Flying Fish (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Flying Fish Cover
Title: Flying Fish (Sword and Silk Trilogy #1) Second Edition
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 17, 2016
Genre(s): Historical
Page Count: 81
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

In eighteenth century Japan, during the golden age of samurai and of the Kabuki theater, young actors known as “flying fish” traveled the countryside, performing for audiences by day and giving their bodies to their samurai patrons at night.

Genji Sakura is one such flying fish, yet he dreams of finding the man he can give his heart to and leave the loneliness of his itinerant life behind. Though he loves theater, he doesn’t love every part of his profession, especially some of the patrons. So when a handsome ronin comes upon him stealing some solitude for a bath in a hot spring and their encounter turns passionate, Genji’s surprised and delighted.

Daisuke Minamoto’s past fills his life with a bitterness that grips his soul and makes him dangerous. Yet passion takes him when he spies on a graceful young man bathing naked in a hot spring. He has always loved women, but he can’t deny the call of his heart.

After an afternoon of sexual bliss, his heart and soul are tormented and torn. Keeping this miraculous lover will require giving up the one thing that has kept him alive for years: his hatred for the lord who murdered his wife. If he loves another, how will he go on and who will he become?

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

Cherry blossomsAt only 81 pages, Flying Fish is a fascinating vignette into the world of 18th century Japan. With its soft unassuming style, it tells the story of Daisuke, a ronin (master-less samurai) bent on revenging his wife’s death, and Genji, a kabuki actor whose backstage duties include giving his body to samurai patrons, and gives them a beautifully written HEA without feeling rushed or too short. Their relationship is oh so very sensual, as gentle as cherry blossom petals blowing in the wind, yet ultimately life changing for both men.

It fascinated me to learn that the author’s portrayal of same-sex relationships during the time period is historically accurate and I would recommend this historical novella to anyone interested in the world of samurai or ronin warriors. I look forward to the next book in the series Blind Love, about two boyhood friends, Sho and Hirata, separated at age 10 who vow to one day find each other again.

Sword and Silk Trilogy

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Flying Fish provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader