Title: The Menagerie: Lynx
Author: Megan Derr
Length: 14,000 words (33 pdf pages)
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: polyamoury (m/m/m/m/m/m) fantasy twincest
All Ramsay wants is to live in peace and quiet. Desperate to find solitude and to escape personal tragedy and those who betrayed him, he settles in the country of Tavamara, in a remote little house far from everything. But returning home one day after a trip to market, he winds up saving a young boy and suddenly is introduced to a world he never knew existed and which tempts him from the solitude he thought was all he wanted…
How could I resist a book that has six m’s in the description? Ramsay served as protector for the young prince in his kingdom for ten years, a job he trained for since childhood. However when those who swore to protect his own younger brother failed, he left his country, finding solace in living in the woods, only venturing into the city of the new country for supplies. However it seems his destiny is set in stone, since one day he rescues a young boy who turns out to be the king’s son who was kidnapped. He ventures to the city to explain to the king that he has his son and he is safe and things get a bit cocked up, but eventually he explains.
However his new home country as quite different royal customs. The king has five concubines, one of whom turns out to be a man he had an affair with years ago, however his duty as protector meant there was really no hope for them to have a relationship. He returns with one of the twins and another concubine to fetch the boy, only the boy’s kidnapping truly was an inside job. Ramsay may be small, but he’s vicious and he manages to fight off six attackers single-handedly, and take out the traitor. He’s started to realize that he’s really just existing, not living, but knows he could never have a life like the concubines, no matter how much he wants it.
I loved Ramsay. He’s adorable with the young prince and you know his heart broke when his brother was murdered. But he couldn’t just put aside his training and say “not my job”, he took care of the young boy, and as his grief is fading, he’s realizing that he’s not really living a fulfilling life, but accepts it. You don’t get to know too much about the king or the concubines, only what Ramsay tells you, but it was kind of sad that he had possibly found love in the past, but his duty didn’t allow him to truly experience it, but now many he has a second chance.
This author has a real way with fantasy. It’s light and fresh and always easy to read. The language is just different enough to be fantasy without seeming stiff and overly formal. For those concerned with the number of m’s up there, this is a non-explicit story. Beyond some kissing at the end between the king and Ramsay, the relationships are only hinted at, including twincest. Does it make me a pervy girl if that disappointed me? LOL Probably, but I was kind of hoping… I think it would have been interesting to see this as a longer story with the six men all interacting and getting to know each other. I was curious about who the other men were, how they came to be there, just lots of fodder for more, more, more.
But on the whole a lovely fantasy read with a hero, self-conscious of his small size and being underestimated, who after tragedy, may finally get his own HEA.