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A Taste of Honey
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A Taste of Honey

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  1,158 Ratings  ·  320 Reviews
Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.

Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pres
Kindle Edition, 160 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by
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Ambre I don't think you have to, but it does give some backstory that you won't get. I loved both books, though.

Community Reviews

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May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i liked this one much more than The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. which is surprising, since it’s basically a romance with some fantasy overlay, and i’ve never been a big fan of romance tales. the relationship is m/m, so it’s less harlequin, more meaty (heh), but yeah - it’s a fairly traditional story of star-crossed lovers whose passion is beset by social obstacles and familial obligations of the arranged-marriage variety set in the same world as The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps and maybe the free tor ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's a lot to love in this novella that has been nominated for this year's Hugo award, not least being the exquisite worldbuilding, the delightful mastery of SF tropes in a firm fantasy (and godly) base, and wonderfully drawn characters over the span of their whole lives.

But what I believe people are going to be most focused on is the fact that this is a male on male romance for the ages as seen through a unique culture that has roots deep and familiar but not so familiar as to be ordinary at
Elena May
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally! I’ve been reading all Hugo finalist novellas in preparation for my vote, and so far it’s been horror, horror, horror, Lovecraft, some more horror. It’s all been good, but I’ve been craving some nice fantasy, and here it is!

Vivid world-building, intriguing characters, and a compelling m/m romance. This is a story of choices, paths not taken, and unlived lives, that will stay with you long after you reach the last page. Though I did have a couple of issues with the romance itself, in part
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Essentially, a gay romance in a lush fantasy setting of The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. Lovely.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: genre-sff, poc
This review is really hard to write because it’s very important to not give anything away – which would ultimately ruin the book – yet still explain and show enough, so you can see why I loved this book.

What stands out for me are

★ the language used
★ the non-chronological use of time and narration
★ the setting

I find it actually hard to explain why I like the language so much. Compared to a lot of other books it’s very distinct; both full of imagery and simplicity, yet seeming incredibly smart.

K.J. Charles
This was a fascinating read. Extremely bold storytelling with a dizzying ending and astonishing scope for a novella. We're plunged into a new world of huge complexity and detail, the story leapfrogs back and forth, there's a huge amount to infer and a lot of people to get to know very intimately, and the author pulls it off. Masterly. I didn't get into Sorceror of the Wildeeps, it felt a bit epic fantasy for me (personal taste, not a criticism) but this was brilliant. And demonstrates once again ...more
Althea Ann
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
After 'The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps' I had extremely high expectations for this novella. It didn't quite live up to them, but the quality of the writing alone makes the book more than worthwhile.

In the kingdom of Olorum, the young Aqib is proud of his status and position: he is set to follow in his father's footsteps and become the head animal trainer to the royal court. He sees his future ahead of him: a suitable marriage, arranged by his family, a secure position toward the top of his hierarch
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
All I can say is wow! This pushed every fantasy geek button I have. All I know is I haven't been thunderstruck by a novel since in forever. Beautiful, complex, lyrical, the kind of immersive fantasy that I love. Characters who are multifaceted, real. A world of humans and gods and powers. There is love and loss, humor and sorrow. This little book packs a punch and says more in its few pages than some books do in entire trilogies.
For most of the book my rating was close to 2 stars, and only the last 25 pages or so raised it to three, because that was simply beautiful.

The rest, though, depends heavily on whether or not you like author's language. Oh, there are other things too. Like the world is interesting in itself, and then there are human relationships. Aqib and his daughter was particularly touching, him and his brother - quite painful.
Though if you want to read this because of the romantic storyline - don't hold yo
Richard Derus
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 5* of five

I'm pissed at a review of mine having a pull-quote used without my knowledge. So I'm back to posting links to my blog.

My warble of joy after reading this beautiful and deeply sad and absolutely true story can be read at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.
Cam (abookeater)
You'd think that with how short this book is, it would leave you wanting just a bit more.

Kai Ashante Wilson has the amazing talent of creating a world so rich and so beautiful with little words and pages. From the start, I was hooked. It's not everyday you read about an all black cast in high fantasy. Even rarer are the queer characters but A Taste of Honey has it all.

It's a beautiful, heart-wrenching story about love, sacrifices and identity. I hope everyone has the chance to pick it up becaus
Bob Milne
Too much disjointed romance and too little plot development for my tastes. Felt more like snippets and scenes than a cohesive story.
Monica **can't read fast enough**
I enjoyed this one more than The Sorcerer of Wildeeps, but I think that Wilson's writing style may just not be one that I enjoy. Full review to come.
Hélène Louise
As for my first read of the author, The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, I was charmed by Kai Ashante Wilson's very personal writing; I love when good authors (and they must be good or the result would be catastrophic) let their readers guess the world, all along the story. A story without any info-dump at all. His style is very lively, and direct, with, sometimes, some sentences of his own musings.
Of course this kind of writing can be frustrating, and I wouldn't recommend it to a large public. But if
Naz (Read Diverse Books)
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ownvoices
I'll rarely turn away Fantasy novel or novella with m/m romance! I really enjoyed this one. It starts with the meeting of Aqib and Lucrio, the smell of forbidden love is strong in the air. They quickly fall for each other, but Lucrio is only visiting for a short while before he returns to his faraway home country. Will they remain together or will familial obligations and duty to his country prevent Aqib from being with Lucrio? The answer to this question is up in the air for most of the novel a ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library, queer, sff
This was beautiful. I completely adored the writing and I found this so engaging. It's the story of two star-crossed lovers in a fantasy desert kingdom (where there are tame cheetahs!). The ending is marvellous. The worldbuilding is gorgeous and fascinating and just really cool. This is a lovely novella with a beautiful cover (and one of my favourite authors, Ginn Hale, praised it on the back cover!). This novella is nominated for a 2017 Hugo Award and it's very good. I look forward to reading m ...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful story of love and life and making decisions.
After having read The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps I found my way much faster into the writing and the story. And I think is it fascinating to see how much of a character and a world the author can bring to life in such a short text. You don't miss anything and nothing is dragged on too long.
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I honestly honestly loved this. Wilson definitely cementing his place as one of my favourite new fantasy authors.

- The world-building! This is definitely where Wilson shines. It was a joy to watch the world and its customs and norms unfold around me as I read further and further into the story. Gods as real beings who sometimes deign to visit humanity, the intricacies of the Cousinry, all the societal norms and mores... I loved it all.
- The prose! I love Kai Ashante Wilson's prose so much,
Laura Kehoe
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of A Taste of Honey from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There were a lot of reasons I was really excited to read A Taste of Honey: the premise sounded awesome, POC and LGBTQ+ characters, and there's a freaking cheetah on the front cover. With all that, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my excitement.

A Taste of Honey centers around Aqib bgm Sadiqi, who falls in love with a soldier from a visiting nation, Lucrio. Now, I
Book Riot Community
Coming off the beauty and success of last year’s Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson once again welcomes us to his world of dragons and quantum physics, powers beyond belief and a world as real, as gritty, as strange, and as wondrous as ours. But this time, our hero is not the god-child mercenary Demane, but a young, estranged member of the royal family thousands of years before, a gifted keeper of beasts for the nobility of Olorum, Aqib bgm Sadiqi, whose night wanderings with his cheet ...more
2017 Hugos nominee for Best Novella. It was far more readable than This Census-Taker (because goddamn), and a+ for diversity and some fairly interesting fantasy details (I loved Aqib's daughter Lucretia, and her son), and there's a bit of a twist in the ending... but that last page was underwhelming, and for all that time spent with these characters, I'm not left with so much of an impact? It's doing something wrt roads-not-taken, second-guessing yourself, found family, and abusive childhoods, b ...more
Actual rating: 4.5 stars
WOW this was absolutely gorgeous, I was hooked and honestly did not see that end coming at all. The writing style in this felt unique and was beautiful. (view spoiler)
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed it. It's a short fantasy story, fab world building although at times seriously grim with a thread of romance. I must say I had a few tears but it was a satisfying read... with much thinking when I'd finished. Definitely not my typical romance fare!
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Potential. If you're gonna write fantasy in 160 pages it better be good as hell. Like that episode of the Cosby show, "DIG DEEPER!" Lol
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is another book set in the technology-lost world of "The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps". It also explores the taboos around gay relationships and the consequences of those taboos.

It's really a romance. Aqib, a young man who is training to be Master of Beasts, comes across a foreign soldier named Lucrio as he walks home one evening from the park after exercising one of the royal cheetahs. From Lucrio's perspective, I can see how it would be just about impossible not to go after a gorgeous young m
Avery (Book Deviant)
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

Because I didn't read that much, but still have quite a few things to say, I'll make this one short.

My main problem with A Taste of Honey is the writing style. It's really odd, going back and forth from Shakespeare style prose to extremely modern and eloquent writing. I really couldn't stand it. It was jerky and off-balance, and made the novella hard to read. In addition to that, I thought the characters were really under-developed and lackluster
Received to review via Netgalley; published 26th October 2016

I want to like A Taste of Honey, just as I wanted to love The Sorceror of the Wildeeps. There’s some fascinating world building in the back of this, and some beautiful, lyrical, sensual language. And there’s LGBT characters! And the cover looks awesome! It actually gives me more of the background I wanted from the other novella, and the relationship was also much more up-front; obvious from the start.

Knowing other people really enjoy b
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novella starts as a simple love story of two men in a not-so-simple cultural milieu. Surprises happen throughout that pushed this to 4 or more stars. The writing, as in the other novella in the same world, is rich in a unique way that I'm not able to describe but I do recommend reading.
Bonnie McDaniel
Jan 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I bought this book on the recommendation of several people I know online, whose tastes generally seem to mirror mine. Their reviews were good, so I thought I'd give this unknown-to-me author a chance.

Unfortunately, the truism that "tastes differ" was confirmed once again, as I did not like this.

For one thing, the writing was far too frothy and artsy-fartsy to suit me. I haven't read any of the author's other work, so I don't know if this is his general style or an affliction of this story, but
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very original, great worldbuilding, a mix of fantasy and science fiction, and a great love story. I usually dislike the insta-love stories, but this one is kind of believable, also because Aqib is 17 and the Daluçan soldier Lucrio is 21 years old. Much revolves around regret, but there are many other topics are touched, from homophobia in Olorum society to class discrimination: for ex. Aqib is persuaded of the superiority of the higher caste. As for women: there are arranged marriages, they have ...more
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Kai Ashante Wilson's stories 'Super Bass' and the Nebula-nominated 'The Devil in America' can be read online gratis at

His story «Légendaire.» can be read in the anthology Stories for Chip, which celebrates the legacy of science fiction grandmaster Samuel Delany.

His debut short novel The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps won the 2016 Crawford Award. Kai Ashante Wilson lives in New York City.
More about Kai Ashante Wilson

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“The likeliest outcome is that you win your love for just a little while, and then regret his loss forever.” 1 likes
“Most would only ever guess at who and what was most precious to them-up until the day of loss: then they'd know-and most would also have to guess at why and how, or what might have been. They could never truly know, not as one who'd lived both paths, seen two lives. That crazed noise was his own laughter.” 1 likes
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