Sleepily blinking his eyes, Aqib watched this virile spectacle and thought, Sweet Saints, how I wish that glorious man were mine own lover for me alone to love.
A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson is not your typical sci-fi/fantasy book. Basically, it’s a (maybe star-crossed) love story between two guys in a kind-of fantasy Africa. That is, of course, a massive oversimplification bordering on wild inaccuracy, but to say any more would spoil the plot.
If Every Heart a Doorway is the most widely accessible of the Long Fiction nominees, A Taste of Honey might be the most difficult for a casual reader to get into. The book has a non-linear chronology. The world-building is immersive, with little-to-no exposition. The book is loaded with unfamiliar, head-to-the-dictionary words and long descriptions. The author is not afraid of semi-colons. The completely original setting, however, is well-worth a try. You are not going to encounter something like this anywhere else.
It is the second book (as far as I can tell) set in this world, after Wilson’s The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps. You do not need to have read The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps in order to read A Taste of Honey. I read them in reverse order and followed everything fine (in that I’m still not completely sure what the hell is going on).
Rating: 4 stars