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Nor Iron Bars a Cage (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Kaje Harper

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Présentation de l'éditeur

First I was a sorcerer. Then I was a hermit. For so long—for years that seemed to go on forever—I couldn't bear to be touched. I put up not just walls but whole stone bunkers to keep everyone out, emotionally, and physically as well. I was protected from people, from ghosts, from specters real and imagined. Sure, I was alone. But I felt safe. Only, after a while, I wasn't sure any longer whether a totally "safe" empty life was really worth living.
Then Tobin came along. Out of the blue, out of my past, with a summons from the king that he wouldn't let me ignore. I tried to cling to my isolation, but he wouldn't give up on me. Tobin never believed in walls.

This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's "Love Has No Boundaries" event. Any author royalties from this story will be donated to the Gay Men's Domestic Violence Project (GMDVP).

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1797 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 320 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°4.498 des titres gratuits dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 gratuits dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  126 commentaires
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great M/M Fantasy Read 13 octobre 2013
Par T. Gray - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
4.5 stars – Really enjoyable fantasy novel with very likeable and appealing characters. (I read this originally from the GoodReads M/M group as part of its free “Love Has No Boundaries” story event.)

I’m a fan of Harper’s mysteries and shifter books. I find her style excessively readable, and I always dig her characters and their relationships. This is the first “high fantasy” work I’ve read by her, and I found it just as readable and enjoyable as her more “modern” world works.

The story focuses on Lyon, a sorcerer “in hiding,” from his past and from the world, who lives on his own in his stone cottage, and is so introverted, it takes a lot of energy to muster up a conversation with the boy who delivers his food. But Lyon is hiding for a reason, and that reason comes out as the story progresses, especially when his childhood friend Tobin comes knocking, and asks Lyon to leave the safety of his stone walls for a request by the king. It is Tobin’s reappearance and his steadfast nature to coax Lyon back with him that propels the story (and Lyon) forward.

Really enjoyed the story and its progression as Lyon struggled to take in these changes and his feelings for Tobin. I also found that struggle very resonating—Lyon’s battle against his fears, the disability with his scarred hand, his feelings of self-worth, his ability to interact with others. It was very easy for me to feel his struggle and sympathize with him.

And I loved Tobin’s patience and willingness to bend and alter in order to either find a way that would work with Lyon’s disability or traumas or would give Lyon the space to move forward on his own. Very supportive and loving character, and totally won me over. (I also dug that Tobin realized that this was something he could have only done because he was older and more experienced. He mentions at one point that if he came upon Lyon when he was 20, and Lyon was just coming out of surviving his ordeal, that Tobin probably wouldn’t have handled it well, and not been able to provide the same thoughtfulness. I thought that was nicely realistic.)

I thought the romance was handled great—it was a nice slow burn that seemed to always be bubbling. The slow burn also worked well and felt consistent with a character that was so touch-phobic and had to slowly learn how to open up and be okay with contact.

Overall, I really dug it. It’s a long novel, at over 100,000 words, which is pretty amazing since it was written for a prompt for the MM Romance Group’s 2013 summer story event, and was completed in less than a month and a half. Probably with more timing, some parts could have been tightened more, some typos caught, but those are small complaints for a story that I thought was actually pretty awesome.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A masterpiece of m/m fantasy romance... 17 octobre 2013
Par nowyat - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Lyon had begun his working life as apprentice to a sorcerer. Sorcery in this world is necromancy, that is, communication with the dead. Lyon's master had begun delving too deeply in his search for knowledge and he raised something very dangerous, very powerful and very deadly. This undead creature possessed Lyon's master and tried to gain control of Lyon as well. In the end, the sorcerer was dead, his fortress burned to the ground and Lyon had fled, scarred, crippled and psychologically traumatized. For long years Lyon hid from the world and now he is 29, living as a recluse in a small country village and making a name for himself as a translator of dead languages. The king hears of his skill and sends one of his most trusted aids to bring Lyon to his castle for an important job. The king's aide is Tobin, an ex-military officer. Tobin is shocked to recognize the beloved friend of his youth. Lyon still has the long golden hair and beautiful face he remembers but he had thought Lyon had died in the fire long ago. This is basically where the book begins as an adventure to save the kingdom with knowledge gained from the dead plays out. Tobin loves Lyon and will do anything to keep him safe and help him overcome his fears, but the undead wraith who had caused those fears is waiting for a chance to rise again... This was an excellent read, just fascinating. The plot was so well designed and creative with many wonderful characters. The love between our two heroes wasn't always enough to overcome the problems they faced, but they struggled on and didn't give up until they achieved a happy end for themselves. Best thing I have read in quite a while.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautifully Written! 12 octobre 2013
Par Zeecé Lugo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I had never read anything by Kaje Harper. In fact, I downloaded the book for free from Smashwords having absolutely no expectations. Within the first few pages, I was hooked. The writing is melodic, the world is beautifully crafted, the characters are both flawed and flawless. The love story between Lyon and Tobyn reads like poetry. The sex scenes are handled beautifully, with delicacy and subtlety. I definitely recommend this book and will absolutely be reading it again. I will also be reading more by this author.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 2013 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention 21 janvier 2014
Par Elisa - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
An excellent book, as worthy and interesting as the best of other fantasy books I have read, whether mainstream or otherwise. My only quibble was occasional ‘modern’ or inappropriate word choices that threw me out of the fantasy setting. However, with real in-depth strengths in both character and plot, and a thoroughly thought-out world, this is a comparatively minor matter. The story takes its time from beginning to end, and is never less than involving, unfolding with as much patience, love and truth as shown by Tobin in dealing with Lyon’s healing. Beautifully done.

I rated the book with higher marks because it really pulled me in from page one. I could picture Lyons home, feel his need for Safety and understood Tobin. The book was one that I couldn't wait to get home to finish reading it. For that reason I am passing this book on to the next round.

Harper wove a vivid world, filled it with complex, believable characters, and told a story that was full of sweet romance, gripping action, and terrible evil. The progression of the characters—especially Lyon—was amazing to watch unfold. Overall, this is a great, enthralling book.

I really got sucked in to this story and thought that it was a tale of 2 journeys: the actual plot driven journey taken by the 2 main characters and the journey taken by Lyon during his recovery . I thought the author dealt sensitively with the issues of PTSD and how long a person can take to heal. I also liked the world building the slowly building sense of menace.

A very engaging, well-designed plot that does not consist of the characters' sexuality being a sole plot driver. An equally well-realized setting. More than anything else, it was the characters who drew me in with this book – I was really pulling for them to end up happily together, which is the hallmark of a good friends to lovers romance as far as I'm concerned. Engaging, excellently well-developed first person voice.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Somewhere between 3.5 and four stars, I think 17 juillet 2014
Par M. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I'll admit: I started off unimpressed, and I didn't really expect my assessment to improve. The fact that the story won me over to a score of 3.5 at minimum - which is the score I use for those books I deem "enjoyable despite the fact that they have some issues" - means that I'm sitting here feeling impressed against my will. 'Cause I really did like this book.

The plot was narrower in scope than I think I was expecting, but it worked. Lyon was a sorcerer before a tragic accident scarred him physically and psychologically (I'm understating; dude was messed up) and sent him running for isolation. Fifteen years later, making a living doing translations only possible due to a side-effect of the tragedy, with his issues barely improved, old friend Tobin comes a-knocking, insisting that Lyon accompany him back to the king for a translation job and not taking no for an answer. Oh, and though they didn't realize it when they were kids together, they both happen to be "fay," which is this world's way of saying they both get hot for other dudes.

I'll start with the one thing I had the biggest problem with: the characterizations. Lyon was a hot mess, but it just didn't quite ring true, especially in the opening chapters.


If he was going to be so screwed up that he'd fight the trip back to the king tooth and nail, he didn't put up enough of a fight. If he gave in too quickly because he knew deep down that he didn't want to live in isolation anymore, that internal struggle wasn't evident enough. Essentially, it read like a foot-stamping tantrum ("NO! I WON'T GO! NO-NO-NO!!") that morphed into acceptance ("You're not buying that? OK, fine, I'll go.") a little too quickly and unbelievably. The reason he finally caved was of the "I know how stubborn you are, Tobin" variety, and that's lame. Traveling was either a traumatic enough notion that Lyon should have been stubborner - I kept expecting him to attempt suicide, or run away - or there should have been some evidence of an internal battle to rise above the crazy.

[****END SPOILERS****]

The characters' personalities continued to make me feel skeptical throughout the book, although not quite as much as Lyon did at first. Tobin was ever patient with his nutjob boyfriend, and it would have felt a little more realistic had he let some exasperation shine through just once, just a little. Maybe even worse was toward the end when Lyon finds himself in a predicament that has a few too many similarities to his traumatic past. The words about the panic and terror are there, but they feel perfunctory and...not enough. It seems odd when Lyon suddenly panics after a good long stretch where he seems just fine, and there's no, or not enough, elaboration on his internal struggles. I read about Lyon's fear. I read about his panic. I read about his dread. What I didn't do is actually feel those emotions along with him. The intensity doesn't shine through.

That lack of authentic emotion and response is probably the only thing I really didn't care for with the book. Actually, that's not very fair of me. It's not that the emotion is perpetually inauthentic, it's just that there are a few too many moments that didn't strike home. And truly, there was a lot there that's good.

One thing that makes me almost preemptively cringe is when female authors write gay love scenes; often they're overly-saccharine, and sometimes they border on the absurd. (I'll never forget the book I read where a virgin bottoms for the first time without lube or preparation...and enjoys it.) The love scenes in this one redeem the genre.


I'm not saying there was no temptation to roll my eyes ever, but...Tobin bottoms. Cheerfully. And he likes it. And he's the butch one. For some reason, the main character in these books is inevitably the "weaker" or "more feminine" of the couple. I've wondered if it has to do, at least in part, with female authors being more comfortable in general writing from the receptive point of view, but in any case, it's nice to see something different. It's nice to have one more thing in the arsenal dispelling the myth that real men can't like it up the duff, and that the smaller, weaker, emotional one in the pair has to be the one to spread his legs.

[****END SPOILERS****]

The book was well-edited. If you've had any experience with e-books - particularly the self-published ones, but OCR-scanned books have their share of issues - you know what a relief that can be. Harper's language was well-chosen as well. Often funny, and it stayed nestled nicely between too simplistic and too florid. This author knows how to write!

Like I said above, the plot was a narrow one - a sweeping epic this is not - but it was well-executed. The story told fits the characters and the setting and the length. There was a very nice balance between action and inaction; it was never too busy or confusing, and yet it was never boring. I won't say it blew my mind, but I'll readily admit that I stayed up too late in order to keep turning pages.

The world was a delightful one, and one that I'd like to see more of. Lost magical arts, undead summoning, monarchies with nefarious neighbors, barbarian tribes...none of that is new. It was, however, well done and immersive. It was all nicely explained through introduction rather than lecture. I also didn't catch any of the anachronisms that sometimes spring up in these pre-industrial sorts of worlds. Everything fit.

This review is probably longer than the book now, so I'll just wrap up by saying that had it not been for the "offness" of some of the characters' thoughts and actions, this book would have been pushing five stars. Even with that offness, I heartily enjoyed it and will certainly be looking through this author's other works. It's a good book indeed.
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