Review: The Cobbler's Soleless Son by Meredith Katz
As a human, he'd never be allowed to even get close to Prince Hrahez. The only solution is to make a bargain with a demon, and everyone knows what they want. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and he's got a plan—but it involves tricking a demon. If it doesn't work, nobody in town would want to be in his shoes.
Renart is nineteen, human and fascinated with demons.
(*whispers*Horns, am I right?)
In the high fantasy world created by Meredith Katz in The Cobbler's Soleless Son, Renart is focused on one thing no matter how aimless he seems to his cobbler mother. Human/ demon relations are frowned upon in their world. Humans are treated more like cattle and slaves in most of their world and Renart's little family has it sweet. Humans are allowed to live in peace (mostly). Demons like using humans as playthings sexually, especially cubants (like incubus and succubus). They are gender-fluid shapeshifters that feed off their sexual partners life force during sex.
Renart has bigger dreams than being a future cobbler, though he has talent. He's been a demon's plaything and he wants to maintain that lifestyle once he makes the eyes with demon prince of his town, prince Hrahez. Thus begins a different kind of tale with magic curses and painful tests for the human to complete.
The story's unwinding fairy tale-esque format worked, in a sense, for the information the author introduced about demon vs. human society, It was interesting especially cubants. But the execution worked against The Cobbler's Soleless Son for me. Renart is fascinated with the Prince, makes crazy bargains on an off chance he'll be picked up to be a plaything.
All over one glance? Eh...
Granted, the last 10% answers a majority of the questions I had. But I have to rate the story on a whole. The first half read more like it was trying to make a statement then tell a story. By the time, the story got into a decent enough groove, it was too late for any character investment. I could care less for either main character.
And the final "test" was unnecessary for me but I guess it adds more interest and shock value. Meh.
Too little too late. I think I'd had liked to read more relationship development aka a clever cat and mouse kind of courting instead. Reflecting on the entire thing, there's moments of cleverness but too little too late for me.
Book's strongest point? The demons, the sex and the openness on gender. *coughs*foot sex*coughs*
I don't think it needs to be a warning but I know there are readers who'd like to know there is a MF on page sex scene. It was HOT! (As was the MM scenes) If this was just PWP, I'd have rated it higher.
Overall, not bad. I think the length was a good fit, I just wished more I don't think the author's writing style is a fit for me, but I think readers who enjoy interesting, quirkier high fantasy reads that gives a little eroticism and fairy tale might enjoy.
Gorgeous cover, BTW.