As It Should Be by Sean Michael
Torquere Press
Gay Fantasy
ISBN: 1-933389-88-5
Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Coming Home

Bren is with a group of boys, trying to rob a farm, when the owner comes home and surprises them.  Only Bren is left behind.  The owner, Iral, doesnít kill Bren only because his daughter asks him not to.  Will Bren finally find a home at last, or will Iral cast him out when he learns Brenís secret?

Coming Home was a sweet story with a neat twist at the end.  Both lonely, desperate Bren and kind, caring Iral were well-developed, and I enjoyed the slow development of their relationship.  This was my favorite story of the anthology because Bren and Iralís love felt real and believable.

 

Turtle

Warrior Satta patrols the perimeter, keeping his village safe.  One day he meets an unusual and alluring set of twins.  Duíel and Soíel are beautiful, magical, and his matches in every way.  Will he be able to keep his twins despite his tribeís disapproval?

Turtle was a story with a lot of hot scenes, but not as much character development to back it up.  Satta, Duíel, and Soíel were described well physically.  I liked Sattaís strong protectiveness, but the twins often seemed interchangeable.  

 

The Windís Will

Warrior Benik feels called by the Winds, so he challenges his cousin Yusef for the right to court Semon, the man his cousin also cares for.  After he wins, Benik must try to win Semonís heart.  Can the scarred warrior win the timid young manís love?

The Windís Will was a cute story, but I found myself wanting a lot more.  Everything happened so quickly I felt as if I hadnít gotten a chance to really know the characters.  Benikís care for nervous, inexperienced Semon was sweet, though, and I enjoyed this one despite its quick pace.

 

Blown Together by the Wind

Delen has been alone a long time, so when he spots a lone man who has meat, he hopes to trade for some.  Unar knows someone is following him, trading fruit and nuts for bits of meat, but he can never catch the person.  When Unar catches Delen at last, will Unar be able to convince Delen to stay with him?

Blown Together by the Wind featured two intriguing characters.  Unar is a strong, quiet loner who prefers to be by himself, but he is fascinated by Delen.  Delen is one of the strangest characters Iíve read about in a long time.  Heís self-sufficient in some ways, yet oddly childlike in others.  The reason heís alone is never clearly explained, but he speaks very little and knows little about proper behavior.  Despite the weirdness of Delenís character, or perhaps because of it, I liked him and really wanted to see him happy at last.  This is an odd yet sweet little tale, and if youíre in the mood for something different it will certainly fit the bill!

 

Weaver

Sebak is traveling to find the people of the Sudden Valley, his motherís people, when he stumbles onto a sealed cave.  Inside, he finds Azen, a seer who is cursed by his people for failing to die when his kiíita (true mate) died.  Sebak finds himself drawn to the sad man, even though Azen was kiíita to the brother he never knew.  Could it be that Azen believed the wrong brother was his kiíita?

Weaver had the makings of a really good story, with a curse, a man in mourning, a quest, and a seer.  Even though I liked this story well enough, however, it didnít meet my expectations.  The connection between Sebak and Azen seemed to happen too quickly, and all the while Azen was fixated on Sebakís brother.  I would have liked to see more development of the characters and their relationship.

 

Overall, As it Should Be is an interesting anthology of magic and fated mates.  Some of the stories are stronger than others, but all of them have something to offer.  If you liked the world of Sean Michaelís Windbrothers, you will probably like this book.  If you havenít read Windbrothers, I would recommend reading that one first.  While this anthology is entertaining, Windbrothers is a much better example of Sean Michaelís fantasy work.   

     

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