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Author Helen S Wright

Title A Matter of Oaths

Reviewer stranger

Genre Science fiction

Kink M/M

Grade ***--  Okay

Explicitness Brief, not-very-explicit sex scenes, in context of ongoing relationships. Sexual tension and interest in some otherwise non-sexual scenes.

Summary Rafe, spaceship officer with a mysterious past
Joshim, an officer of the ship that hires him
Rallya, commander of the same ship

Two linked empires share the galaxy and the Guild of Webbers, who are the only spaceship operators. The two emperors are in eternal conflict, limited by how much the Guild will cooperate in combat fought by spaceships.

Rafe, an obviously competent and personable Guild member, has had an identity-wipe which leaves him ignorant of much of his personal history and also makes him suspect to many spaceship crews. After a long search for work he is hired by the Bhattya, a patrolship in the Old Empire. Almost immediately he starts showing that he is even more expert at ship handling and tactics than his current experience accounts for, and he is haunted by scraps of memory that suggest political complications for both himself and the Guild. As long as the Guild itself is trustworthy he will not take any special measures to remember his past, as that would be against his oath as a member of the Guild. However, there may be even larger issues at stake, and the Bhattya's officers eventually cannot ignore them.

Quality What is good about the book?

The colorful, easy writing makes the lead characters and the mechanism of webbing, or spaceship control, immediate and vivid. The charm of Rafe, the steady intelligent loyalty of Joshim, and the seasoned rebelliousness of Rallya are all consistently intriguing. Sexual relationships are treated as enjoyable, normal and important, but not the only goal of life. The pieces of the plot all ultimately belong in the plot, while showing off numerous varied aspects of the Guild and the galaxy.

What is bad?

The plot and story are a touch facile, many minor characters given only exactly enough individuality to take their places in the plot. (I'm not sure this is bad, but it's sort of overly efficient.) The ending is a little too reasonable and easy about unreasonable issues, even if it's fun and a neat wrap-up.

Gay Sci-Fi:
    Gay Fantasy:
    Gay Mystery:
    Gay Humor:
    Gay Thriller:

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