The Crimson Spell 2 by Ayano Yamane.
The Crimson Spell 2 is a Yaoi novel. Yaoi is a Japanese art form, graphic novels about gay romances written almost exclusively by women and for women. These books can range from sweet romances to torrid sexual adventures. This book and this review deal frankly with sex between men. So if this is not your cup of tea, well you have been warned.
A further warning: this is not a sweet romance. Its art depicts some pretty graphic steamy sex. You have been warned twice.
When last we left Vald (spelling change between edition 1 and 2) he was traveling with the Wizard Havi to find a way to break the curse linking him to the demon-killing sword. Prince Vald turns into a feral creature with pointy ears and teeth and tiger stripe tribal markings all over his delectable body whenever he is too excited, or when he falls asleep. Havi has found a great way to calm him down; SEX. However, Prince Vald has no memories when he returns to himself.
In pursuit of the cure Havi has tried several things, each one telling him the curse is more potent that he suspected. In their adventures, they picked up a sidekick, the flying rabbit Liethregveel, who was an apprentice to a powerful wizard. Now he can resume his human form for brief periods of time.
Now, as the story opens, Havi is trying another spell to see if he can unravel the Crimson Spell that has cursed the prince. The answer is no, but we get to witness the detailed process of calming him down again.
Restored to his right mind, Vald asks about the progress, and Leith lets it slip that Havi stole the magical encyclopedia from the Academy they just were thrown out of. Vald is scandalized, and in another part of the world, a young wizard, Halrein is given the job of retrieving it.
But as Vald starts to question how Havi came by the books, they are interrupted. A demon is trying to eat a young swordsman named Mars. Vald and his demon-killing sword make short work of it. Vald invites the lad to share their fire and supper.
Mars is a bit of an oblivious idiot...he pawned his sword, and his forthright manner irritates Havi, but Vald seems to like him.
In the morning, they discover he has stolen all of Havi's (and only Havi's) possessions.
The next morning sees them closing in on the next town, which is under demon attack! Vald rushes in and starts slaying, which unleashes the beast in him, just a little. These are lower level demons, and no match for him, but they have started his transformation. Havi seeks to calm him, holding him, and then kissing him.
But Vald is not the beast, Vald still has his own mind, and he is startled, shocked, and angered. He storms off, conflicted in his emotions (as is always the way for a Uke in a Yaoi. The Uke is the passive partner; the active partner is called the Seme.)
His flight takes him to where Mars sits in prison. And Vald realizes he really is an idiot; (he got the encyclopedia burned, and killed and ate a cow, and thereby got himself arrested.
However, the attack is not over, and while Vald is off wondering how in the world Havi could have done such a thing, and being angst ridden over the fact it was not entirely bad, Havi is attacked by a Higher Order Demon!
The Beast curses him, but Havi won't take the time to purify the spell from his body, because that will give the demon time to escape! And who should show up at this time but Halrein.
The demon prevails, and Havi is whisked off to be tortured and fondled by the Demon's master.
Meanwhile, Havi rejoins Leith and meets Halrein. Together they set out to find Havi, and they succeed, insofar as they succeed at getting Vald captured by the same Demon, and taken to the same place....will they ever get out alive?
Good question, and I am eagerly awaiting book 3.
This book has far more development of storyline than book one, and unfortunately, a lot less sex. Vald now knows that he has been molested when not in his right mind, and can begin his angsty resistance (the beast don't resist). Japanese women love angst. And the storyline is much more complex, with three ancillary characters, and three villains, promising further complexity to come. It feels like book one was an introduction, this is the set up, and the action starts in the next book.
And while I could have used more hot and steamy scenes, what few there are sizzle. Yamane is a superlative artist, and while her men are elegant and somewhat effete, they are men, with muscle and all the correct anatomy, drawn in. Like I said, not a manga for the kiddies.
There is a very slight rape theme; the villains are a gropy lot, and of course, Havi is taking advantage of Vald's vulnerability, however it is not a huge detraction.
The story feels a little choppier than book one, but the writing is marginally better, leaving the overall effect a consistent excellence.
Yaoi is a rather specialized art form, and not all of it works for western tastes. However this is one of the best titles I have come across, and I eagerly await the third volume.
Try these Yaoi reviews:
Love Circles *(801)*Maiden Rose 1 *(801)*Maniac Shorts Shot *(801)*Gay's Anatomy *(801)*Happy Yaoi Yum Yum *(801)*The Loudest Whisper *(801)*Lover's Flat *(801)*Wild Butterfly *(801)*Shards of Affection*(801)*Romantic Illusions *(801)*Ruff Love*(801)*Thunderbolt Boys Excite Vol 2*(801)*Thunderbolt Boys Excite Vol 1*(801)*Pathos*(801)*Pathos II*(801)*The Crimson Spell 2 *(801)*The Crimson Spell *(801)*Incubus *(801)*Incubus Volume 2*(801)*Incubus Volume 3*(801)*Love + Alpha*(801)*Yellow*(801)*Yakuza in Love 3 *(801)*Yakuza in Love 2 *(801)*Yakuza in Love *(801)*Beyond Scandalous Seiryo University *(801)*Return to Seiryo University *(801)*Scandalous Seiryo University *(801)*Wild Rock *(801)*Man's Best Friend *(801)*Shinobu Kokoro *(801)*Midaresomenishi: A Legend of Samurai Love *(801)*Stallion *(801)*Gerard & Jaques 2 *(801)*Gerard & Jaques 1
Read all 1 Reviews
Write a Review