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A Taste of Honey

(The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,176 ratings  ·  520 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. …moreI don't think you have to, but it does give some backstory that you won't get. I loved both books, though. (less)

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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
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tor-novellas
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
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
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Essentially, a gay romance in a lush fantasy setting of The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. Lovely. ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, fantasy
This is told in three parts.  Part one I enjoyed a lot.  It's lets the reader see how Aqib and Lucrio first meet and was a great set up for the romance.  It was pretty hard not to ship these two right from the start.  Part two I struggled with.  It's told in alternating timelines that jump all over the place.  There's a reason for it, but it doesn't make it any easier to digest.  Part three is about the same length as part one and gives us the conclusion.

A lot of the time during part two I was f
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.

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
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
Timothy Urges
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Come with me now, if you’ll come at all.

Futures are built on singular choices, and sometimes choices are taken.

Aqib, son of the Master of Beasts and the Hunt, assists his father with the Royal Menagerie. While walking the prince’s favorite animal, Aqib encounters Lucrio, a Daluçan soldier, who hails Aqib with a compliment. A bond begins to form, but society and politics have other plans.

Kai Ashante Wilson has become one of my favorite writers. He has a flair for post-modernist fantasy and thou
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. ...more
Richard Derus
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quiltbag
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.
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
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
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was one beautiful read!

Wilson's language is masterfully, I felt like I was diving into a novella length poem. The characters have their distinguished voices as well as actions. The romance is thankfully fluff-free, yet still cute, although only shown in glimpses. The worldbuilding feels special and authentic. Especially the inability of the MC to grasp the "women" domains of mathematics and physics was shown rather adorably ("holo grammy").

What I dig most is the chronological structure of t
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This was a short and fascinating read! At first, I didn't feel like the book was working for me - at parts it feels a little tedious and I struggled to grasp the crux of the story - but as you read more, it really grows on you.
The yearning in this book was so subtle, the worldbuilding pretty complex given the story's short length, and the relationships in this book really interesting.
The best part though? The ending -- woah. What an incredibly clever and brilliant way to subvert a trope. I was
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
Cam (justabookeater)
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
I’ve been in the mood only for novellas for quite a while now, somehow just not finding enough patience to read longer books. So when I mentioned the same to my dear friend Nandini, she recommended me this Hugo nominated novella which I had never heard of before. And because I trust her recs a lot, I decided to give it a try.

This is definitely one of those books which I would never read of my own volition. The writing wasn’t always easy for me to follow or understand, with the prose and the met
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. ...more
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
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sff, lgbtq, library, queer
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
Para (wanderer)
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Para (wanderer) by: Sharade at a loss for words.

I'm not sure how to approach reviewing it. Mentioning the plot in any way at all would have been spoilers, and the less you know the better, so I will say this: I wasn't quite sure of it until the ending, but then all the pieces fell into place and I was blown away. Stylistically it's interesting, told in a very non-linear way and the soldier's dialogue can be startlingly modern (which I thought was a nice effect). Worldbuilding is a massive plus, with a Roman-like cul
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,
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
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
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So, yeah. Basically perfect. Set in the same world as Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, and it's beautiful and heart-wrenching all the way through. Just be sure to set aside until you can read it all in one go, because I couldn't put it down, and that's how my family ended up with no dinner tonight.

2020 reread: Still one of the most moving and gorgeous books I have ever read. I wish there were novels upon novels about Aqib and Lucrio!
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.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely gorgeous tale of love, obligation, family and the choices we make along the way. Wilson’s writing is at once moving and lyrical, and the story unfolds in a compelling manner. I’m very glad to have spent some time in the rich world of Olorum and can’t wait to see what other stories the author brings to life here in the future.
Jun 04, 2020 marked it as to-read
6/4/20 Currently $2.99 via Amazon: ...more
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SciFi and Fantasy...: "A Taste of Honey" by Kai Ashante Wilson (BR) 25 41 Jun 28, 2019 11:30AM  

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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.

Other books in the series

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (2 books)
  • The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps (The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, #1)

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