SPOILER ALERT!

Like Fire Through Bone by E. E. Ottoman

Like Fire Through Bone - E.E. Ottoman

Well, this was disappointing.

 

I assumed this was meant to be an alternate universe or some sort, where society approved of slaves and eunuchs. But some of the masters did all the work in the house, letting the slaves rest (or maybe they just did that with Vasilios only). Can't say how many times I rolled my eyes at having Markos or Nereida took care of Vasilios.

(show spoiler)

Bottom line was partway into the story, I couldn't really understand the dynamics between the characters. I felt cut off and couldn't really enjoy the story.

 

I couldn't understand how after more than 2 decades of following orders, being calm and collected, Vasilios was losing control, crying and raging against his fate. Once you follow a pattern for some time (especially as long as Vasilios has been a castrato and serving Panagiotis) one develops a routine, it becomes ingrained in you. Yet suddenly, Vasilios was complaining about not speaking up when he was sent to Anthimos. My understanding of social hierarchy was that his status did not allow him that privilege. He only had to do what he was being told.

 

I didn't understand the part of Vasilios being named 'the Patient'. Was it supposed to make reference to him enduring the rough treatment from Anthimos? If that's the case, then it's soooo corny. Otherwise, that was just added to the story without any value to the story as it was never brought up again.

 

What exactly made Markos fall in love with Vasilios when they rarely saw each other? Towards the end of the book the author seems to realise there was no basis for Markos to have any feelings for Vasilios and had Markos make some comments that he had noticed Vasilios for some time.

 

I was thrown off course by the whole religious vibe throughout the story, mixing Christian elements with other religions and just throwing that combo over the story. For that fact, it was somewhat off-putting to focus one moment on supernatural elements and finding a way to kill the demon, then the next moment focus on Vasilios’ abuse and hard living. It was like the author couldn't decide which plot line to focus on. And just to be bitchy all the way, I saw no reason why Vasilios had to be an eunuch. His social standing could have been added to the overall hierarchy without actually cutting off genitals. The last few pages of the book where Markos and Vasilios become intimate were right down ludicrous. Markos did not enjoy penetration, Vasilios didn't either and also disliked blowjobs. So, it pretty much summarised the whole book, where there had been only a platonic, romantic notion between the two. I really didn't care to read about them rubbing against each other.

(show spoiler)

 

 

So yeah, complete opposite to what I was expecting. This gets a very low rating from me.