Apr 24 2015

A Review of Silhouette of Darkness by Benjamin Daniels

Silhouette of Darkness by Benjamin Daniels

Silhouette of Darkness by Benjamin Daniels

I’ll be reviewing an anthology work this time on the Tale. While the work does touch on many supernatural themes, there is but a single work. called Belong, in the collection that has a Succubus appear in it and that will be the main focus of my review, though I will comment on what I thought about the work as a whole.

Perhaps the one thing that can be taken from this work as a whole is that you never can quite judge a book by its cover… Or another being for that matter. No matter what they happen to look like.

The work tells about:

When the Blight overwhelms the earth, humanity’s only defense is to stay awake from dusk until dawn. Tonight, Sean will learn how lethal insomnia is in this new world. In “Fatal Insomnia” and other stories in Silhouette of Darkness, author George Wilhite explores the horror in unusual places

As a whole this collection of works has some very interesting stories in it. Some are not quite things that I enjoy as a whole, but they are thought provoking. The stories really run the gambit in tales of mystery and horror, going from the here and now to the past and future.

There is but a single work about Succubi in the collective, entitled Belong and it tells the story of a lost boy who finds a connection with a spirit, is taken into her world and then learns the truth about her. But it’s not only that, he also learns a truth about himself. The story mixes a few different myths, new and old, together and I found that as a whole it flowed well, it told a story and more. The ending is somewhat sad in a way, but it also holds a certain promise of hope and more. Considering the life of the main character and what happens to him, it was something that the story had to have to make it worthwhile.

The Succubus herself is seductive, controlling, and demanding at times. There is a story about her that when it is revealed was surprising and wasn’t what I had expected. While not all of the secrets are revealed, that which is, what she can do, and what she does all connect to make her a dangerous being, but also one that is more than what she is on the surface.

The work as a whole is well written and I did like the other stories to a point. Some of them were a bit too violent or more… faithless… than anything else. That made some of the works hard to read and what happens to many of the characters is unpleasant. But the work stands on its own very well I thought.

I’m giving this collection three and a half out of five pitchforks. Belong, as it is really a story that held me more than any other, with or without the Succubus, is a four.

I’ll be looking for other works by this author… Hopefully with a shade less horror and a tad more story… I think that they have the talent to do that.

 

Tera

Apr 23 2015

Succubi Image of the Week 379

I’ve always thought that the expressions artists give Morrigan Aensland are interesting. They range far and wide, from silly to seductive and everywhere in-between. But the one expression that always makes me ponder is the one that seems to say Morrigan is looking at someone as if they are a tasty morsel… I found one of those pieces of art and I think it really does have that look to it…

Morrigan Aensland by きたやまみうき

Morrigan Aensland by きたやまみうき

 

found this art on Pixiv, and you can find the original page with this art here. Besides Morrigan’s expression, which I think is adorably cute, the details in this art are really amazing. I find that some artists don’t put a lot of detail into Morrigan’s hair or her wings and that’s really a shame, but in this case they both really look wonderful.

But the one focal point of this work is Morrigan’s eyes which I think are the centrepiece of this art by far. She’s a bit “plump”, her chest is rather pronounced in this art of her, but then it is one of Morrigan’s defining features of course…

I’ve always liked cute Morrigan and really this is one of the best that I have found…

 

Tera

Apr 22 2015

It could be the beginning of a Country Succubus Costume?

Devil Skirt CostumeI’ve been pondering of late some variations on Succubus costumes. Some of them are things that, in all truth, I’ll have to put together on my own. Others are really very simple, I mean, cheerleader Succubus is not really that difficult to do. The thought came to me about what a “down on the farm” Succubus costume might look like…

This costume could be the start in a way…

This is called the Devil Skirt Costume and it comes with the yellow two-tone mini dress, the spaghetti strap top and red velvet bodice. It doesn’t lace up form the front. The skirt is a tie-dye red & yellow handkerchief style skirt. The tail and horns are included, but the shoes aren’t.

It sells for $20 US, more or less, some sites have it on special for as little as $15.

The tail really bothers me. It almost looks like someone sat on it and flattened it, save for the tail. But setting that aside, but keeping the shoes, because I think they work for the most part, this has kind of a “country” vibe to it I think.

And thinking about it a little further, walking around with a farmer’s pitchfork and this would work for the most part…

I’ll even live with the horns, they do match… sort of… the costume as a whole. But I really wonder what they were thinking with the tail… Other than trying to save a few dollars here and there or making the customer go and buy another tail to get something that looks half decent.

Still, it gives me some ideas which might become something better than this… We’ll have to see won’t we?

Three out of five pitchforks.

It’s a start… I think I can do better…

 

Tera

Apr 21 2015

A Review of My Mate, The Incubus by Sinn Lee

My Mate, The Incubus by Sinn Lee

My Mate, The Incubus by Sinn Lee

The problem I have with stereotypes comes up a lot where Succubi and incubi appear in stories. It amazes me just how many writers have to go with the trope of them being evil… or worse for that matter. It should be clear, I think at least, that each and every one can be, and really should be different.

That concept brings up a question that is, again, not really touched on in a lot of stories. What happens when a hunter of “evil” comes to the conclusion that what they are doing isn’t right. What’s more interesting about that is when they come to the conclusion that an Incubus, at least one of them, isn’t what they are expected to be.

Then, the question becomes, do you take the chance to be with them or to end them? It’s a hard choice to make in the end…

  • Title: My Mate, The Incubus
  • Author: Sinn Lee
  • Publishing Date: August 23, 2013
  • Length: 16 Pages
  • ASIN: B00MGWSD0O
  • Publishing Date: August 5, 2014
  • This work at Amazon.com

It tells the story of:

Elissa learns about creatures known as “incubi.” As a slayer, it’s her job to kill them. But she’s never killed before in her entire life. How could she? It wasn’t her place to end someone’s life if they hadn’t done anything wrong. It’s this mentality that brings Dorian to her dreams. He’s been visiting her the past couple weeks and the two of them have become quite intimate in their steamy activities in the dream world. But now that she knows what he truly is, she intends to meet Dorian and find out how blissful his physical touch can truly be.

Elissa finds herself sucked into a world where creatures like vampires and zombies are real. The problem is that world is the one she lives in already and now she’s part of a group that goes around dealing with the “problem.” Problem is that she’s been watching the others going around and killing… and she’s not sure they are doing the right thing. One night as she is reading the book she is responsible for, she comes across the legend of the Incubi. And then she encounters Dorian in her dreams and has to come to a decision.

What I found to be the most interesting part of this work was the comparison between Elissa and the other slayers that appear. Elissa isn’t stereotypical but those that she is with most certainly are. They seems to think they are “right”, have no reason to consider alternatives, and, in short, are the typical “do good no matter the cost” sort of characters. Elissa… thinks. In doing so she is a better, stronger character and that carries the story along really well.

When Dorian appears, he again, is not stereotypical. He admits that, yes, some Incubi are evil, some aren’t and he knows right from wrong. He does, from the first moment, care quite a lot about Elissa, wants to be with her, and prove that he is exactly what he appears to be. That he is not a stereotypical creature of evil.

It’s that connection, the providing of that proof and the relationship that brings that I really enjoyed  very much. There is a lot of wonderful background, setting and more in the story but it really comes back to the question of “why should I believe you” that drives the story forwards.

The heat in the story is well done, the scenes between Elissa and Dorian are hot in all the right ways, but also the acceptance between the two of them has just as much heat within in. The story is just a cute, passionate romance and it worked really well here.

It is short, which is a problem with this author at times however. The work ends on a question mark, a thought, a concern that really needs to play out and bring the story of these two characters and those around them to a conclusion. What happens when the other slayers find out about Dorian? What happens to Elissa as a result? What can Dorian and Elissa do about it? I have a thought, it is Succubus related of course, and that book that Elissa has points me at that obvious thought… I really would like to know.

Four out of five pitchforks.

One of my personal favourites from this author. I would like to see this continue as a series, which from all intents seems to be a possibility. There’s a really wonderful connection between Elissa and Dorian and I’d like to see where that goes. I don’t expect a happier after ever, not with the situation they are in… But where the story could go, and what might be possible would be something to see.

 

Tera

Apr 21 2015

A Review of The Millennium Falchion by Dou7g

The Millennium Falchion by Dou7g

The Millennium Falchion by Dou7g

The eighth in my continuing reviews of the works of the author Dou7g in the series called Succubus Temptations. You can find my reviews of the series here on the Talehere, herehere as well as here and the most recent review can be found here. Today’s review will be what I think is the best work so far in the series.

Eventually there comes a time where characters need to make a choice. It marks, in a lot of ways, not so much where they came from, but rather where they are going. They say that getting there is half the fun, but that’s not always true. When it isn’t that’s when the true mark of one’s character comes to the fore.

  • Title: The Millennium Falchion
  • Author: Dou7g
  • Length: 76 Pages
  • ASIN: B00VZOXB7O
  • Publishing Date: April 11, 2015
  • This work at Amazon.com

The work tells of:

In this installment Edmund the scholar and the ogre find themselves in a battle with the Duchess’s Captain and the knights of her guard. A battle ensues for the fate of the kingdom while Megan continues her seduction and corruption of the Duchess as both Edmund and Megan try to repay the favors they owe Kendra, the beautiful red haired succubus.

Plans unfold and change as events continue to swirl around Megan. Choices are made, battles are won and lost. There is loss, anger, despair and in the end, the choices each makes defines their future and that of those around them… Whatever the cost.

By far this the the strongest work in the series by far. It’s a lovely mix of adventure, a touch of romance and a revelation for many of the characters that helps to solidify who they are, what their goals are and who, exactly, can and cannot be trusted.

It isn’t just Megan that has to make a lot of difficult choices, that’s true of every one of the characters and it’s telling how each responds to the events around them. Some make really bad decisions that put them at odds with the others and it’s that strife that reveals in the end who can, and cannot, be trusted. But it’s more than that. There’s a sense that in this work Megan, Kendra, Edmund and Phil become a family, if an odd one, and when that comes there’s a certain… relief I think is the best way to put it among them.

There’s a moment between Edmund and Phil that has been long in coming in the series and it pays off delightfully when it does. The same, in a way, can be said about Megan and Kendra, but it’s somehow slightly tragic, or foreshadowing in tone and leaves a lot of questions that need to be answered about them.

Beyond the main characters themselves, the events they stir up, what Edmund, Phil and their ragtag group encounter along the way makes for a wonderful adventure which I did enjoy. Through that adventure there’s some betrayal, some acknowledgement, and, most importantly, there’s proof that one cannot accept what’s seen alone. There’s more to everyone, in everyone, it’s just the need to spend the time to figure out who they are and not dwell on what they are.

There’s an interesting dynamic between Megan and the Duchess that unfolds in this work which I thought worked well and where it goes, how the relationship changed tells a lot about how Megan herself has changed. The moment where truths are revealed to each is painful, there’s no doubt of it, but as well there the hint of something more within that as well.

Kendra makes herself known again in this work and when she does, and the adventure comes to its conclusion, it’s clear that while she is a Succubus, there’s more to her and she shouldn’t be taken lightly. At the same time, like Megan and Edmund, she makes choices, forces others as well, and there’s a point at which her own nature comes into conflict with her desires. That’s something that will come to haunt her going forwards.

A light touch of erotica, a little bit of a D/s relationship and some suggested mind control themes at one point mixed together quite well and added a lot of depth to the story. But it is the characters, the stories of what happens to them and where they wind up that makes this work shine brightly.

I’m giving this work four and a half out of five pitchforks.

Really an excellent climax to the series that leaves open some very interesting paths forwards for all of the characters. Kendra’s still quite the mystery and that is deepening as the story goes on, but that’s all part of the fun here. The real question comes to what will happen to Megan next and how she will deal with the things she has done.

 

Tera

Apr 20 2015

Symbolism By TeraS

A very short thought today on the Tale … There are, of course pitchforks in the Realm. They exist physically of course, but then there is…

 

Symbolism
By TeraS

 

It is common knowledge that the symbol of the reigning monarch of the Realm is a pitchfork. What is not so common knowledge, however, is that there are, in fact, three pitchforks that Tera holds claim to: one of place, one of understanding, and the last of love.

The first is the one displayed in the Realm’s castle, in a place which can be seen to all who enter the throne room of the Realm. There is a long, mystic case which hovers in mid-air just to the left of the throne where Tera would, if she really wanted to, hold court. The case is ethereal, a shimmering, multi-layered web of magic and power that both protects this treasure and holds it for all to see. It is a long, taller than Tera herself, golden pitchfork, the pitchfork that Tera’s mother, known only as The Queen, held in her time. It is meant to be used in certain formal ceremonies where Tera, as much as she doesn’t like it, has to appear “regal”—and, if you know Tera, you would be seeing her using finger quotes at the word regal.

But it is also one of Tera’s most treasured gifts, left to her by her mother upon her passing. When it comes time for her to hold it in her hands, to act formally as Queen of the Realm, Tera always pauses before it. She thinks about the battles that her mother fought while holding it. She sees, through the golden shimmer that surrounds the truth of the pitchfork, the notches, carefully spaced along the shaft. She runs a finger over each of them, remembering the battle that each represents. She pauses as her fingertip brushes into each groove, and she recalls the souls that were involved in each one. She then recalls the words of her mother: that, while it is a thing of battle, of purpose, of control, it is also a reflection of the strength needed to rule. Tera understands that point of view, why it was and why it is so. When she holds it in her hand, she can feel echoes of her mother’s soul in the metal, the troubling times which went on, seemingly forever. She also feels the joy when her mother announced to the Royal Court that she was expecting the birth of Tera, how that moment gave her mother the reason to continue.

This then, is the first, the pitchfork that marked the past times, the fight for who they now were and the Realm they all now shared.

The second is one of bronze. It is sleek, almost as large as the golden one, still quite a bit taller than Tera herself. It is heavier, made for larger hands, meant not for someone like Tera or her mother. It rests in another case in the same room, next to the golden one. It, too, is meant to be seen, to be appreciated for what truths it holds, in the same way as the first. Not as damaged as the first, it has far fewer markings. It was once held by Tera’s father, known simply as the King.

Like its golden counterpart, it has seen many battles, but the difference in its markings reflects the purpose of the King. This pitchfork is meant to be held by an Eternal, one who knows, in ways that no one else can, the holder of the golden pitchfork. Thus, there are but five marks on the shaft, each representing a moment that the King, and he alone, understood and remembered.

Tera herself rarely holds this pitchfork, for it is not meant for her, but for her own Eternal, for times when the Realm’s King must appear alongside the Queen. When he does so, he feels the pain in each moment its five markings represent. He hears the thoughts of its bearer when each was made and the echoes of the soul that came before. But there is an identical mark, in the same place as on the golden one, which tells of the joy felt when he knew that there was a future, her name being Tera, giving him a reason to continue onwards.

The last pitchfork, the silver one, is the one that Tera keeps close to her always. It is exactly the right size, shape, and balance for her and her alone. There are no marks in the metal, no flaws to show that it was meant for battle, has seen battle, or even been considered for that purpose (that isn’t to say that it hasn’t seen battle, just that its marks don’t show … or don’t show to anyone but her and Keith). It does not rest in a case; it quite literally lives with Tera and can be plucked out of thin air in an instant. It has been used to defend and to attack, but it also has been used to drive a point home, to act as an arbiter of justice, and more. Some have felt the prod of its tines and known the force held within it.

This last pitchfork is the most important one to Tera because it was given by her Eternal. Where he found it is a mystery that not even Tera herself has been able to solve. The only answer he has ever given is that it … just is.

When Tera holds it, one would think that she knows of the love he has for her, that he will be with her, hold her, defend and do all of the things that one that is an Eternal, the King of the Incubi and the Realm, would do. But that is not the truth. Tera knows all of those things because Keith is her Eternal, and they know in the connection between their souls always what that truth is.

The truth is that the silver pitchfork, while it is perfect for Tera in all ways, is meant for the future, for the promise to be from the promise made and the promise now kept. It is not meant to be put away, to be examined now and again; it is meant to be a reminder of the struggle every day to keep what they have, to remain as they are, to be all they can be in the face of what all others might think of them. Tera holds it with a light touch, the same as she has over her Realm. It shines as do those of the Realm in all they have created, experienced, and shared. It has a dangerous purpose, meant as a warning to those of ill will. It has a sensuality which reflects Tera’s own. It holds all that Tera has within herself, all that she is or could be.

As her Eternal has said … it just is.

But it is more. There is the pitchfork that Keith calls the silent fourth: never seen, never known, never told of. The fourth is in every way identical to the one which Tera holds. It is the equal of it, no better or worse, no more powerful or less so. It is Keith’s own, the twin of Tera’s in every way. They are the pitchforks forged from the love they have for each other.

Perhaps that is the best symbolism of all …

Apr 19 2015

A Review of Romasanta by Valerie Willis

Romasanta by Valerie Willis

Romasanta by Valerie Willis

Last year I wrote a review of the first work in a series by Valerie Willis called Cedric the Demonic Knight. You can find that review on the Tale here. I quite loved the story, the characters, and have been looking forwards to the next work in the series which focuses upon the character Romasanta, known as the Father of Werewolves in the series.

But in all things, there are others that appear in one’s life to change it, to shape it, and if one happens to be a certain succubus named Lilith, then, of course, one has to make an appearance…

The work tells the story of:

Romasanta finds himself a cursed man and struggles with his internal demon, literally. All his troubles start with a stone and after that he will be losing everything he’s ever loved. Faced with clinging on to what little humanity he has, he will lose it many times before reaching the end of his journey. His life’s tale will take you through time to see how every lore, every moment in history tied in with wolves all come back to him. They call him the Ancient One, others simply refer to him as the Father of Werewolves, but we know him by his name, Romasanta. Many battles will be fought before he gets closer to his goals, but will he be ready to finish what was asked of him at the very beginning of his horrible fate. Will he be able to return the Eye of Gaea and free the love of his life from the laurel tree in the Black Forest?

It is said that history is written by the victors. Perhaps it is more fitting that legends are told by those that lived, loved, suffered and survived them. Romasanta holds secrets within himself that none were ever meant to hear. When the truth comes out, finally, not all things are as had once been believed about him.

Just as in the first work in this series, the characters are amazingly well told, have strong personalities and their stories become more complex and captivating from what was learned in the first work. What is especially wonderful is how this work tells the story of Romasanta, but as that unfolds some of the events that transpired in the first work are revisited from his perspective and it changes, to a point, how things were understood before.

Everyone has their own understanding and memories of events in their lives and when lives cross and those moments can be compared, it creates a deeper, richer story. The character development that comes with these perspectives reveals quite a lot about Romasanta, Lilith, and many other characters in the first work that didn’t quite have enough of their story told before. To finally see, clearly, what these characters thought and did in the moments we saw before told a larger story, a better one. More so when the story, in telling Romasanta’s life, deeply enters the lives of Lilith and the others that came into contact with Romasanta.

While many characters develop and Romasanta is the core of this work, the most telling character for me was Lilith by far. There was so little really told of her in the first work, but here that doesn’t happen. Lilith appears in many moments, scenes, events, and makes a large difference to Romasanta himself. How she does so makes a few important truths about her known and in doing so the Lilith that appears here is so much more than her myth tells of her. That matters because as the story is told and Lilith must make some choices, it shows that, at least in this universe, just because one has horns and a tail that doesn’t mean you are as evil as most expect you to be.

The story tends to intersperse Romasanta’s hidden story among the events of Cedric, the main character of the series, and I think how that happens works really well. There’s connections made for each moment, for each choice and that makes for the revealing of a world, a history, and of a man, Romasanta, who lives through the most amazing highs and the most terrible lows imaginable.

Mythology matters in this work, every bit as much as it does in the first. The truth of those myths, of the stories well known and not so much so, ground the story well and allow it to flourish as much as I had hoped it would be. Fantasy and the adventure which Romasanta and others face, make for a strong, captivating story and is a strong companion work to the first book in the series.

There is a touch of romance as well, not erotica, and it allows for some truths to be revealed about several of the characters. Beyond that, the relationships, the understanding and conflict that appears between them build upon what has been told before and does not seem out of place, odd, or strange. Everything makes sense, flows into events in the past and present and there is little wasted moments in the story.

The work ends a bit further into the future from where the first work did, and it also reveals several surprises that are very unexpected but are not out of place with what was known in the first work and added to in the second. It is a bit of a cliffhanger, but that happens in a way that doesn’t leave disappointment. It give anticipation for the next work in the series.

Wonderful characters, amazing scenes and a mythos that fits together and makes sense. Lilith’s truths were everything I could have hoped for, and wanted to see. A few, very few, minor misplaced words here and there, but nothing that takes away from a story that I simply adored.

Another solid five out of five pitchforks.

Every bit as wonderful as the first work in the series, highly recommended, and like my reaction to the first work in the series, I can hardly wait for the third to appear. It’s nice to see events unfold from another set of eyes, but it’s more amazing when those eyes have their own story to be told.

 

Tera

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