Nicholas: The Lords of Satyr
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It seems almost hard to believe but I’ve been writing The Fabio Files for almost six years now. Between this column and my natural appetite for romance novels, I’ve read probably thousands of them since picking up my first Danielle Steele book at the age of thirteen. So I wasn’t surprised to find myself becoming jaded and kind of, well, bored with romances. Nothing really excited me or shocked me anymore. Like a drug addict who has to take more and more of his drug of choice to get high, I found myself seeking out trashier and trashier novels to get my fix. So when I found this book, Nicholas: The Lords of Satyr, by Elizabeth Amber, I thought I had hit the mother lode. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite correct.

In the world Amber has created, there is a link between our world (called “Earthworld”) and another, more mystical world (called “Elseworld”), and the Satyr family of Tuscany has guarded the passage between the two worlds for centuries. For the most part the Satyr men seem like any other Italian nobles in the nineteenth century: handsome, rich, and sophisticated. But when the moon is full (or, as Amber oh-so-subtly calls it, “Moonful,”) they are transformed into beasts from the age of Greek myth into actual Satyrs. But Amber adds her own little twist: instead of growing hooves and a goat’s tail, the Satyr men grow a second “member” once a month. At first reading I found this positively shocking, but as the book wore on it just seemed contrived and didn’t play any role other than to titillate and shock the reader. My Greek mythology is a bit rusty, so I turned to Professor Wikipedia to see if the satyr of legend had a propensity for growing a second set of sexual organs. I couldn’t find any evidence that it was so (and if it’s on the internet it must be true, right?) That fact just added to my disappointment by the end of the book, since it wasn’t even accurate in accordance with myth and tradition.

  
 
The dialogue was acceptable and even slightly humorous at times, and I found it propelled the story well. There wasn’t much need for long expository speeches, something I found refreshing. The plot was a bit thin and seemed to be more of a vehicle for the sex scenes. Feydon, the king of the Faeries came to Earthworld and sowed his royal oats, begetting three FaerieBlend daughters (Amber’s term for half Fey, half human people). Now Feydon lay dying and sends a missive to the Satyr brothers (the eldest of whom being Nicholas) telling them that his three daughters are in danger and must marry men of Satyr blood, in order to be protected. The danger is contrived and the villains were one dimensional. But I must say I loved Jane, the first of Feydon’s daughters to be found, and Nicholas’s bride. She is equal parts practical and whimsical, a sort of mix between Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and Tinkerbell. Jane was my favorite part of the novel, and I greatly enjoyed watching her embrace her Fey side.

I would recommend this book despite all its flaws, because I honestly couldn’t put it down. I wound up even downloading the rest of the series to my Kindle. Despite the novelty of two sets of naughty bits wearing off sooner than I expected it to, the book was enjoyable all the same. Just don’t expect it to be anything out of Joseph Campbell and “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”

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