Silk and Poison by Barbara Sheridan and Anne Cain
The Dragon’s Disciples Trilogy, Book One
Liquid Silver Books
Genre: M/M Yaoi
ISBN: 978-1-59578-363-9
Reviewed by Lidyah

   

 

It’s 1870 in San Francisco's Chinatown; a dangerous assassin roams the streets doing his duties in blood. A remorseless killer, whose job is not only to get a simple message across – but also to get it across by pain, nothing is too twisted for him, and no one can stop him, no matter how hard they try. Who is this man? His name: Dan Kao Shu.

One of Shu’s assignments is to deliver a message to a man who hasn’t been paying his dues. Reluctantly, Shu goes to Denver to pass on the message in blood and pain. But what Shu doesn’t count on, is meeting Toshiro Itou. Toshiro’s mother sent him to America to meet his father. The man he thought was dead up to the previous year. Being shipped off to the small town doesn’t gel well with Toshiro, until he meets Shu by chance. The unlikely pair hit it off - whilst Shu is amused with Toshiro’s determination and ambition, Toshiro falls for Shu’s killer instinct and lust for blood. The more time they spend together, the stronger their bond deepens, to a point where it’s just them and no one else.

Toshiro’s mother Ume Itou is sent to Ren Yang, Shu’s boss, as repayment for her husband’s debt. What Ren doesn’t expect is to fall in love with this woman. Together the pair go through their own trials, lastly leading to Ume finding her son and trying her best to save him from the crazy assassin Shu.

Dao Kun Shu and Toshiro make their retribution with bloody hands, a journey that spirals from admiration, hate and love.

Silk and Poison is a dark tale that might not take everyone’s fancy. The writing itself is very well written. The language and the sex scenes are both very disturbing and arousing at the same time. I think the authors did a good job portraying a genre to a broader section of the e-book audience. I think the character of Shu was absolutely enticing and scary. He is one, crazy man - but at the same time it makes me wonder what made him such a ruthless killer. I would have loved to see some flashbacks of his life when he was younger, just to get a taste of his life growing up. But I think that’s just me being greedy. I also loved reading his philosophy on life, and how easy it was for him to break bonds…and people.

I was totally taken with Toshiro; I thought he was one feisty character. So very mouthy, and he had an attitude to match. But he was also clever and knew how to take care of himself. I loved reading about him especially when he was with Shu (which was all the time, mind you). I adored how, he made Shu seem like the ‘Master’ and that he needed Shu, but it was easily interpreted that it was Shu that needed Toshiro more. I love the mind games between these two, and how they teased each other. Seriously, someone give me a fan.

There was another story interwoven into Shu’s and Toshiro’s, and that was about Ume (Toshiro’s mother) and Ren Yang (Shu’s boss). I think it was rather interesting to read, Ume was just like her son - and they both have a deadly personality. I also liked reading about Ren, he was very much understated in the story - but you could see where his loyalties lay, and you couldn’t blame him. As the story grew between Ume and Ren, their relationship was a delight to read.

I think the authors did a wonderful job with this book it is deadly and precise. It really means business. It has foul language, and fouler sex. But if you’ve ever watched Kill Bill (and loved it) then you’ll enjoy the bloodshed in this book. The authors seem to have gone out on a limb, and decided to do something different in both the gay and straight fiction world, and I congratulate them for writing a book that has a solid plot, with enticing characters. If I have any complaints, then it would this book is probably still a little too tame for my standards. But I’ll take whatever I get. Silk and Poison is truly a wicked tale.

     

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