Title: Blind Love (Sword and Silk Trilogy #2) Second Edition
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 9, 2016
Page Count: 95
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
After a harrowing seventeen-year separation, Hirata Morimasa leaves his home and secure future to search for his childhood friend, Sho. Blinded by illness when they were children, Sho was sent away, apprenticed to a blind masseur (an anma) to learn his trade, and then disappeared.
Desperate to find the other half of his heart and soul, Hirata willingly sacrifices the prestige and security of his father’s dojo to find him. When an anma who looks exactly like Sho crosses his path in front of a gambling parlor one day, the man flatly denies he is Sho. Hirata knows better and is determined to get the truth… and to get back the friend he’d lost. However, even though Hirata knows in his bones this man is his soul mate, Sho has changed in ways Hirata could not have prepared for in his wildest imaginings, changes that could continue to keep them apart… forever.?
“Blind Love” is set in 1800’s Japan in the world of samauri, a rigid caste system and feudal lords. The second book in the Sword and Silk Trilogy, this book could be read as a stand-alone, although there are a few spoiler-ish moments and a secondary character from Flying Fish plays a more prominent role here.
To me, this story felt “quietly epic.” On one level, it’s a tale of two men who have loved one another since boyhood. They are separated at age 10 when Sho is apprenticed to an anma to learn his trade as a masseur. The one thing each retains is a stone that has been split apart, with each boy wearing half on a string around their neck. Hirata is heartbroken when Sho leaves – “Sho was part of his very being. Separation from Sho made him feel like his own heart was dying.”
Hirata begins his search for Sho when he turns seventeen and has fulfilled his obligations to his father, an epic odyssey lasting 10 years as Hirata searches from one end of Japan to the other. The author also amps up the epic quality by adding in a bit of Japanese lore about Zatoichi.
When Hirata finally finds Sho, their reunion is not as simple as Hirata has hoped. At this point, I had a few niggles …
- There is a fairly detailed sex scene between Sho and another character other than Hirata. And after Sho and Hirata become reacquainted, the pace of the story slows down considerably as the reasons Sho gives for remaining apart change daily and don’t always make sense IMHO.
As long as they were together, the stone was still complete, even though it had been split.
The book ends with a preview of the final book in the trilogy and I look forward to completing the series!