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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/13/2008 Archived Entry: "e-Book review: The Keeper"

The Keeper
Written by Kalita Kasar
Published by Torquere Press
ISBN-10:  1603704361
ISBN-13:  9781603704366

Review by Jilly Gee

Historical fiction mixed with gay erotica, The Keeper starts with Thomas, a shoemaker's apprentice in 1772, being kidnapped and almost taken to do hard labor.  Lucky for him, he's a pretty boy and gets taken to Léon Chambellan's place instead, to serve as a sort of sex slave.  Actually, "slave" is too strong of a word, since the boys that get taken to Chambellan's supposedly volunteer their services and enjoy it.  Thomas, however, is different from all the other boys, so innocent and pure that he feels the pleasure he gets from Chambellan's touches are wicked and sinful, which simultenously makes him the most desired one out of the household and the one that Chambellan cannot touch.  So Chambellan leaves him alone, hoping that the boy will eventually get over it all and come to seek him out.  Thomas does get over those feelings of shame eventually, but seeing as how he is not aggressive in any way whatsoever, thinks that he has fallen out of Chambellan's favor and works hard to win his way back into it, putting great effort into his "training".

It's hard to know what to make of Chambellan.  On the one hand, logic makes the reader think that he is just an olden day pimp for young men, taking pleasure and profit from all of those poor boys, but on the other hand, it seems that he really can't see things outside of his own small world, that he thinks he is really saving people by offering them positions in his household as sex objects rather than returning them to society, that because it is pleasurable, it is better than what they would be offered out there.  Because The Keeper is a sort of sexual fantasy, potential readers hoping to enjoy the story should be willing to think the latter of him, so those who are not willing to suspend their belief of the sensible that far will almost certainly not enjoy the romance.

Thomas's complete and total purity and innocence, both to sex and violence, was a bit of a turn off (I may like my fictional guys somewhat effeminate, but not totally weak and helpless), but that lead to a lot of hurt and comfort moments, which in turn lead to a lot of fluff, which lead to me going all gooey several times throughout the story.  I like going gooey; it's a nice feeling.  So while I didn't much care for Thomas's inability to assert himself, I found delight in those loving, worrying feelings Chambellan exhibited.

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