I picked up Sarah Monette’s Melusine at the library, on the “recommendation” of this review. I admit I was tempted because I wanted to see how bad things got.
Here’s one thing I have to get out of the way first. Melusine is advertised as a gay romance. Melusine is definitely not a gay romance. There’s exactly one non-abusive sexual relationship between men in the whole book, and it’s broken up in the very first pages.* There are, of course, plenty of men forcing boys into child prostitution, men committing physical abuse against other men, and men coercing other men into sex acts. None of this is portrayed as part of a sexual fantasy where somehow there’s no harm and no foul, it’s all meant to be physically and mentally harmful to the victim. It’s a little like Sebastiane if somebody removed all the nasty kinky parts where men enjoy fucking each other and just left in the part with the arrows. Continue reading →