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Truth in the Dark

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  3,816 ratings  ·  522 reviews
"I am not beautiful..."

Knife's entire existence has been as twisted as his flesh and his face. The only thing beautiful in his life is his sister. When Gwennie is obliged to turn a suitor down because she fears to leave her brother to the brutality of their village, Knife is desperate for anything to ensure her happiness.

Her suitor's cousin offers him a way out, but it won
ebook, 1st Edition, 145 pages
Published June 16th 2010 by Dreamspinner Press LLC
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,816 ratings  ·  522 reviews

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Julio Genao
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved

it's been over a year since i read this, and i still—

—when the whiskey flows and the cocaine blows and the moon is quite high in the sky of an evening

—still find myself cornering people at parties, quietly and earnestly explaining to them at length how some stories stay with us across the millennia, and why they're still worth telling, and what it is in these bronze-age murmurings that helps us feel less alone under a sky full of stars all dead a million years before any of us ever l
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I'm going to go right out and say it:

This is my favorite Amy Lane book. Hands down.

It is the work of a master.

I got chills while reading it, honest-to-goodness chills running up and down my arms. I started this book right before going to the gym tonight and worked out half-heartedly in a daze. My mind was fully entranced in the world that Amy Lane created. After working out (maybe??), I read this book in my freezing cold car, not wanting to put it down to drive the three blocks to my house, kn
Damon Suede
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As a story model for romance, Eros and Psyche is hard to beat. There's a reason that Beauty & the Beast succeeds so completely when it's presented in a new incarnation whether its Cocteau or Disney.

First things first, Amy Lane is a haunting, subtle, skilled writer who refuses to settle for easy solutions. Every book she's written carries pain and secrecy thumping inside its ribs like a dark heart. Faced with the "update a fairytale" challenge, she's not going to settle for a facile approach.

Cross-posted at Shelf Inflicted and at Outlaw Reviews

“If anyone had learned that love was all the beauty the world needed, it was my lion-hearted beloved and his imperfect lover.”

I usually like Amy Lane’s blend of sweetness and angst and was keen to read a re-worked version of Beauty and the Beast, but this story just didn’t work for me on so many levels.

- The pace was excruciatingly slow, so slow that I feared not finishing it up in time to complete my reading challenge this month. Many t
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
3.5 stars

This was a fantasy, erotic retelling of Beauty and the Beast that I found both frustrating and lovely.

I needed more details about Naef and Aerie-Smith's relationship; as such, I wasn't sure why either would fall in love with the other and why Naef was chosen to "save" the island in the first place. Aerie-Smith was a little too perfect, and Naef was a little too self-loathing (I understand he had a shit life, but the characterization of that fell mostly to him being bitter and hateful a
Gail Carriger
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a charming twisted retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and a real tear-jerker. It's as if Lane took Robin McKinley's Beauty and combined it with The Song of Achilles. There's an element of the Hunchback of Notre Dame thrown in there for good measure.

If you're a fan of alternate fairy stories, true love at all costs, and the ultimate melodrama of self-sacrifice than this book is for you. Definitely destined to became a favorite of mine.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: not-my-thing, fantasy, sad, odd
2.5 stars

A very unusual take on one of my favourite fairytales Beauty and Beast sadly it didn't quite live up to expectations. I struggled to feel a connection or affection for Knife or Aerie. Despite being an emotional and highly charged story I was strangely unaffected for most of it, there were a few sad moments here and there but not enough for me to say this was brilliant. I could go on but I won't as I seem to be in the minority with this one.
Naef, aka Knife, thinks his soul is as twisted as his body, truly a beast in the eyes of others. When he's given the chance to get away from his tormentors for a year, as well as provide gifts for his sister and mum, he decides to leave his village with his lion-god Aerie-Smith. What he doesn't expect, is when he gets to the island where he will spend a year as Aerie-Smith's companion, his body is changed. But, he thinks his inner self still matches his old outer self. Aerie-Smith sees him diffe ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Vivian by: Don Bradshaw
Shelves: erotica-fantasy
Love isn't blind. Love transforms.

Respun Fairy Tales are not my usual fare, but I have to say that this one rocks. From the vitriolic spewing to the cruelty and charm I was thoroughly engaged and vacillating between smirks and smiles. It is a worthwhile retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Naef is a tormented soul in a twisted body. His physical pain is only exceeded by the psychological.
I tried very hard not to ponder the horrible irony that I was too ugly to love, and too ugly not to violate.
Quick description about this book:

Love... this book is a Fairy Tale about LOVE

Naef is a tortured soul and body. Born with a disability and a "repulsive" body he don't know how to be kind. He love his sister and his mother, and his world is his work, as a woodcraft. When he is working with his knives and doing art with wood he can express all the beauty he would like to see in his life. Only he will be the narrator, and don't fool yourself thinking that is a "fairy-tale" where the narrator talk w
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Natsroshan by: Anne McPherson
I'm not a fan of fairy tales in general, so I hesitated a lot before I read it. What a shame. (I should really stop doing this, I often let a book hang in my TBR for stupid reasons!)

The dialogues are captivating, the story is moving to tears, very funny sometimes ...
Naef is endearing in his self-pity, but my preference goes to Aerie-Smith (a really weird name lol) whom I found very noble. That's what Nael needed and he found it.

Thank you Amy Lane for making me spend such a good time.
T.A. Webb
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In a small coastal town on the Archipelago, Naef was born. Club footed, awkward, pained and shunned, he was nonetheless loved and cherished by his sister Gwen and his mother. Gwen was his protector, companion and confidant. He could at least feel normal with her.

Then, when he was but twelve, the young men of the village, in the way such boys will do, attacked and violated Naef. In that moment, the young man decided there must be no value to him. So he started to become as twisted and pained insi
Cristina Monica
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of: M/M romance, Beauty and The Beast and retellings.
Recommended to Cristina Monica by: Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

I'm so glad I haven't waited much longer before reading this beathtaking love story. Thank you very much Heather for the recommendation!

Naef may not first seem to you like the kind of guy you'd like to have as a friend, but I came to really like his character and his honesty. Although, I feel like he's the kind of character you really have to 'know' to understand and maybe connect with. The writing is fast-paced and very nice indeed and the story WON-DER-FUL. The story starts with him being 'u
Kaje Harper
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, m-m
This book is structured as a fairy tale, but Knife, the narrator, is one of the most real characters Lane has created. The story allows Lane to be more lyrical and poetic in her language than anything else of hers that I have read, but there is an interesting human relationship in there as well. There are moments of humor, and elements of universal truth. The narrative voice is occasionally glaringly modern in its phrasing, but somehow it works with the character and the story. Well worth the re ...more
I am not certain about my final rating but I am going to go with 3.5 stars. This is a retelling of "Beauty and the Beast", a very nice story that has inserted some really original ideas into this classic fairy tale and has very beautiful messages.

What I liked the most was Naef, the main character. He is bitter, damaged and yet kind and pure deep inside. He was a very interesting and original character and I couldn’t help but care for him and follow his story. I also really liked what people wer
* A Reader Obsessed *
Feb 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to * A Reader Obsessed * by: Rosa, really
4 Stars

"Godsbedamned!" This was good. Really good.

There's not much else to add to any of the great reviews already out there. I will be the first to admit that I'm scared of angst and this is freakin Amy Lane! You can't read m/m and not hear about her. But Rosa gently nudged me towards this lovely tale; she promised me it would be ok...

So I was expecting angst and I got it. It was my favorite kind - want, doubt, insecurity - and this had it in spades. What I didn't expect was the enjoyment I got
Eli Easton
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Another fantastic read by Amy Lane. It's amazing to me that she can write contemporaries so well but also pull off a fantasy like this one like a total pro.

I loved this book from page one and just was delighted by the story and the prose over and over. I think my section when Naef was still on his home island was my favorite-- what a wonderful build-up of an underdog character. His sister and what she did to protect him was startling and so very dark in a Grimm's fairy tale kind of way.

Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, m-m, favourites
There are good books and great books and then there are books you can read again and again and never get tired of, books that grab you, suck you in and make you fly. This is one of them.

Naef is an ugly clubfooted cripple,despised by everyone but his mother and sister. Living in a twisted body has left him bitter and disillusioned, and so he's beyond wary when a stranger appears on his native island, claiming he wants to hire Naef as a "companion for a year with a regrettable task at the end". I
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I might review later...when my chest stops hurting and the tears dry up.
That was really different.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites-mm, top-10
I love fairy tales and I love Amy Lane and when they come together, it's magical.

Once upon a time, there lived a boy named Naef. Naef was not a beautiful boy, in fact everyone in his village thought him ugly. People were cruel to young Naef and when very bad things happened to him, he became Knife. Knife was a bitter, angry man whom none dared get close to. One who decided that it was better if his inside matched his outside because when people can't get close, they can't hurt you. Then one day
Christina Marie
Damn. Amy Lane punches me right in the emotions EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

So, it took me awhile to get into this. I actually thought for a second that I finally found an Amy Lane book I didn't like (not that I was looking). I think I was just having some trouble connecting with the characters for a little bit.

That was quickly remedied. Somewhere around 20% I was dragged fully into the story, and I did end up really enjoying this.

And then, towards the end, I could not stop crying. Not sad tears. No.
This is the type of book I could reread numerous times and never get bored with or stop myself from crying while reading it. It's such a sweet story, a fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast.

I connected with the characters right from the start. Naef and Aerie-Smith buried themselves into my heart. Their pain was my pain, their happiness was my happiness. And no matter how many times I read this it always feels like I'm reading it for the first time. Experiencing the curse, watching Naef find himsel
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
'We are good at seeing the truth in the dark, right?'
This is a wonderful spin on beauty and the beast theme. I spent more than half of this book crying. Don't worry, it might not affect you the same. I cry when reading.

The protagonist Knife is a brave choice: he is actually deformed and ugly. It is not just in his head. He had a childhood from nightmares except in his own home. There his mother and sister loved him unconditionally. When he gets an opportunity to stop being an albatr
Heather C
This was such an beautiful story.

What defines beauty? Is it who you are on the inside? Is it who you are on the outside? Or is it what your beloved sees in you...flaws and all.

So there lies the Truth of Naef and Aerie-Smith. Inspired by the fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, with some interesting twists. Naef, or shall I say 'Knife', broke my heart! (view spoiler) Although I didn't cry I did feel st
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
When I first started this I really didn't think it was going to be for me, but the more I read the more my imagination was captured.While it follows along the lines of Beauty and the Beast it becomes much more. At times I was a little put off by Naef/Knifes speech, but then I realise that it was in fact extremely accurate for him. After all a bitter twisted soul will spout bitter twisted words.

For me the ending was perfect in the way it didn't have a perfect fairy tale ending. Amy Lane again sh
Amy Lane's re-telling of 'Beauty and the Beast' with a gay twist. An unusual yet intriguing fantasy told from Naef's pov in the first person. An odd use of english profanity to my British ears!

Bitter abused cripple Naef (Knife) is taken as companion by lion man Aerie-Smith to his island where Naef undergoes a dramatic transformation.

'I was terrified of my weakness, of my sharp tongue, of my every flaw. I was terrified that this moment, my chance to live in happiness for however short a time we m
Mandy*reads obsessively*
Wow. A really powerful story!

This is one of my favorites, I love fairytales and true love and this has that.
I did wish for a slightly different resolution to one issue, but I can overlook it because the rest of this book is just plain awesome.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, short
This one was oh-so good, with a refreshing take on 'Beauty and the Beast' and the twist on it couldn't have been done better. A beautiful fairy tale, with added adult content, of course, about trusting your love, and seeing with your heart what you can't with your eyes, seeing the truth in the dark. Messages to learn and to live by. And the whole ended up squeezing its way into my heart.

I love stories with at least one character who is really an underdog that is found lovable by someone. Here t
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Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail u ...more

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