On Wings Of Blue
by Anne Cain, historical/fantasy (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 1-59998-689-2
On Wings Of Blue is set in Japan but this medieval Japan has all kinds of magic woo-woo stuff. Our hero, Eiji, is feeling blue because he is a prisoner of Lord Fujiwara. Our hero is with a traveling band of musicians, doing their thing, until he captures the lecherous attention of Lord Fujiwara who decides that he will have Eiji as his personal toy boy. As Eiji does all he can to prevent his willowy form from being ravished by the evil Lord Fujiwara, he finds an unlikely ally in a butterfly named Hakusa. They fall in love, or so I'm told, and Hakusa will make a big sacrifice to become human and be with Eiji for the happily ever after.
Eiji is 18 but acts like a fragile porcelain princess here that there are times when I fear that he may inhale too hard and shatter into a million pieces. He's the stereotypical princess bishie. Normally there would be a more manly bishie to complement him if we are going with the yaoi formula but Hakusa is pretty much another Eiji, albeit a more proactive one. Therefore, I have two yaoi princesses on the run here. Since yaoi princesses tend to give me the creeps, I get double the creeps here. The biseinen samurai Tsunayoshi is more of my type of guy but alas, the poor sod isn't going to be getting his story.
As a short story, this one doesn't have much going for it when it comes to character or relationship development. However, for its length the setting is surprisingly well-depicted and the author succeeds very well in evoking the beauty and fragility of the butterfly to contrast it with how Hakusa will go all the way to save Eiji. Perhaps if the story is longer, Ms Cain may just end up with a story that is evocative and interesting enough to make the two yaoi princesses running around a tolerable thing. As it is, there are enough interesting things here to make On Wings Of Blue far more memorable to me than it otherwise would be.
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