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A Taste of Honey Paperback – October 25, 2016
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"Wilson has woven a fractal tapestry of a world ― past mingling with future, exotic magic spiced with futuristic science, gods with too-human needs ― and set in it a love story as painful as it is beautiful and complex." ―N. K. Jemisin, Hugo Award-winning author of The Fifth Season
"One of our most stylistically and thematically original fantasists." ―Saladin Ahmed, author of Throne of the Crescent Moon
"[A Taste of Honey] tells a story that is as much about loss and memory as it is about the reclamation of one’s identity... a beautiful look at love in its many forms." ―The Washington Post
"Rich in invention and provocative in its themes... a model of concise, efficient storytelling." ―The Chicago Tribune
"Wilson displays his talent for tugging the reader's heartstrings and underplaying hard emotion, and he delivers a poignant and satisfying conclusion." ―Publishers Weekly
"Stylistically daring, diverse, & unabashedly queer: Kai Ashante Wilson's A Taste of Honey is the future of fantasy." ―The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
"A vivid and deeply satisfying romance set against a fascinating backdrop, A Taste of Honey will especially appeal to fans of speculative fiction from authors like Lois McMaster Bujold and N. K. Jemisin and will leave most readers agitating for more." Booklist, Starred review
"Wilson’s writing is beyond stunning, and the inventiveness of his world, his language, and his dialogue, are only deepened by his innate understanding of his characters, their rich emotion, and their struggles to live and love as they wish to." ―BookRiot
"The brilliantly original and fascinating worldbuilding is a lush background for a beautifully romantic fantasy, and the writing is rich and visually stunning. I am a Wilson fan for life and can't wait to see what he writes next!" ―Martha Wells, author of The Edge of Worlds
"An enchanting and heartbreaking exploration of regret set within a world of glorious magic." ―Ginn Hale, Spectrum Award winning author of Lord of the White Hell
"Written in a lyrical, songlike style, Wilson’s latest has a rhythm to the prose that is tough to suss out, but the effort is well worth it; the payoff is extraordinary and deeply emotionally satisfying." ―RT Book Reviews
"[A Taste of Honey] establishes Wilson as one of the most original and compelling voices in fantasy right now." ― SF Bluestocking
About the Author
KAI ASHANTE WILSON was the 2010 Octavia Butler scholar at Clarion writing workshop in San Diego. He won the Crawford award for best first novel of 2016, and his works have been shortlisted for the Hugo, Nebula, Shirley Jackson, Theodore Sturgeon, Locus, and World Fantasy awards. Most of his stories can be read at Tor.com, and the rest at Fantasy-magazine.com or in the anthology Stories for Chip. His novellas The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps and A Taste of Honey are available from all fine e-book purveyors. Kai Ashante Wilson lives in New York City.
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It is set in the same world (though not in the same time period) as 'The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps', but if ‘Wildeeps’ was a thrilling epic fantasy wrapped around a love story, then ‘A Taste of Honey’ is a thrilling love story wrapped around a core of epic fantasy. (The fact that Wilson manages to pack epic fantasy stories into a short novel / novella format is another one of his magic tricks.)
The story’s central characters, Aqib and Lucrio fall in love (and lust) at more or less first sight, and then have to maneouver around all sorts of obstacles to be able to see each other. In the telling of that tale, Wilson also tells the tale of the world and the society, and the grander schemes going on within the world: there are god-like powers being wielded, magic, palace intrigue, psionics, and mathematics. (The way Wilson weaves together science fiction and fantasy when it comes to what is technology and science on one hand, and what is magic on the other, is just one of the hugely enjoyable aspects of this story.)
I tore through this book, and in the end, I was left with a craving for more: especially more stories from Wilson that are set in this world of gods and men, science and magic, mathematics and psionics. ‘A Taste of Honey’ is a blistering good read, and delves further into Wilson’s highly original story-verse. I can’t wait to read what comes next.
A Taste of Honey begins as a carnal love story but soon moves towards social critique. It's only too bad it's done in so hamfisted way. The story magnifies traditional gender stereotypes, adds in toxic masculinity and builds on that.
While it does break the mold in places - Aqib running family while his wife pursues career, intellectual endeavours being the realm for women - it doesn't really manage to explore either the romantic or the societal plot line.
The world is a weird mix of antiquity and science fiction: Dalucians seem like Romans, Olorum might be a bit Greek, but their gods are definitely technologically advanced with their holograms and transhumanism.
The language of the book is theatrical and reminds me of Russian classics, and not in a good way. The structure mixes the timeline for no apparent reason, and the ending is a complete letdown.
Most recent customer reviews
Kai Ashante Wilson has the amazing talent of creating a world so rich and so...Read more