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REVIEW: “At His Throat, A Promise” by Lilith Grey



In the slave city of Spire, Ellis has been discarded. His former master, a man who was supposed to teach him and take care of him, passed away, leaving Ellis alone and in danger of being taken to the Facility. Ellis is desperate to avoid that fate. He seeks a master to take him on, guiding him into adulthood as well as a profession. Ellis has had desire stolen from him—he’s been trained to blush, to submit, to give in. He doesn’t know how to cope with William, a man who wants the real Ellis.

William is a Master, a man born in a neighbour city that does not deal in slavery. He has had bad experiences with slaves in the past, but all that changes when he rescues Harte, a young slave whose abusive master had all but destroyed him. Together, they are content in their mutual roles, not looking for anything more. But when Ellis catches the eye of Harte, and by extension, William, their relationship changes in ways for which they are unprepared.

Harte is a born submissive, a young man who lives for his role. He’s bratty but genuine. William, his master, is his entire life. Harte never expected to have room in his heart for another, but Ellis is beautiful and different and fills a place in his life that he hadn’t known was empty.

If only Ellis could learn to ask for what he desired, what he needed, then maybe William and Harte could help him. But Ellis is trapped inside himself, insecure and afraid. To stay with William, he only has to ask…but that’s the one thing Ellis cannot do…

Advisory: This book contains some non-consensual sex, hardcore bondage and punishment, torture and abuse. May not be suitable for the more sensitive reader.


Of course I could take this book apart piece by piece and point out all its snort-worthy elements, but honesty forces me to admit that this is probably a ‘Me Not You’ case all the way. Yup, I totally come in peace today.

..also because I’m not PMS’ing.

At His Throat, A Promise’s title, blurb and cover promised me a dark slave-fic set in a dystopian society. Instead I got a sappy ménage smutathon infused with occasional bouts of violence. Not too shabby, if that’s what you’re looking for. This book’s main characters are innocent, vulnerable boys that are at the mercy of whatever master ‘adopts’ them. They always risk being returned to a cabinet of horrors called The Facility when said master damages them, is bored with them or passes away. This also threatens to be MC Ellis’ fate if he can’t find a new master fast. You enter the story as he desperately tries finding one at a gathering. Luckily for him, before long he’s offered a temporary home by a sugary sweet boy with angelic looks called Harte and his master William.

What follows is a story that reads like free fiction that was once uploaded per chapter (and thus the writer felt the need to entertain with a dose of everything in each chapter and at some point loses track of where she was supposed to be going). The painfully childish slave-boys do whatever it takes to please William, who reluctantly punishes them in predictable ways when they don’t follow his, entirely logical, rules. Their days also revolve around having a fuckton of smutty sex with each other, with William and with other masters and their slaves. In the meantime, the plot wobbles on fueled by not only fluffy smex, but also by a steady flow of new characters, society’s structure threatening the happy three in various ways and soap opera-ish dramas.

I like my stories to offer a bit of a bite. I love me a clever plot. I enjoy intelligent characters. You know, the type that’s preferably one step ahead of me or at least has the capacity to be cunning, clever and, at the very least, has a memorable personality. Being in the head of young boys whose world solely revolves around being fucked by their loving master bores me. But when I let, while reading, my distracted mind wander to the plot itself, that’s funded on a society in which sex slavery is a given and young slaves are simultaneously their master’s apprentices, I found little to be excited about. The idea is that these sex slaves ultimately learn enough from their master to earn their freedom, exercise a profession and become masters themselves. Which is also why Ellis and Harte study for an hour each day — longer would probably interfere with their task of having their holes plugged — to become lawyers like William. I don’t think I need to explain why a social structure like this could never function in reality and will, quite frankly, only work as a fantasy if you manage to switch off your brain. It likely seemed like a mighty cool idea at 4 AM and after a bottle of absinthe though.

So! Read this if you’re in the mood for a simple and mostly sappy spun-out slave-fic, that stars child-like MCs and offers lots of smexing. I think Ellis’ angsty attempts to win Master William for him before he falls in the hands of a more brutal master or ends up in The Facility, can be quite enjoyable. As may the sweetness of these three growing fonder of each other be. Don’t pick As His Throat, A Promise up if you like being challenged and enjoy a well thought-out dystopia that’ll hold when you take away the sex.



13147661Title: At His Throat, A Promise
Author: Lilith Grey
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages: 414
Release Date: December 4th 2011
Purchase Links: Amazon

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This entry was posted on June 20, 2014 by in Dark & Twisted, PNR / UF / SF / DYS, Reviewer: Katinka and tagged , , , .

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