Title: Goblet’s Edge
Author Name & Publisher: Lore Graham (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 25, 2016 – 68 pgs
August and Laurence have been lovers for years, and it’s a love August has never had any cause to doubt, even if Laurence is also his employer—until they arrive in Umbra and meet Queen Maeve, the woman Laurence is to marry.
It’s immediately clear to August that Maeve is more than a little interested in Laurence, and as the gap between him and lover widens, Laurence growing increasingly reserved and distant, August fears the moment he’s always dreaded is near to hand.
And the end of their relationship might be easier to accept if he could hate Maeve, but asking him to hate the beautiful, intriguing Maeve would be like asking him to stop loving the Lord he’s served and adored so long. Which just makes August more miserable than ever, and waiting for the moment when he’s finally cast out.
Lore Graham’s worlds are complex and interesting, and I love the way the world-building is threaded into the plot seamlessly. I enjoyed discovering August’s culture and surroundings as the story unfolded.
For the most part, I enjoyed this story. The characters and setting are interesting. Although I wanted to know more about their society, there was enough detail to keep my attention, and I didn’t feel as though it were lacking. It’s more that I want to see other stories set in this realm.
I liked August very much, but I’m not entirely sure how I feel about his relationship with Laurence or with Maeve for that matter. I am still on the fence about the power imbalance. I don’t really think August is being used, exactly, but he certainly isn’t on the same level with the others. It particularly bothered me that August seemed more like he was servicing Laurence than that Laurence actually cared about him as a person, and that bothered me a bit. I was left with the impression of “we trust you and we will occasionally have you in our bed, but you’re basically still a servant and should know your rightful place.” It may just be a case of it not really being my thing.
Other than that, though, it was very well written. There were some nicely steamy moments, and I definitely appreciated the skill regarding the creation of this world. I hope to see more about it in the future.
Although I did enjoy this quick read, I was left feeling as if there could have been much more to this story.
August in my opinion really does get the short end of the stick in this book. He works for Laurence basically as his personal assistant to whatever he needs and he is his secret lover also but I feel as if he is being used and nothing more. Then you throw Mauve (Laurence’s soon to be new wife) into the mix and I feel as if both Laurence and Mauve are both getting their cake and eating it too.
I believe that August is in love with Laurence and would never deny him any of his wishes but what I did not like about the story is Laurence never really said how he felt about August one way or the other and also Laurence is rather gold to August for the most part throughout the book.
What I did enjoy about the book is the fact that Mauve was a very bright woman and treated August with respect even though she really did not have too. I think that she actually has feelings for both men. The fact that she wants to include instead of exclude August in their wedding night was more then August could have ever asked for. Not to mention she did not want him to leave when they were done.
I enjoyed this story but I really wish that Laurence’s character would have been more forth coming with his feelings and I wish that he would have made it clear what he really wanted from both Mauve and August.
Lore Graham is a queer writer who lives in Boston, MA. Ze primarily writes sci fi and fantasy romance, but dabbles in poetry and nonfiction as well.
Lore is passionate about spectacular worlds and visceral stories, with a particular interest in queer characters. Ze is transgender and nonbinary; zir pronouns are ze/zir/zir or they/them/their. Outside of reading and writing, ze enjoys cooking, playing rpgs, hosting parties, and hugging cats.
Lore’s poetry has been published in Strange Horizons.