*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has in no way influenced my review.*
This was a very quick, light read. It was a nice, positive story about a genderqueer/non-binary character (no specific term was used, but he didn’t feel like a man, and he didn’t feel like a woman, he was simply both). Not everyone in the world was accepting, but those closest to Kikeru were, and Kikeru, after a bit of struggle to figure things out, was accepting of himself.
There was also romance, but that too was light with only one brief intimate scene that was on-screen but not too explicit.
Because the book was so short though, the plot was uncomplicated, the problems they ran into were solved easily, the romance was instalove-y, and the characters didn’t have much depth. I also had a hard time trying to understand the way their society worked with the priestesses and daemons and whatnot since some things weren’t really explained or explored.
Overall it was entertaining and enjoyable as a quick, light read, I do recommend it if that’s what you’re in the mood for, but it had potential for more and I think I would’ve enjoyed it more had it been longer and less rushed and explored things more in depth.
Kikeru, the child of a priestess at the sacred temple of Knossos in ancient Crete, believes that the goddesses are laughing at him. They expect him to choose whether he is a man or a woman, when he’s both. They expect him to choose whether to be a husband to a wife, or a celibate priestess in the temple, when all he wants to do is invent things and be with the person he loves.
Unfortunately, that person is Rusa, the handsome ship owner who is most decidedly a man and therefore off-limits no matter what he chooses. And did he mention that the goddesses also expect him to avert war with the Greeks?
The Greeks have an army. Kikeru has his mother, Maja, who is pressuring him to give her grandchildren; Jadikira, Rusa’s pregnant daughter; and superstitious Rusa, who is terrified of what the goddesses will think of him being in love with one of their chosen ones.
It’s a tall order to save Crete from conquest, win his love, and keep both halves of himself. Luckily, at least the daemons are on his side.