This is a love story between two men, set in a Mediterranean fantasy kingdom, where men fight wars and women stay out of the way. One is a soldier, the other is a beast tamer. There’s a bit of social intrigue and a twisty ending, and not much violence. The fantasy elements are incidental to the relationships.
This story sits right at neutral on my dial. I liked it immediately after I finished it but now it’s a day later and most of it has drained right out of my brain. The characters were well drawn and seemed realistic, but I probably wouldn’t get along with them. They lived in a fascinating city, but I wouldn’t want to live there. There was plenty of sex, but I found none of it erotic. I would recommend this, but only to people that I think would enjoy a gay Persian-style romance. My voting feelings for it are relational at this point, totally depending on whether I love/hate the other novellae.
I have wishlisted the two expensive novellae by writers whose corporate publishers think they're more awesome than Stephen King. If these works drop to a reasonable rate before voting closes, I'll buy and review and vote on them. If not ... the idea is to jack up the price after you win the award for excellence. Not while you're still bumbling around in a pre-excellent state.