Anagama Fires

Title: Anagama Fires
Author: Sarah Black
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link:
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella (104 pdf pages)
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5

A guest review by John


Lucien Durand and Colin Ferguson have lived and loved as partners in life and art for more than twenty years. But happily ever after is never easy. Over time, Lucien begins to resent how Colin’s work overshadows his own art, and their relationship falls apart. Colin leaves with nothing but a backpack, and Lucien goes on alone, getting some counseling, developing a practice in raku pottery, and waiting for what would happen next.  He never expects that Colin will send his nephew James to train as a potter.

With James staying in Lucien’s home, a door will open between the former lovers, firing their hearts.


Ok, so here’s a book about pottery and I don’t know a thing about it and after I’ve read it, I know enough to be dangerous.  This isn’t a how-to manual, but I learned about the different types of kilns-wood fired called anagama, gas fired called raku, and electric, and glazes that you put on before the pottery is fired. When you make a bowl or something, it is called ‘throwing’ it. That’s the extent of my pottery knowledge.

Fortunately that’s not all this book is about. Lucien is the main character and his is the viewpoint from which the story is told. He starts out in a dream where he is the fire in a kiln, showering heated kisses on different objects. He sees an angel that somehow crumbles under his fiery attention. This is an important symbol – pottery angels in a sealed up kiln, that recurs throughout the story and weighs heavily on Lucien.

That wood kiln that Lucien dreams about? It has been sealed since the day Colin left 5 years ago. Before that, Lucien and Colin had been lovers for more than 20 years and partners in creating pottery and art. Colin became a big name in the art world and Lucien didn’t handle it well. Then Colin left, moved away, and Lucien misses him.

There is also Colin’s nephew, James, who shows up just in time for a pottery workshop and offers to help with it in exchange for place to stay for a few days. There’s also the stray dog that James has befriended that is very pregnant.  And a firefighter named Adam that loves pottery and has attended several previous pottery workshops.  And the goat…….

This is a story that grew on me as I read it and grew even more when I reread it. I like the style very much.  It is told in an easy, unhurried manner. There is some tension, but Lucien has learned a lot about himself in the past 5 years and it seems as though Colin has learned some lessons himself. Maybe not…….  There is some sex, but it isn’t explicit, more like little hints of action. It really fits the story.

I really like this story from Sarah Black. I’m going to read more of her work. I first thought of this story as a 4.75, but after I reread it, it’s a solid 5. Highly recommended.



  • Great review, John. Sadly, I’m late to the party due to internet issues. This one sounds intriguing. And with your recommendation it has to be good. The TBR pile grows yet again.

  • Great review, John!

    I really enjoyed this story. I loved the characters and by the time I finished the story I was dying to see the pieces myself. 🙂

  • Intriguing. We don’t see many books with older characters and I think there should be more. I’m usually more interested in stories about new relationships that rekindling fires, but this looks like a well told story with interesting character exploration/development. Plus, I’m curious about the goat 😀 I’ve heard good comments on this author, so I think I’ll check this out. Thanks!

    • The goat………..quite a character, both meanings. grin He doesn’t ‘talk’ but does contribute a GREAT deal to the story. In fact has a lot to ‘say’ about who opens the sealed up anagama kiln.

      Here is another angle to the story that I missed. Both Lucien and Colin are older and are rekindling their love. But the author was able to make it seem as though it didn’t matter what their ages were. The sex was present, but it wasn’t a big deal. Kind of difficult to explain. And James and Adam become acquainted and their bodies are seen entwined a couple of times. So they are having sex. And there’s a reference to a 3-way at the hot springs with Adam, James, and a cameraman. But no long, hard cocks thrusting into pink mauve stars and grunts and groans signalling spurting orgasmic fireworks.

  • Hi John,

    I was just the same as you; didn’t know a thing about pottery, but it didn’t matter with this book. All those technical terms strewn in just fit and create an atmosphere. The love story was slow and calm and actually sweet, very fitting those two men who are about fifty, after all. They ought to have acquired some wisdom during their life, but it was heartwarming to see they were still able to learn. I loved this book.

  • I like everything I’ve read by Sarah, and this sounds like another winner. I plan to buy it this week, enjoyed reading your review.

  • I have to say, that even though I don’t know anything about pottery, I’m starting to think about taking a class. I haven’t searched for possibilities in my area though. This book being the reason for the interest.

    Hope y’all like the book as I did.

    Wave, I’ll check back in later. I get to labor today. grin

  • Great review John. I’ve read several of Sarah Black’s books that were all very good. I’ll have to pick this one up now.


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I'm a single gay male, 46 years old and I farm and ranch in Texas.
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