Tuesday, 10 December 2013

REVIEW FOR TENDER MASTER

  
Tender Master
Released By: Yaoi Press
Writer and Artist: Yamila Abraham
Cover Art: Ero Pinku
Release Date: Out now!
Reviewed by: Sandra Scholes

Based on the manga Offered to a Demon, Tender Master follows Caleb, who was born to a rare and unusual race, asacrat who live only to serve the Crystalline gods. He was trained to become a priest, but was betrayed as his masters intentions for him were to become nothing more than a sex slave. His deep shock at what they have done to him hurts him to the core as the gods who he had grown to admire, worship and lover are now abhorrent to him.


Caleb only has one option, flee from the gods and become a missionary instead so he doesn't have to be enthralled by their kind, but he has left one trouble only to be caught up by another as General Caine, a demon of high rank wants Caleb and it doesn't help that he is the Crystalline gods worst enemy.

Readers will like how this story starts as Caleb has just had a steamy encounter with Fizu, one of the Crystalline gods. It is easy to get the gist of how he feels at being used by the very gods he revered when he was much younger, and how he feels about them now. This knowledge can shatter anyone's dreams of serving a higher cause, but for Caleb, he realises he isn't as indoctrinated as the gods might have thought. He thought he was going to serve them spiritually, they wanted him sexually. No one can blame them, though, judging by the cover art, Caleb is quite the beauty. There is a crueller aspect to this story though as April his sister tells him he and their kind might not exist if it weren't for the gods needing them to warm their beds, so she thinks he should be thankful he is alive. She advises him to take a break if he is starting to lose his faith and become a missionary if he needs to, but come back when he feels better. Caleb, on the other hand rarely does as when he has left before he feels ill and wonders why.

When Caleb leaves the place, he ventures into what Julian calls Hell and tells him he should expect the worst. This of course might remind avid readers of Yaoi Press's manga, as a similar premise for Offered to a Demon where a godly young man learns that the demons they should fear aren't as bad as he is led to believe. He wonders why he called for an asacrat, and when Julian tells him, it's a good enough reason considering a place called Darkhelm might need someone like him. Caleb comes to find out that saving others from demons isn't why he has been asked to come - they want  him to appease the General, a lusty demon who would rather he warm his bed than any Crystalline god.

Other than being a sex slave, Caleb can function well as a healer of the sick and possessed, but now that a demon has found him interesting both in and out of bed, he is in more turmoil than ever before. He questions the gods and their motives for ever hating the demons when they are practically the same as both gods and demons require regular sex, as does Caleb. However, Caine knows this but doesn't force Caleb to be his bed partner, instead he tells him he has to choose to be his as he can't live without having sex due to the curse put on him by the gods. I liked the intimacy of this story as Caleb finds once he sleeps with Caine that he gives him far more foreplay than his original masters, and will give him choices that his masters did not. Tender Master is a larger version of Offered to a Demon, and I am glad that the story has been revisited and broadened it into a longer story, and at 51 pages, it's a perfect present for the festive season.


Verdict: If you loved Offered to a Demon, this will be an excellent second look at what happens next.