who is also a eunuch, and how he comes to terms with his elevated yet limited place in society was rather fascinating.

I was very much pulled into this alternate universe, and it read like a historical, religious quest, adventure, with a touch of paranormal...sitting here trying to figure out where I would place it in my reading experience.

I did find I came to relate to the MC's struggles, and
Oct 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mm-romace

This was a book that had the possibility to be a great fantasy book, now it fell just short.

Set in a fantastical land called the Empire, and the protagonist being an eunuch, and having paranormal influences, this book was a mix of a lot of good things. I liked the world building, but still I felt that I missed something, but it wasn't much, and I can't tell you exactly what felt wrong. The names struck me as unnecessarily difficult in the beginning, and reminded me of this comic I saw about a w
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, my-e-things
3.5 stars. Enjoyable historical paranormal fantasy. Vasilios is a great character and this is really his story of finding his place in the world. He's an owned eunuch, well into his thirties, who's starting to wonder about his future. The writing is solid and the story moves along steadily and quietly and matter-of-factly. The world is vivid and well-developed and the story is interesting, though I didn't feel very emotionally connected to this book. This isn't really a romance, but there's a re ...more
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An fantasy with heavy Egyptian dynasty influence on the setting.

I've read and enjoyed quite a few books where the protagonist is an eunuch of high standing. It's a popular trope. This one is of that ilk.

It's enjoyable and intriguing especially in terms of religion vs demons and creatures that seem undefinable.

I thought the "romance" was rather trite. When that subplot took center stage, it felt like I was reading a poorly written bodice ripper romance.
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My recommendation from this weeks's reading:

I read this book almost at a sitting and enjoyed every word of it. Very highly recommended. If you want a standard romance structure you might be a little disappointed in the slightly ambiguous ending but for me it was perfect for Vasilios and an ending that is good for the character has to be better than one that panders to readers tastes doesn’t it? Get it, read it. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.
Ashley E
Like Fire Through Bone isn't a traditional romance. It's a fascinating historical paranormal mystery, with angels and demons of the very biblical sort. But along with baby-eating Old Ones and secondary characters that absolutely rocked, there's also a very sweet love between General Markos and the seeing eunuch Vasilios. I am so glad that the author didn't shy away from the sex scenes when we finally came down to it, even with Vasilios being as he is. It made the story that much more satisfying ...more
Heloise West
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
10 stars, fantastic story, loved every moment, and couldn't put it down. Satisfying and fascinating.
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queer, disabled, trans man, author, sometimes historian, all around nerd . . . pronouns are: they/them/their or he/him/his
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