Author: Reece Pine
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Publication Date: 3. May 2017
Rating: 4./5. Stars
Diversity: LGBT Characters
Summary: Bearded woman Rudolph joined the circus to find a wealthy husband. The star attraction, the lofty silksmith, shares his caravan and his bed with her while he helps her to arrange marriage meetings in the towns they visit. But as she meets and rejects each suitor, Rudolph realizes the only person she really wants is the silksmith himself…
Order here: LessThanThreePress
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I really quite liked this story. At times there was a bit too much sex for me and the writing was a bit too poetic which made it hard to follow the story at times, but all in all, I really liked it.
It is a story about the trans man Silksmith, an aerial scarf acrobat, and Rudolph, a bearded intersex girl. I have no idea what one of the former reviewers meant with “(both of them) have male and female parts” because in my opinion it is actually made quite clear that the Silksmith is a trans man born in a time where surgery did not exist and that Rudolph is an intersex woman, despite neither of them using these words to describe themselves. However it is also never really spelled out and like I said the writing is quite poetic and weird at times, which might add to that confusion. I had to reread some parts when I got confused, but after paying close attention I actually understood what was going on quite well.
The story in itself is actually quite easy. Rudolph wants to find a rich husband to settle down with so she can live in peace and comfort. The Silksmith lives for the circus and his art. But then Rudolph realizes that she is in love with the Silksmith live gets more and more complicated.
I really liked the ending and I have to say this was a lovely diverse short story, but there was also quite a lot of sex. I mean seriously, a lot of sex. I was often tempted to just skim over them but that was when you learned most about the characters identities and how they stood to their bodies, so there were still interesting parts going on.
This story is very short, but you get a good view inside Rudolph’s mind and you also learn to love the Silksmith. Especially the ending was lovely and I enjoyed it a lot.
I also enjoyed getting to read about how Rudolph knew she was getting treated differently when she was dressed up in a suit versus when she was dressed up in a dress. I really liked that there was no fetishisation of trans bodies shown because that could have been very easily added in the story, but thankfully that wasn’t there. In general, I enjoyed the description of the circus life even though there wasn’t that much there. I’ve always been fascinated by aerial acrobats and since I have seen some aerial scarf acrobats in action I could imagine the scenes describing what happened quite well and I really liked it.
This story is definitely something unique and I really enjoyed reading it.