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The Siren and the Sword by Cecilia Tan
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The Siren and the Sword

by Cecilia Tan

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(Disclosure: I don't know the author particularly well, but I've long admired her work as an editor, and have submitted material to her publishing house in the past. This hasn't had any impact on my reaction to the book, other than I wouldn't have known about a promo deal on the new edition and run off to buy it if I didn't have her blog on my LiveJournal feed.)

Erotic fantasy novel which is quite openly inspired by Harry Potter. "Inspired by" means "loving homage", not "rip-off"; this is a worthy novel in its own right, and could be enjoyed as such by someone who's never read any of Rowling's books (or indeed any of the other speculative fiction Tan pays homage to). But it's most easily described as what would happen if Harry Potter was an American taking up a scholarship at Harvard University, and on arrival walking into the admin office of a faculty housed in buildings which aren't findable by most people on the campus, to the confusion of himself and the faculty administrators. Since we're dealing with undergraduates here, there's sex. Lots of sex. Sex for actual plot purposes, no less, and all the better for it. For there is indeed a plot, concerning the covert presence on campus of a siren, what that is, and the dangers it poses to the students. It's intertwined with various other plot threads, most of which are resolved satisfactorily while leaving openings for further stories about next year's adventures. While I think there's some room for improvement, it's well written, by someone who understands her material. I liked it a lot, enough to want to read the next one in the series (a quartet of novels plus a collection of short stories). If that brief description sounds like something you'd be interested in reading, I'd recommend you try it out -- the prologue and first chapter are available as free samples on Amazon and other online retailers. ( )
  JulesJones | May 24, 2015 |
A reading list selection in contemporary romance from TRS for AReCafe. ( )
  AReCafe | May 23, 2014 |
I expected this book to be awful - it was on sale as a Kindle book - but to my surprise, I actually enjoyed it. The author clearly admits to using the Harry Potter world as an inspiration but she allows her characters to be far more grown up and, well, a bit smutty. But even the smut isn't bad smut, which is saying something! She also somehow manages to bring in poetry by Longfellow and Eliot as pieces of the backdrop to her magical version of Harvard. I appreciate that she includes gay characters as well, which always seemed like a huge oversight in the Potter books to me. This was the perfect little bizarre story for a sick day at home. ( )
  esquetee | Nov 22, 2011 |
Porny porn porn. In an awesome way.
  omnia_mutantur | Jul 18, 2011 |
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