This was an exceptionally well-written short - there was enough back-story to get one's teeth into without dragging the story down and there was suspense and intrigue enough to keep it interesting.
The steamy bedroom scenes are just an added bonus to the marvelously scripted fantasy setting. I was disappointed to see the end of the story, I wanted to learn more about the city, the gods, even more about how Bastian's particular brand of magic worked.
Bastian and Vashi were also extremely compelling characters - their loyalties and loves and how they interwove made this an undoubted success. Angela Fiddler is definitely an author to keep an eye out for.
Years of training have turned Bastian into a sublimely sexual weapon, capable of pulling magic to enthrall. His mission is to captivate the overlord, then kill him, when years of violent revolts had failed. Vashi wasn’t meant for Bastian’s snares, but passion catches him up in them.
Sex to Bastian is means to an end and a method of control. But Vashi shows him pleasure in sex, and that the magic Bastian can use is stronger when the two of them are as one.
Unfortunately, Bastian’s mission is a cruel and harsh one. One that demands complete and total submission, and Bastian has been purchased, body and soul. If he fails, Bastian’s people are at risk of losing their lives as much as their freedom. If he succeeds, he may lose Vashi. As ever, the devil is in the details.