Book Jacket

 

rank 5918
word count 21050
date submitted 25.03.2010
date updated 21.11.2013
genres: Fiction, Popular Culture
classification: moderate
incomplete

The King's Favourite

M. A. McRae

If you fell in love with Shuki in "Not a Man,' you will enjoy 'The King's Favourite.'

 

It was the greatest scandal that Oxford had ever known. The culprits were the sons of the rich and famous, even of Royalty. The trials went on for years, and the story of the eunuch's uttermost beauty and desirability spread.

Shuki now lives in his own remote home, overlooked by his beloved mountains. He is happy with his family, his studies, and is respected.

Feroz Hady is just sixteen, yet he is the all-powerful monarch of an oil-rich country of Arabia. When an important and complex trade deal hangs in the balance, an extra concession is made. Shuki’s freedom is traded away by his own country, a gift for a king.

There are stories from ancient times of eunuchs standing at the side of kings, wielding enormous influence, and influencing the fate of nations. Can it happen again?

This is Book 2 of the Shuki series, now available on Amazon and Smashwords.

 
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tags

arabia, eunuch, horses, slavery, women's rights

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67 comments

 

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M. A. McRae. wrote 189 days ago

All my completed books are published and available on selling sites such as Amazon. A few chapters of most are left here as free samples.

K A Perkins wrote 514 days ago

Hi Marj, return read via HFRG

Vivid, descriptive, dramatic, shocking - a window in to another world. i'm very impressed, and am off to Amazon, think I'll start with book number 1 - i want to read Shuki's whole story.
Well done, a startling book, full stars.
Karen
An Ill Wind

tricia_d wrote 983 days ago

Having read most of the first Shuki book, I had a burning desire to read this one as well. I planned to read a couple of chapters, but got so sucked into the story, I couldn't stop. I have to agree with some of the comments I read that the beginning of the story could have been eased into a little better. How? I'm not sure, but I can see how it might be confusing for those who didn't read the first book. By the time I finished reading the first chapter, I couldn't understand how any reader would be able to stop. I launched into the second chapter and the next-- and the next.

Shuki is still an engaging character and much is said about his irresistability to men. But his intelligence and compassion makes him irresistable to all. The keepers at the boarding house were enamored by him as well, not in a sexual way, but in a protective way. It seems everyone wants to hug him and watch out for him. Well, not everyone. I love that Shuki, while soft-looking, can fight to the death. While others strive to protect him, he is also protective of those he loves, even sacrificing his freedom in order to ensure the safety of his family.

When I read a book such as this, I have to wonder, "is this premise realistic?" I wish I could believe that such things could not occur-- that a boy could be kidnapped, castrated, and used as a slave. I wish I could say that I couldn't believe that a man could be taken from his home and sold to KIng as part of a political deal. Sadly, I think it is possible. As long as we live in a world where human life is undervalued, where children starve, where homophobia runs rampant, such atrocities could occur. I believe a book like this is a good reminder that human life is precious- every life has value. Shuki is a symbol of survival.

Sharahzade wrote 1483 days ago

Hello Marj:

I just finished reading Book Two, The King's Favorite. You have succeeded, yet again, in creating a wonderful adventure. There was lots of conflict to overcome and surprise around every corner. The pain of Shuki's soul was revealed with a deep understanding of human suffering. There is vast insight in your writing into the mentality of this culture that you reveal for those of us who have no clue of its magnitude.

I believe that when all the languages of man were changed to so many, instead of all being the same, that human nature became more confused than its mere words. It seems there are people living in the world today who have evolved beyond barbarism and some who lag so far behind they will never catch up. What a frightening thought.

On to Book Three. I am looking forward to it very much.

Mary Enck
A King in Time

tecmic wrote 1357 days ago

Magical! Still the power of shuki's character leading the reader from page to page. It's not possible to recreate the impact of the first work, it never is, but this still has a powerful attraction in it's own right. It displays all the other attributes of the first book and will mesmerise all that open the first page.

M. A. McRae. wrote 189 days ago

All my completed books are published and available on selling sites such as Amazon. A few chapters of most are left here as free samples.

K A Perkins wrote 500 days ago

Hi Marj,
I read the first chapter of this, then bought the first book, loved it and bought this one. I've been absolutely transfixed by Shuki's story, and will miss him! It's just as shocking yet also heartwarming in the way Shuki deals with the situations thrust on him, and has a positive influence on the people around him, whether King, advisor, wife or child. Very well done - I'll be changing my shelf in a few days and The King's Favourite will be on it.
Karen
An Ill Wind

K A Perkins wrote 514 days ago

Hi Marj, return read via HFRG

Vivid, descriptive, dramatic, shocking - a window in to another world. i'm very impressed, and am off to Amazon, think I'll start with book number 1 - i want to read Shuki's whole story.
Well done, a startling book, full stars.
Karen
An Ill Wind

calicaish wrote 531 days ago

Iam really enjoying the book so far. The character of shuki is really well written. I like the mens reaction to him.
I will defintely read more. Highly rated

snave wrote 655 days ago

Marj once again your writing weaves sentence after sentence of magic. The character Shuki grows from strength to strength and continues to draw the reader ever onwards. As with the first, this offering is sure to appeal to many. You have 'soul' in your writing and this is now becoming one of my favourites on here.
Andy

B.Nimble wrote 708 days ago

Get this on the market. Great series, great writer.

Van Cee wrote 710 days ago

almost better that the first

Melissa Writes wrote 734 days ago

I have only just got around to reading your book and found, once I started, I couldn't tear myself away. The writing seems to me to be faultless and Shuki is a fascinating combination of strength and vulnerability, which makes him an intriguing character.
I love the title of the book and throroughly enjoyed reading such an imaginative adventure.
Lots of stars.
Best,
Melissa
Lessons in the Dark

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all names and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to be so easy with all and take as normal to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all manes and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to get so easy with all and take as a normality to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all manes and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to get so easy with all and take as a normality to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all manes and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to get so easy with all and take as a normality to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all manes and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to get so easy with all and take as a normality to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all manes and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to get so easy with all and take as a normality to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

fatema wrote 746 days ago

Hi read your book. wow! your imagiantion is well itegrated of all manes and places and very diversed. i was going to say you are Londoner, then no people do not bond as much in inner cities to get so easy with all and take as a normality to portray a as a normal environment. Suki and Khalid are strrong charrecters. Among modern setting with old Kingship there is also Hugging, services, slaves and inclusivity of all religions. Great.
I am fond of inclusivity and try to created integration and you very easily doing it. Superb story!

johnpatrick wrote 749 days ago

Hello Marj,
Read the first chapter.
There is enough intrigue and interwoven BS to snare a new reader, such as myself. You feel 'up and running' by the end of this chapter as well a drawn into the exotic and esoteric MC who is, mostly, unconscious-a great testement to the writer.
The writing is proficient, at times direct-'Barak died'. I could have done with a little bit more richness in the prose, maybe this comes later as the narrative is dialogue heavy up to this point. The plot lies at the forefront, hand-in-hand with evocative characterisation, which suits its role as an adventure story but the dark themes of abuse, degradation intermixed with jarring reminders of modernity give the story real power.
Thank you for a great read.
John
Dropping Babies

StaceyM wrote 761 days ago

Hi marj,

I came to this book without knowing anything about Shuki or his story. I deliberately chose to read the second book, because I quite often pick up books from the library or charity shops, not realising they're part of a series. If I can finish the book then I will most likely go back and find the rest of the series (I'm a great one for series following a single character - I have very few stand-alone books on my shelves, other than chick-lit ones).

I didn't have time to read more than your first 2 chapter uploads (and my battery died before I reached the end of the second one). So - here are my comments;

1. You can write. Quite clearly you have a great grasp of language and how to use it. You don't labour description of setting or character; you give just enough detail to allow the reader to fill in the gaps.
2. Very few typos or punctuation errors.
3. This is my negative. Too many characters being introduced too quickly. For someone new to Shuki and his extended family, it was hard to keep track of all the different "sons" and wives and I was completely thrown by reference to his children, knowing they couldn't be his but not having any explanation about whose they were. It possibly didn't help with the names all being in Arabic so difficult to remember.

If I'd picked this up from the library, I would probably have read on because I'm a determined kind of a lady and you can clearly write. I'd be hoping that the "name soup" would clear up, that references to previous events would tail off and I could simply enjoy (although that sounds like the wrong word, given the storyline!) THIS book on its own. An example to illustrate - my boyfriend downloaded the second book of a trilogy by Bernard Cornwell because he vaguely remembered reading the first one years ago. He remembers nothing of the first story - even forgetting the MC's name and origins. BUT he was able to read the whole book without a problem because any references to the first story were casual and the emphasis was on what was happening NOW. If you can find a way to do that, fill in the backstory as if the first book didn't exist, as if you were filling in basic backstory for a first novel, then I really think you'll have nailed it. I don't think it would take much work for someone of your experience and obvious skill to do.
Best of luck with this,
Stacey

rikasworld wrote 765 days ago

I felt there was no problem getting right into the swing of the adventure without having read book 1. The story filled me in neatly with what had happened and many of the motives of the characters. I really admired the use of different voices, all of them economically done and convincing. It's a grim world but the characters are sympathetic and that kept me reading. Watchlisted to read more.

fatema wrote 774 days ago

I will definately read this next, seems interesting.

ZomB detector wrote 798 days ago

Keep pushing, the rock gets lighter.

Lara wrote 809 days ago

Marj, as you know, I was a huge fan of Shuki but if hadn't read your first I would find it v difficult to follow the action in the opening of this one. The 'he's' need identifying more, for one thing. The lads are hurrying to a secret place to discussca drama so I'd expect this to start with 'what happened' and 'who got hurt' sort of thing. There's no sense of shock, anxiety ... A bit flat. I think you have to write it as if readers haven't read Not a Man.

Just a thought... Still a great fan. Lara
A RELATIVE LOSS

Nichola Hunter wrote 813 days ago

Wow! This is stunning writing. Beautifully written. I’m rather shocked by the subject matter, and get very angry when reading, even though I have seen a documentary on this subject (I was shocked then too.) It's just a fantastic and gripping read - couldn't think of giving it less than 6 stars - pity we don't have a seven!!! I'm putting it on my shelf next week.

N. O. Smay wrote 826 days ago

This is written compellingly -- nice job using dialogue to convey so much about each scene. That allows the reader to do a bit of work on their own, becoming fully engaged. Not an easy task, I think, and you've done it well. I will seek out your first book, as I'm intrigued.

A couple little nitpicky notes --

The first couple paragraphs didn't draw me in as I'd have liked, given the compelling nature of the rest of the first chapter. For one thing, you used the word "place" four or five times in the first paragraph. There are surely other words that would work better. Also, the four boys are not directly introduced, but we quickly learn the names "Samir" and "Tarik" and I'm not sure why I'd need those names before the names of those directly involved in the scene. Just a thought. Also, you tell us that the boys make a "romantic picture" -- this was the only place where I felt like you were telling me what to feel about something -- better to show what makes it romantic and let your reader judge for himself. That said, the paragraph where you say that these four are the "young sons" has more of an interesting introductory feel to me. I'd start there or rearrange a bit to bring that up front.

Nice work!

FRAN MACILVEY wrote 827 days ago

Dear Marj

I have read the first chapter of "The King's Favourite". I found the writing first rate, the plot and characterisations easy to get along with. The subject matter is undoubtedly grim, yet you handle it with a light touch, never over written. Nevertheless the story tugs at me, and I find it hard to read. I hope that you continue to write, and that you do very well.

All the best

Fran Macilvey, "Trapped" :-))

FrancesK wrote 828 days ago

A tour de force, and to read this book immediately after the first is spellbinding. Shuki is an extraordinary, gentle, sympathetic and admirable character and his life story, though incredible, is evidently based on real life research. As I read on, questions were forming - exactly where is the country that Shuki was born|? Of what country is Faroz the King? I began to long for geographical descriptions of landscape and townscape, sounds, scents, colours. The dialogue is wonderful and builds three dimensional characters, but to focus exclusively on dialogue creates a sense of claustrophobia and lack of layering. This story is an amazing accomplishment - does it have some connection to your family? 6 stars and a future shelving!

cooee wrote 921 days ago

Marj, I just highlighted a few things I noticed while reading the second chapter. I think you handle your dialogue good and it helps to bring you characters personalities alive, my main thought though with this second chapter is that we have no visual of where we are at all – it is basically just dialogue and in some places it isn’t clear who is talking. I think if we are grounded a little bit more with setting it will help to bring it alive a little more.

“Once he was well away, Shuki no longer hurried.” -----I’d consider tell us what he was well away from, to ground us in the second chapter beginning.

“How could be possibly explain just why he’d been taken” -----I think ‘be’ should be ‘he’

“Nineteen days after he’d been taken, Shuki halted his horse and peered ahead.” -----I don’t understand the last sentence. Not sure if we have gone back in time or or where the horse has come from

“Naelahin started just around here.” -----I also don’t get this…started what?

“One of the outriders saw Shuki the moment he emerged from cover, and he streaked towards the traveller, rifle at the ready, followed by the other.” -----by the other what? Do you mean others?

“Shuki laughed,” -----need a fullstop after laughed.

“Shuki smiled, and put a hand out to him,” -----need a full stop after him

““Then we might sit down there for a while and I’ll beg something to eat.” -----comma Marj after ‘and’

“It was his home, but Hasquitri made a decision. Three men dead, killed by Shuki. He knocked at the door of the wives’ apartment, and was admitted by young Veiha. Shuki came down the steps from the upper level, where Hirsiri was.” -----my main thought up to this paragraph was that although I don’t mind the dialogue, we have no visual of where we are. I have no idea of any surroundings, I think apart from the mention of hills when this started, you also might need to consider some said tags on some of the dialogue prior to this or even better some action for the characters to keep us grounded with who is talking.

“Shuki went to him, “Thank you, Hass.” -----full stop after him.

“Elei, at last in bed with his friend.” -----I don’t think it is clear where we are…in bed inside or outside –

“Elei kissed him again,” -----fullstop after again

“Shuki sighed, “I have faith in your love.” -----fullstop after sighed

Hope something helps a little.

QuinnYA wrote 921 days ago

I read Not A Man and was touched and mesmerized by Shuki's story. Its great to see his story continue here. You continue to develop him well. He is in a different life here at the beginning and I know things will be changing soon. As before your writing really impresses me, so strong and tight. I don't need to tell you you have something special here, its evident in this book. Congrats on the publishing and continued luck!

Lots of stars now and a shelve to come maybe next week.
Missy Fleming

cooee wrote 930 days ago

I read the first chapter, and I think you have an interesting premise and great potential. I noticed you have it under the genre of fiction, but couldn’t help wondering if because of the pitch and the voice of this, if it wouldn’t also be young adult? Also adjectives and adverbs are more noticeable and accepted in young adult, which you use a lot of. I mention some at the end of my thoughts. That said, I’m not sure though where violence and sex stands in young adult novels.

I made some comments below as they jumped out at me.

I don’t mind your first paragraph, but was wondering with that second last sentence, if it wouldn’t be better to tighten it a little “They called it “Badlands” after a western, they’d seen on TV” eg. “…after a TV western.” Mentioning it implies they they’d seen it.

With the lines about the sons, I think “as the older ones” should be “and the older ones”

“and” and “then” together… normally one is sufficient…eg ‘and’ at the same time ‘then’ after an action, but beyond that sentence that starts with “Quite solemnly” needs to be a rephrased as it isn’t punctuated correctly and changing the commas doesn’t help fix the structure…try something like ‘The boys quite solemnly tethered their horses and …ect”

I noticed on your profile it says you Australian (part of the reason I chose to read this) but I noticed you have a period after Mr. (British, Australian English) does not have a period after Mr and Mrs.

When you bring in the three lines of dialogue that begin with -

“One of the boy’s said, “I asked ect those three lines, in my opinion come across a little stiff and I think the reason apart from the said tags at the beginning and not the end of the dialogue is the that because you say one is annoyed, then the next says humbly – it really doesn’t show us anything for example.

With the annoyed line…you merely need to say “Matuel looked annoyed” but beyond that it was would be more engaging to say…how…eg “Matuel’s brows joined” or something.

With the humbly…eyes lowered or hands clasped together, something to show what humble looks like would help you engage the reader the much more.

With the last lot of dialogue before the **** you may need dialogue tags on some of it to keep the reader focused on who is speaking.

Hope something helps. Good luck with it.

a.morrison712 wrote 945 days ago

I saw you on the newbie thread...it has been so helpful to me. I wanted to come over and read your work. I'm glad I did! I think Shuki is my favorite character. The dialogue where he calls the Atlas Mountains "his" really made me identify with him. I've felt that feeling towards nature before, when you find a place you resonate with. You worded it beautifully. I love how you use dialogue to drive a large portion of the chapter. Really great at showing and not telling. I am giving you high stars for creativity and put you on one of my watch lists. Best of luck with this!

Ashley
'Maddy Hatfield and the Magic Locket'

elmo2 wrote 960 days ago

i read about four chapters, language is sparse, possibly some more description would be called for, but not much more i think, it does its job, it introduces us to shuki and his interesting life and drama, though an unusual subject none the less developed as it is it gives a reader much to think about, cultureal and sexual norms, the cultural and social norms and customs that binds a group and perhaps through them a people expresses their nature, when it comes to sex and intamacy folks can be unbelievably tender and cruel and you capture that reality, but you also build this into somewhat of a romance, the character of shuki becoming larger than life, and i am not so much a romance fan, none the less i like this piece and will rate it high, if you have a chance would you look at one of my pieces

tricia_d wrote 983 days ago

Having read most of the first Shuki book, I had a burning desire to read this one as well. I planned to read a couple of chapters, but got so sucked into the story, I couldn't stop. I have to agree with some of the comments I read that the beginning of the story could have been eased into a little better. How? I'm not sure, but I can see how it might be confusing for those who didn't read the first book. By the time I finished reading the first chapter, I couldn't understand how any reader would be able to stop. I launched into the second chapter and the next-- and the next.

Shuki is still an engaging character and much is said about his irresistability to men. But his intelligence and compassion makes him irresistable to all. The keepers at the boarding house were enamored by him as well, not in a sexual way, but in a protective way. It seems everyone wants to hug him and watch out for him. Well, not everyone. I love that Shuki, while soft-looking, can fight to the death. While others strive to protect him, he is also protective of those he loves, even sacrificing his freedom in order to ensure the safety of his family.

When I read a book such as this, I have to wonder, "is this premise realistic?" I wish I could believe that such things could not occur-- that a boy could be kidnapped, castrated, and used as a slave. I wish I could say that I couldn't believe that a man could be taken from his home and sold to KIng as part of a political deal. Sadly, I think it is possible. As long as we live in a world where human life is undervalued, where children starve, where homophobia runs rampant, such atrocities could occur. I believe a book like this is a good reminder that human life is precious- every life has value. Shuki is a symbol of survival.

ClaireLyman wrote 1025 days ago

Hi Marj, not sure how useful my comments will be as this is not the kind of book I tend to read, so take them with a pinch of salt! I found the beginning quite confusing, with lots of different names and characters, and I also didn't really follow the story that one child told the other - but maybe that's by design, because they themselves didn't really understand it? I realise this is part of a series, but for some of your readers time will have elapsed since they read the last one, so it might be good to reintroduce charcaters gradually? Just a thought. Tiny nit: I''d leave it as 'more European' and not include 'Arab' again. I would have liked to have read more and commented intelliigently but I find the subject matter too harrowing - sorry.

Mae Tindell wrote 1041 days ago

Hi Marj, I have just finished reading the first chapter of 'The King's Favourite'. I have not read your first one, but probably will now. It is wonderfully narrative, but, just for me I found the dialgue a bit over stretched and difficult to follow in places. I think it maybe because I am so used to authors saying who is speaking at the end of the dialogue, that I had to read some conversations about three times, to follow who was speaking. But if this is how you have written the first novel, and that is being published then don't change this, just bear in mind that most of your readers will not have read much dialogue in this format before. This is particularly noticed in the last conversation of chap 1. It is a very long conversation between more than two people and some of the names are slightly similar, so I had to keep checking who was who! Eg King Hady and King Hady's chief councillor Wydad.
However this is now WL'ed and highly rated!
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to read it!

Mae

najwa wrote 1054 days ago

sounds interesting....im putting it on my WL

Cora B wrote 1057 days ago

This is a very interesting and powerful book. I only read the first chapter, and that's likely to be as far as I get, since it isn't the type of book I normally read. I had a hard time getting into it at first because I was confused (there were so many names), but things got more interesting and understandable as the chapter went on. I like to think that if I'd read the first book I would have understood what was happening a little better.
Good luck!
Cora

Kim W. wrote 1058 days ago

Hello, Marj,

This is only the second read I've done here, so take my two cents for what it's worth:)

The story is interesting in a William S. Burroughs sort of way. It reminded me a little of Naked Lunch. (btw - I love Burroughs:)

The main problem I had were with dialogue tags and adverbs. Sometimes, the dialogue tags are intentional by the author. A sort of "Swift-ism." It's just my preference, I suppose, but anything other than said or asked makes me cringe. Maybe because that's what's been drilled into me.

Also, the tags would feel more natural coming at the end of the dialogue. It feels a little choppy as it is.

I think someone else mentioned the adverb issue. Again, it may just be a preference, but my experience is that agents and editors loathe the overuse of them.

Good luck! I'll be following you to see how you fare.

Kim

Oh, and if you wouldn't mind taking a look at mine - it's just the intro. and first chapter - I'd love your feedback:)

Dilettante wrote 1070 days ago

A suitable epilog, and I love the reunion scene in Ch 16. Shuki & Eli together again, very nice. Backed..

Dilettante wrote 1070 days ago

Delicious story. Mmmm....

Marija F.Sullivan wrote 1088 days ago

Fine writing, powerful story. I will try and read some more anon.
Best wishes,
Marija

Caroline Hartman wrote 1093 days ago

You have again taken me to another world, one impossible to imagine, one where they feel the west is heathen and barberic. However, I feel, it is just me who is naive. Your characters, your dialogue, you are a master storyteller. Thank you. Caroline/Summer Rose

Weaver Reads wrote 1107 days ago

Hey there--Should I start with Book 1, or does Book 2, 'The King's Favourite' stand alone? And is there one specific book you'd like on my bookshelf first? I've got 'The King's Favourite' on my bookshelf, as of today, and I was going to start reading it first. I look forward to reading your work. It looks like you have gone to great effort! :) Can't wait!

Thanks,
Ellise

celticwriter wrote 1119 days ago

HI MA, firstly thank you for backing LONDON. Your style is wonderful. You write in your own voice. Not a critic here, just a mere scriptwriter who appreciates good story telling.

blessings,
jim

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 1131 days ago

Marita,
I was completely intrigued by this unusual book about a eunuch and the pederasts attracted to him. "The King's Favorite" is skillfully put together with compellinbg prose and imaginative dialogue. Your characters come to life with every turn of the page. I can sdee this book becomning just as successful as the first one.Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Kenneth Edward Lim
The North Korean

.

Andrew Keeton wrote 1141 days ago

Very good job with this one. This book will make it to the editor's desk in no time.

ReneeM wrote 1147 days ago

I'm very intrigued, although I haven't read all of this yet. The exposition at the beginning is off-putting. If I were to pick this up in a store, that might cause me to hesitate. There's no hook. As I read I did see that the backstory is necessary, but consider moving it and threading it through the first pages rather than dumping it at the beginning. I'd be hooked if it began closer to the dialogue, as the action begins there.

The dialogue could be tighter, unless this is a stylistic choice on your part. I'm still drawn in, but each time I see the tags like "Lariah knelt in front of him and instructed" I'm reminded that I'm reading. For dialogue you should either use an attribution or a tag, not both. Action is best and try to vary them so they aren't all before the dialogue. So the example I gave could read. "Lariah knelt in front of him" and then the dialogue, the instruction is implied when she speaks, so you don't need it.

Another little nit, I'd cut at least half the adverbs you have (ly words) because they add very little but clutter to the prose.

That's the only bits I noted that I'd change. Of course, if the way you've structured the dialogue is intentional, disregard my comments.

I'm going to read more, you've drawn me in. I'm going to shelf this as well. I really enjoyed the characters and the plot is unique (to me anyway). Very interesting.

Marita A. Hansen wrote 1172 days ago

Well, I've completely finished book 2 now, and thought it was a thoroughly excellent read. I'm very happy that Shuki and Elei ended up together, as they were both tormented by their separation. I also liked the Epilogue, with things tied up nicely, and seeing Shuki's and Paul's reactions to each other. But, I understand why you want to take it out it, seeing that you have book 3. But, again, I liked it. I also thought it was apt that Shuki wrote a book about Cheikho. Tarik and Paul's daughter ending up together was a nice touch. I haven't started book 3 yet, but will most likely read it as fervently as your other two books. You are a wonderful storyteller. Your characters feel so real--their fantastic. On a sombre note: I was sad to see what happened to Khaled, but it was right for the story, therefore it had to be. Also, Youssef. They were nice guards.

Thank you for the reads - Marita.

Marita A. Hansen wrote 1173 days ago

I've read up to chapter 6 now. This is a fantastic story. I especially loved Shuki's escape to the American warship. Unfortunately things didn't turn out the way he'd anticipated, but it still infused your story with an excellent and exciting scene. There is going to be so much more trouble ahead, and I think Wydad will be in for some of his own due to Shuki. Feroz is a surprise, and I'd like to see how he reacts to Shuki's attempted escape. He seems so sure that Shuki loves him, but with what has happened he surely can't fool himself anymore. Anyway, I've got some notes for you, and will send them through when I get some time to decipher my messy writing. Haere ra - Marita.

Marita A. Hansen wrote 1174 days ago

Couldn't wait, so I read chapter 1 the same day as finishing "Not a Man." It's a very good start with Shuki being kidnapped, then killing the men to escape. But then again, he would have killed them regardless as proved by the gunshot killing in "Not a Man."

The last section in chapter 1 with the king is chilling, leaving the reader with a cliff hanger knowing that poor Shuki is in for more heartache. Well done - Marita. P.S. No typos. A very polished chapter cleanly moving from the last story, giving the reader the right amount of details just encase they hadn't read the first in the series.

Jessica L Degarmo wrote 1193 days ago

This one is just as wonderful as Nor a Man. I'm sorry that Shuki is still going through troubles and still not allowed to be free, but I see that he has people who are willing to treat with with respect and fight for him. Bless him, nad bless you for writing such an uplifting series.

Good for Her wrote 1209 days ago

I wanted to give this volume of the Shuki trilogy some exposure. Tomorrow I shall swap to Not a Man because it's at a crucial desk stage.

In 5 of this volume, I wanted more made of the natural jealousy and emotional pain Shuki feels. I think the actual dialogue here is convincingly sparse, but perhaps more description of Shuki's movements, actions which might betray the feelings we, the readers, know he suffers.

The problem in this novel is in the compromise between treating it as if the reader has read the first volume, and as if s/he has not. I imagine this a problem for all trilogies. It doesn't run as captivatingly and smoothly as a result. I mean, the first 3 chapters don't because of the need to cover all that has gone before. I think i wanted it to start with Shuki as he is now, and in action. Back story could be covered by one of the younger characters being filled in in conversation with another. Just a suggestion.

Great stuff. Highly recommended.

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