Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-831-4
Historical Romance, 2009
I have always been fascinated by the Sengoku period in feudal Japan, and therefore, Anna O’Neill’s Sins of the Father seems tailor-made for me. It’s a gay romance set in that time period and it has samurais and ninjas to the wazoo, so what’s not to love, eh?
Sanada Sora and Takeda Kaname are both shinobi, a word you will want to use to describe male ninjas if you want to impress an otaku. While Sora is the more calculated and clinical type, Kaname is the “people first, love and honor, for the rainbow” kind of older guy. In this story, they will have to work together despite their very different personalities, and naturally romantic sodomy is written in the stars somewhere along the way.
Sins of the Father is a decent read, a little too short to live up to its potential, but still a pretty okay read. The thing is, I have to suspend my disbelief a lot in this story. Those warriors of that era follow a very tight code of honor and deference to one’s superior is part of that code. Disobeying that code is a very serious crime. However, in this story Kaname doesn’t just disrespect his superior Sora, he openly flouts Sora’s orders and talks back to that man in a manner that would be considered very disrespectful back then.
Historically, the Sanada clan had served the famous Takeda general Shingen in Shinano, so this story does have some sound basis in history. Unfortunately, the main characters behave more like modern day foes-turned-lovers rather than folks back in the 16th century, so the end result still resembles some fanfiction thingy based only very loosely on history. Oh well, it has a very pretty cover, if that’s any consolation.