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Nine of Swords, Reversed

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Dev has been with xyr service submissive Noam for seven years and xe loves them very much. Dev and Noam have built a good life together in Noam’s family home in Oakland, where they both can practice their magecraft, celebrate the high holidays in comfort, support each other as their disabilities flare, and where Noam can spend Shabbos with their beloved family ghost.

But D
Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published December 31st 2018 by Xan West
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  77 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Alex Harrow
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to read this in advance (thank you, Xan!) and absolutely loved this story. I adored the vulnerability and nuance to Dev and Noam's D/s relationship and how they both support each other, while also dealing with very differing experiences regarding their disabilities, their identities, and how they navigate talking through these things. This book is yet another one of Xan's stories I appreciate so much for its nuanced fat and disability rep while featuring a cast of genderfl ...more
Xan West
Hi there, this is the author. I wanted to note that you can find content warnings for this book here:
Bogi Takács
Read for Transcendent 4 consideration, so I can't comment on it at length yet, but I liked it!

Source of the book: Ebook copy from the author
Ceillie Simkiss
Full review to come, but y'all need to go order this. ...more
Merc Rustad
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet romantic novelette that focuses on non-sexual kink between two queer genderfluid people. It's lovely: Dev and Noam work on communicating with each other, repairing trust, and confiding about what each of them needs. All the characters are well-drawn and empathetic, and I enjoyed spending time in this story and seeing how it resolves. It's a warm and uplifting tale, satisfying and sweet.

West also includes an excellent preface and afterward about pronouns, gender, and how to discus
Avery (Book Deviant)
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the best way to close out the year.
This was my third Xan West book within the span of a month, and I think it's safe to say I've found a new favourite author. I adore how they create safe spaces within the world of their books. Even if that means, like here, that difficult topics need to be discussed. Because this is, at the same time, the heaviest book I've read by them so far.

Heavy, because there was a fair amount of angst. But mostly because it dealt with a lot of internalized shit: internalized ableism, internalized gender st
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, this book. I love this book. I love how it deals with kink in a non sexual way, I love how it deals with queerness and disability, I love how it deals with communication and talking even when it's hard and how assumptions are so easily made. I miss Xan so much, and I forgot just how seen their writing makes me feel. ...more
Skye Kilaen
I'm so glad this exists! ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this short story on the importance of communication within a relationship, it also deals with some very heavy topics such as ableism, an abusive ex and toxic masculinity as well as other issues. I couldn't help but love all three characters in this story. ...more
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars “Nine of Swords, Reversed” is fantastic, and I’ve never read another narrative like it. But this review is going to be spoiler-free, so I have to walk that fine line. It’s like trying to refinish a piece of furniture: you’re in the tension between what the original finish, your budget, and your skills will allow versus your vision of the finished piece. It’s like every recognizable creative act, really.

The element I won’t spoil in “Nine of Swords, Reversed” is also my very favorite p
Ellen B
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know that I would probably not have picked this book up even six months ago, but I am so glad I gave it a chance. It taught me, as a cis woman, so much about experiences outside of my own, and for that I am grateful. When I first saw that the main characters' relationship involved kink and domination/submission, I will admit to feeling a bit apprehensive. However, as I read, I found yf putting my prejudices aside and simply observing Dev and Noam's interactions, becoming accustomed to their re ...more
Mehek Naresh
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novella is such a genuine and honest look at a very tender relationship, and I am glad this is my first book of the year
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ownvoices-trans
The balm I didn't know I needed for my genderfluid, dominant yet traumatized, chronically in pain self. Even just thinking about the existence of this work is a reassurance and a comfort. ...more
Jan 13, 2020 added it
Leaving this one without a rating for now. I have a weird trigger and this book got me with it. The author goes out of their way to warn people of potential triggers and I in no way blame the author or the book. I just don't know I could give a review that was actually about the book at this point. If I can, I will come back and update.

I adore this author and this world, so please give the book a chance.
Chasia Lloyd
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Communication is key in this short

This short fantasy revolves around three genderfluid characters who deal with pain, trauma, and meltdowns. Every page is handled with care as everyone checks in with each other frequently. I am very interested in reading more set in this world.

The author has an excellent list of content warnings at the beginning and a guide to the characters' pronouns.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've never read anything quite like this before. This is a gentle, beautiful story about flawed but healthy relationships, communication, boundaries, trauma, disability and identity. And magic. The way the character's fluid genders, trauma responses, disabilities and (D/s) relationship dynamics all intertwined was complex yet completely clear in how it was portrayed.

I absolutely loved how the Dom-sub element of the story was so.. desexualized? Not exactly what I mean, but I feel like BDSM is of
Caroline Duvezin
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Touching story, and a slow, nuanced unveiling of their different issues bringing the characters closer.However, I kept expecting...something to happen. Levi the ghost to go crazy, either Dev's or Noam's powers to go haywire. Not that I need big dramatic magic to make a satisfying plot, but the summary led me to expect some? Idk.

Maybe it's that, for all that moving out of the house is the turning point (and one with wonderful symbolism at that), I didn't really get a feel for the house? Which ma
Leo Medina
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. I highly recommend it as someone for whom it was so necessary and so so true to the experience of being in a relationship with fellow survivors. It had such a nuanced, centered approach to the intersection of disability, gender, trauma, fatness, and kink and what all of those mean in a relationship between two people who love each other so dearly, even if what love takes isn't always easy. I read this story at a time where these struggles echoed my own, and it was incredible ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
This book introduced some new pronouns to me, which I admit I needed a little bit of time to get used to. It was a little more work than I'm used to keeping track of the characters at times. That being said, I'm glad I read this book; it was very enlightening. Although, as a story, I don't think it gave the readers enough of an arc. Being told solely from Dev's perspective, who is suffering from arthritis flares and spending a lot of time alone, we don't really get a good sense of the relationsh ...more
Matt Hope
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely queer story. Now, I’m queer myself but this takes place mostly out of my personal experience. I can’t comment on these aspects too much because they simply are not my lane.

Anyway. It’s a story of hurt and trust and the importance of proper communication. Not always easy but crucial. Solves problems before they can crop up.

Detailed content warnings help you decide whether or not this story is for you. Be aware that potentially upsetting things are mentioned or described.

Other than that
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such a sweet and engaging book. I loved the compassion and sensitivity with which the various topics were handled and this is the first time I've actually felt seen an heard so much reading a book. I so, so, so hope there are more planned, maybe a series. This is a really important book, I was crying by the end, and I don't want to spoil anything, but the author really handled the character development and the progression of their relationship well. ...more
W.L. Bolm
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful urban fantasy romance. If you're Jewish, queer, or interested in leather or D/s culture, you should like this.

I was touched by the representation in this story, and the magic, religion, and treatment of genderfluid characters resonated with me.

I'll definitely be following Xan's works in the future!
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full review to come, but definitely a good read.
J Corvidae
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Dana Ragnarok
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: queer-romance
i liked the characters, the writing felt weirdly flat at times.
Ollie Z Book Minx
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a lovely glimpse into an imperfect relationship, still working on how & where to define boundaries. This felt like a cozy story about friends and I want to share it with everyone.
Honestly precious and a great example of what healthy communication looks like. I love this little story and I'll probably come back to it multiple times. ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nine of Swords, Reversed is a lovely short peek into the world of two people who love and give each other the utmost respect. Xan does a wonderful job of depicting this in every single detail of the story.

Though I might not be able to resonate with all the rep in this story, I still enjoyed it. It was also great to see such unapologetic queer rep! I loved that both Noam and Dev were genderfluid mages.
With NINE OF SWORDS, REVERSED, Xan West continues to stun with comforting descriptions, relatable characters, and warm friendships! The writing is as lovely and soothing as always, and by the end, I found myself with three new characters to love!

Read the full review on my blog.
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Goodreads Librari...: changing the cover image 4 29 Dec 27, 2018 03:44PM  

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Xan West is the nom de plume of Corey Alexander, an autistic queer fat Jewish genderqueer writer and community activist with multiple disabilities who spends a lot of time on Twitter.

Xan's erotica has been published widely, including in the Best S/M Erotica series, the Best Gay Erotica series, and the Best Lesbian Erotica series. Their work has been described by reviewers as “offering the erotica

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