Book Review – Exiled to Paradise: The Nine of Pentacles by Anah Crow

Genre: Fantasy Gay Romance
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (March 13, 2010)

About the book:

“Anyel was exiled to paradise to protect his lover’s position as heir to the throne of his country. Twenty years hiding as a monk on a remote, lush island have changed him. Yet, Anyel has never stopped loving Quin, who now holds the throne. When he is brought back, all he wants is to fall back into Quin’s arms.

The old world seen through new eyes is full of lies. A man who Anyel once mocked and derided is revealed as a bastion of decency, and a glimpse of Quin’s true nature leaves Anyel fearing for his life. Anyel must protect himself and the few good people he once took for granted, cure a plague, and find his freedom, while real love takes root in the untended garden of his heart.”


I’m not sure why Exiled to Paradise: The Nine of Pentacles by Anah Crow got tagged on Amazon as erotica, bdsm, dominance or submission – none of which actually applies to this book. Exiled to Paradise: The Nine of Pentacles is actually a sweet (and pretty chaste) gay romantic short story about a man who loved and lost, and yet learned to love again (emphasis on the chaste, the characters pretty much just kiss – and anything more than that is just implied).

I really liked the main character of Anyel – we first meet him as a well-respected monk who has been living in the rustic ‘paradise’ of Bisera for the past twenty years. It’s been quite a change in lifestyle for him, from living in the city as the crown prince Quin’s lover, to being exiled to far-flung Bisera (ostensibly to protect Quin’s political interests). Still, Anyel has adjusted as best as he could, and has spent the intervening years honing his magical healing talents to best help the simple people of Bisera. Twenty years is a long time to carry a torch for someone, but Anyel endures with his love for Quin, even while not quite understanding why (the now King) Quin hasn’t sent for him all these years.

When a plague sweeps Quin’s kingdom, Anyel finds himself on a ship captained by his old ‘nemesis’ Berrit heading straight back for the city. Anyel has finally gotten his heart’s wish – Quin has sent for him. But it’s a case of be careful what you wish for – what if the man you loved isn’t the man you thought he was? And what if the man you thought was your enemy, was anything but that?

It’s a very short tale, but I think it’s well worth reading it. I loved in particular how Anah Crow described Anyel’s life in Bisera. It’s not quite a ‘paradise’ – but I could understand how it became a kind of paradise and home for Anyel. It’s a bittersweet tale – Anyel has pretty much spent all the ‘best’ years of his life pining for someone unworthy, so I was happy that we did get a happy ending for him eventually 🙂

Check out Exiled to Paradise: The Nine of Pentacles and help support Anah Crow!

~ by RandomizeME on May 10, 2011.

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