Richard Blade #3: The Jewel of Tharn, Part 2

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To recap: sentient erection Dick Blade has been plunged into a new Dimension X. This one is sort of a futuristic dystopia segregated by gender, with genetically engineered neuters charged with running day-to-day life. Honcho holds Zulekia – Blade’s true love of the week – captive in order to force Blade to do his bidding. Honcho has thus enlisted Blade in an attempt to impress the backwards and savage Pethcines with his prowess so that Honcho can gain control of the Pethcine army. Unfortunately, this required Blade to decapitate that greasy hunk of man-beef Gutar after a naked, sweaty, heaving, and not at all homoerotic battle to the death.

Having pulled a giant sword out of a stone (gee, there’s an original idea), and thus impressed the Pethcine chief and his lascivious daughter Totha, Blade now spends the next few days or weeks or whatever knocking fur-skinned boots with Totha as she demands, although the thrill quickly fades. (I mean, she’s no Gutar)

And so we continue.

Blade pumps Totha for information about the neuter Honcho. She tells him that the supposed neuter has a thing for girls, though he can only watch, not participate himself.

Honcho had an unquenchable curiosity about sex. What the Tharnians called coi. He would take a Pethcine girl into seclusion, strip her naked, and finger and prod her and ask endless questions. What did it feel like to have coi? How often did they like coi? What did they do when they had coi?

Once, and Totha fought hard to restrain her giggles, once the neuter had brought along an artificial phallus, made of the omnipresent teksin, and thrust it into a girl and watched her reactions. And made those strange marks of his with a stick on a piece of flat bark. This was as near as Totha could describe a stylus and slate.

Strap-ons? We’re getting pretty kinky here, Jewel of Tharn.

Blade, in this extended exposition dump, also learns what’s up with THEY, the inhabitants of the city of Urcit, the upper crust of Tharnian society whose overthrow all this fuss has been about. For starters, they are all broads:

The Tharnian women had revolted, vanquished the men, and banned them forever from Tharn, keeping only a few prisoners for breeding purposes. The men, living like savages in the Gorge, had gradually evolved into a new race, the savage Pecthines. But racial memories did not die, and always the hope glimmered that one day the Sword, and Pethcines, would return to rule Tharn.

It’s now clear that Honcho’s plot here is for Blade, posing as the long-foretold god Mazda, to gain the Tharnian women’s trust, then allow the Pethcines in to conquer them, at the end of which Honcho will be left in charge. Honcho shows up in person after a bit to spell this out for Blade. Blade tells Honcho that he’ll only play along with this if he can poke his fave firecrotch Zulekia one more time. Honcho relents, and Blade has another sexy encounter with Zulekia, although it is somewhat constrained by the fact that the pervy neuter is doubtless listening in on the two lovebirds. However, Zulekia has a surprise for Blade:

She breathed the words, rather than whispered, as faint as a dying echo.

“When you make coi to me you must touch me deeply there! Very deeply.”

And by ‘there’, Ms. Z means her fish mitten.

Blade discovers that Zulekia has nothing less than a metal cylinder hidden in her hoo-ha, which he procures and hides away before inserting a cylinder of his own if you know what I mean. (I’m talking about Blade’s turgid cock)

Unfortunately, just as Blade is burying the beef, Honcho teleports Zulekia away and appears in holographic form to mock Blade.

Then Honcho sends him off to holographically explore Urcit, the city where all the Tharnian women live. All of whom are, of course, young and model-esque.

Blade watched them walk the streets, lounge in the squares and places, all regal, all tall, all lovely female creatures. There were brunettes and blondes and redheads, every mingled shade, and their fine skins glowed in golden and copper tones. They dressed alike, and yet not alike, each wearing colors in breastplates and mini-togas that flattered and complimented them best.

Of course, they all smell super woman-y to Blade .

There was a pleasant odor in the immaculate and windless streets. The smell of women.

Does Blade know what ‘perfume’ is? ‘Cause it kinda seems like maybe he doesn’t.

(But how does a hologram let you smell things? you ask. I dunno, dipwad, it’s a smell-o-gram. Fuck you.)

And how does noted science fiction author Jeffrey Lord envision a society ruled by women? Why, as perpetually horny, of course. The Tharnian women are so horny even their damn architecture has a hard-on:

Blade had noticed, in his tour of Urcit, that phallic symbols were everywhere. In every square, place, and crescent, were replicas of the male organ mounted on plinths. It was in shop windows. The women wore the same symbol on charm bracelets and necklaces. The gargoyles on the buildings were in the form of sharp thrusting phalli.

And of course, engraved under every stone cock is the letter ‘M’ for Mazda. When Blade gets to Urcit it seems like he is gonna have a good time.

Urcit has been ruled from time immemorial by twin sisters, Astar and Isma. Not the same twin sisters, I guess, but there is always a designated set of twins to rule. Astar is ‘queen goddess’, Istar is the high priestess. Giant statues of them flank, what else, a giant translucent penis at the entrance to the grand arena.

Blade enters the arena holographically, which is full of women – “The odor of the assembled females was overwhelmingly sensuous” – and observes a yearly ceremony. Astar and Isma enter, and then the much-ballyhooed “Lordsmen” are brought in. The Lordsmen turn out to be spindly and scrawny runts. Blade surmises that they have been weakened by generations of extremely shitty eugenics practices. Then the ceremony begins. At the blast of a trumpet, all the dudes shed their clothes. Another blast of the trumpet, and –

The arena was filled with the slither of feminine clothing as it was discarded.

Then there is a third blast of the trumpet and the women all rush in to grab a lordsman so they can rape him.

It was useless to try to watch everything at once, so Blade concentrated on the scene in the middle. Here the fight was brief enough, if rough. A tall redhead, well muscled and superbly breasted, was straddling the fallen Lordsman and beating off all comers. As soon a she had established her rights the other women fell back.

Some of the women were brutal, cuffing and kicking their partners into a submission that was never in doubt.

Nearly all the women seemed to finish at the same time. One laggard, a sinuous blonde, was at last admonished by Sutha and raced to a finish with a great series of ecstatic wriggles.

Gentlemen, be sure to tell your sweetie sometime that she is ‘superbly breasted’. She’ll love it!

But mass rape isn’t all that is in store for these shlubs! After the orgy has wrapped up, the Lordsman are all given swords and made to fight to the death. Defeated Lordsmen are decapitated and have their penises cut off before being thrown into the ‘sacred flame’. These people get straight to the point, don’t they? The last surviving Lordsman, apparently, gets to impregnate the women of his choosing for a year and thus create a new generation.

Obviously a solid foundation on which to build a society.

At this point, Blade’s holographic presence in the arena becomes a real presence as Honcho somehow teleports him there, right in front of Sutha, the ancient neuter who is in charge in Urcit. Blade announces himself as Mazda, HE WHO COMES TO THEY. The assembled women seem impressed (and aroused), except for Astar, the queen goddess, who so far has not spoken or even looked around. Blade senses that something is wrong with her. I mean, who wouldn’t be aroused by Dick Blade’s sudden appearance?!?

Isma, the other twin, is more responsive. She orders Blade to kill the lone triumphant Lordsman, which he does without much fuss. She then proclaims that he is indeed Mazda, and Blade is sent off to be pampered and shown his quarters by Sutha. Before they get there, however, Sutha confronts Blade, telling him that he knows he is not Mazda because there is no Mazda. Blade, who doesn’t like Honcho anyway and isn’t much interested in playing along with his plan, capitulates and tells Sutha everything.

Sutha informs Blade that, as he suspected, Astar is not all there and that she has the brain of a child. Suthar also tells Blade that they have suspected Honcho of being “too” intelligent for some time.

Despite all this, Sutha wants Blade to play along with Honcho’s plan for a while so that the Tharnians can destroy the Pethcines. Blade suggests that Honcho is sexually repressed and that they could use Totha against him, but Sutha says,

“Honcho is far too intelligent to be destroyed by a woman.”

This is kind of an odd opinion for someone living in a massively matriarchal society to hold, just saying.

After Sutha, it seems, is feeling “literature’s call,” because he spends the next chapter or so dropping a massive exposition dump on Blade. Isma also turns up. She basically demands the right to get frisky with ‘Mazda’ immediately, but Sutha talks her down, telling her it is not appropriate until the “Ceremony of Ravishment.” Isma leaves in a huff. Blade seizes this opportunity to tell Sutha about the little metal vagina cylinder Zulekia gave him. Sutha immediately demands to know where he got it. Blade hands it over and then tells the story. Personally, I would have lead with “I got this out of a girl’s cooch” before letting someone else handle it, but what do I know?

Zulekia, it transpires, is really a spy for Sutha. However, she is also in fact under punishment for ‘karno’ and when her spying is done Sutha plans to have her destroyed. When Blade demands she be shown mercy, Sutha takes him the Power Pool, which is the superest secretest room of them all, where they cannot be overheard by Isma. It has a hot naked dead chick lying in an open sarcophagus,  as well as a pool of water. Sutha shows Blade that there is a small box lying at the bottom of the pool, which is apparently the Ultimate Power Source of Everything. If anyone touches the Power, they will immediately die and then the Power will also cease to exist.

Man, I hope no one winds up touching the Power Source in this book!!!!!

Sutha tells Blade that Zulekia is outside of his ability to save at this time, but that even if he could, Isma would be jealous and kill Zuleika. So, that’s a problem.

By this time everybody is getting super tired of exposition, so let’s just skip forward to the moment I know you’re REALLY waiting for: The Ceremony of Ravishment!

Here’s the setup: Blade is escorted back into the arena, which is filled with women. He’s wearing nothing but a purple loincloth. Typical Tuesday for Blade. Isma and Astar are there, waiting in a glass cube in the center of the arena. During the ceremony they will try to kill Blade. Blade in turn will try to slay them – with his penis. I.e., Blade has to forcibly subdue and rape the two women. In front of a  live studio audience! Classy!

As a small credit to Blade, this idea doesn’t exactly please him. Although, truth be told, he’s experiencing other, more pressing anxieties:

Blade did not think he would fail. He had always been enormously potent. And yet there was no guarantee that in the excitement, the frenzy, in the stress of performing publicly – he pushed the thought away. That would be alright.

It should come as no surprise to anyone at this point that Blade’s deepest, darkest fear is not being able to get it up.

Blade enters into the arena and we are treated to a page-long description of his magnificent, well-muscled body, purely for scene setting purposes, no homoerotic undertones here, I’m sure!

Isma and Astar are waiting inside a transparent cube in the center of the arena, both armed and both naked. The book plays up the tension here – sexual tension, that is!

Through the teksin his eyes met those of Isma. Their stares locked and held. Something glittered in those obsidian depths and the red mouth moved a bit over pearly teeth. Isma moved on the couch, twisting, thrusting her breasts at Blade like daggers. She crooked a finger and her lips moved. Come. Come to coi – or death.

Blade glanced at Astar. She was still unmoving, silent and distant on her couch, staring straight before her. Would she fight him? Could she, as retarded as she was? Her body, revealed in every detail, was as lovely as that of Isma.

If that retarded girl had been ugly, that sure would have been a real boner killer, eh Blade??

At Isma’s urging, Astar sluggishly gets up to ‘fight’ Blade and he realizes she must be drugged. Isma holds back, apparently wanting Blade to tackle her twin sister first. Astar attacks clumsily, and Blade easily disarms the naked, drugged woman.

The cube they are in is soundproof, but apparently the crowd is loving this.

He glanced through the teksin, saw the open red throats of the howling mob of women, crazed by anticipation and empathic coi.

Astar’s struggles were feeble now, her breathing harsh and tortured. She slumped against Blade, her breasts mashed against his great chest. Blade was conscious of an intense and growing excitement. He was ready!

Blade thrusts his ‘growing excitement’ into Astar – who promptly dies. Once again, Blade’s penis worketh wonders.

Blade surmises that Isma must have poisoned Astar. A poison that activates only when the victim is forcibly penetrated being, obviously, the first place one’s mind goes.

Blade now moves onto Isma, who puts up much more of a fight then her slow, drugged sister. She acts like a crazy woman, threatening to slash Blade’s throat and trying to cut off his still-hard dick. This pisses manly-man Dick Blade off to no end. He starts hurting her, grabbing her hand and twisting, and then back-handing her across the face. Blade grabs her by her hair and drags her over to the couch. There she opens up her legs and he pretty much hate fucks her. Isma seems to thoroughly enjoy it – at first, anyway. Eventually it stops being fun and she starts begging Blade to stop. Still angry, Blade thrusts into her until she capitulates and calls him master, which is enough to finally get him off.

Having banged or murdered (or both!) everyone who is in charge, Blade is now officially Mazda, ruler of Tharn. Blade is still enjoying his power and learning the ways of the city of Urcit when who should appear but everyone’s favorite creeper, Honcho, in holographic form. He’s here to remind Blade that he’s in charge and that Blade needs to stick to the plan. To drive this point home, Honcho shows Blade an image on a screen of Zulekia, naked and spread-eagled, being raped by a long line of subhuman ceboid soldiers. Then Totha comes up and starts torturing Zulekia with a small knife. Then Blade sees the ceboid soldiers tossing Zulekia down onto sharp hooks in the wall of the gorge.

It’s pretty horrifying.

But, then it turns out it was all just a simulated illusion! Hahah! Jokes on Blade! And on the reader, for putting up with this shit.

At this point, the last few chapters have been heady mix of rape and expository dialogue which is – let’s just call it an unusual choice for a novelist, shall we?

The reader might be forgiven for wondering when we’re going to get on to the inevitable Climactic Battle Scene and the series of dramatic double-crosses and betrayals which will surely accompany it. It’s coming! I promise.

Since Blade is now serving Honcho’s interests, Sutha’s interests, and his own interests, the setup gets a little convoluted. Maybe unnecessarily so for pulpy swords-and-sorcery for horny dudes. Let’s pause for a moment so I can try to lay things out for you, reader:

The basic plan is that the Pethcines are going to attack the city of Urcit and Blade will drop the ‘magveil’ force fields to let them in. Except really this is a trap: when the Pethcines get in, Sutha will turn the magveils back on, trapping them. Then he will use the weather control system to unleash a ‘red storm’, destroying their army. Except really this is all a setup for Honcho – while the Pethcine army is being destroyed, Blade is supposed to murder Sutha and Isma so Honcho can come in become head neuter with Blade/Mazda as his figurehead. Except really really Blade has no intention of turning the power back on, thus forcing the Tharnians to confront their reliance on technology and robbing Honcho of his power as well so that Blade can defeat him and rescue Zulekia.

Crystal clear?

Blade wants to get started on all this nonsense immediately, so he orders Sutha to shut the power off. With that, all of Tharn is without power, including the weather control system. The sky immediately begins clearing toward blue. (This will, incidentally, have the side effect of wiping out the entire teksin crop, likely condemning a large segment of the population to starvation. Ho hum.)

Blade now has four days to train his army of Amazonian warrior women before the Pethcines arrive.

It did not take much, Blade noted, to arouse blood lust among a group of beautiful women who, by law, were permitted everything but sex.

Undersexed women become filled with bloodlust, everyone. Got that?

Anyway,  four days are apparently enough for Blade to train his ragtag army, pick his battlefield,  fortify it, rig up some siege engines, and select neuters who are to be completely loyal to his orders, not anyone else’s, as his assistants.

At last the four days are up. Scouts return with reports that the barbarians apparently have horses and chariots with blades on the wheels. Chariots! Sure, why not?

The Pethcine army arrives. Org, the Pethcine chieftain, his daughter Totha, and the neuter Honcho come out to parley. Blade meets with them. They all taunt each other. Honcho informs Blade that Zulekia is nearby and that they will kill her if Blade doesn’t do what he’s supposed to and surrender to them. Totha, however, is jealous of Zulekia and doesn’t want to let her live in any case. Blade pretends not to care about Zulekia’s fate. The parley goes badly, needless to say, and both sides go back to their sides of the battlefield.

The moment has come. Blade’s troops attack, shooting flaming arrows into the enemy army’s tent and immediately throwing it into disarray. At the same time, Blade spots Zulekia:

She was naked to the waist, her glorious hair glinting like the tent fires, her lovely face as impassive as ever as two warriors dragged her from the tent. She was wearing only a loincloth of some animal skin.

The Pethcines tie Zulekia spread-eagled to four chariots, ready to tear her apart on command.

Blade figures, what the hell, they’re probably bluffing, let’s fight!

The battle commences, with a lot of skirmishing and flaming arrows and stuff like that. Org and his Pethcines advance. They are brave, but barbaric and stupid, as is the way of fictional barbarians. Isma, the Amazonion warrior woman, is busy living up to another stereotype: the bloodthirsty wild woman. She wants to break formation and lead an attack with her squadron of warrior women, and Blade has trouble convincing her to hold back.

Blade, by the way, has decided that the Lordsmen are not just useless but are bad for Tharnian society. So, he throws them into a front line attack against Org’s barbarians, and they get massacred. Ah, sweet sweet genocide.

Sexy priestess lady Isma has gotten herself entangled in the Lordsmen massacre somehow. Blade runs out to save her even as Org tries to kill her. Blade just manages this heroic feat, but then Org and Co. have Blade and Isma surrounded.

Who should ride to their rescue? It’s the warrior women. Blade is miffed that they have come to his rescue without his permission. Warrior women these days are getting so uppity.

Lacking firm male guidance, the women then overextend themselves into the battlefield and start getting cut down. Blade notices that the Pethcines are capturing some of them and, of course, raping them right there on the battlefield, because this is a Blade book and therefore it is all about dat casual rape.

The Tharnian army reforms on the plain. There is some ebbing and flowing of the battle, the Tharnians are winning, then Org leads a big attack and he and Blade fight and Blade kills him. Blade taunts Totha with Org’s severed head, causing Totha to finally lead the chariots in to attack (they’ve been holding back all this time). Blade’s warrior women break ranks or duck to let the chariots pass by (mostly) without harming them, then turn and attack them from behind, devastating them.

Somehow, Totha breaks through, charging at Blade on her chariot and spearing him in his unprotected side, giving him what is no doubt a horrible wound which the book will forget about within two pages. Before Totha can kill Blade, however, Isma shows up and kills Totha.

That’s good news for Blade. The bad news is that now the jealous Isma is there, which makes it difficult for Blade to ride off and rescue Zulekia. Blade tries to put Isma’s questions off, but then Isma suggests they drink a ‘victory cup’ of soka, the local alcoholic beverage of choice. Blade immediately guesses that the ‘victory cup’ is poisoned – but before he can come up with a way to not drink it, Xeno, one of his neuter underlings, runs up yelling that the drink is poisoned and Isma runs a sword through him right in front of Blade. Blade and Isma then share that awkward moment where the lady you’ve been schtupping tries to poison you and kills your friend in front of you and you’re all like, “What?”

Then Blade grabs a chariot and rides off to rescue his spread-eagled girlfriend. When he arrives at the spot where she had been bound, she is gone, and Honcho with her.

Meanwhile… Hey, we get a different character’s perspective! It’s Sutha, the old ‘king of the neuters’. He is alone in the Power Pool chamber writing out his last will and testament. Sutha, it seems, basically agrees with Blade that the Power in the Pool must be destroyed so that Tharn can be reborn, etc etc blah blah blah.

But before Sutha can sacrifice himself, destroy the Power, and bring society crashing to its knees, Isma strides in with a bunch of followers. She tries to place Sutha under arrest, but he jumps into the pool, having had the foresight to line his tunic with lead weights (as one does.) He sinks down and touches the Power… box. Thing.

Back to Blade, who is galloping heroically across the plain in his chariot. There is a huge explosion which knocks him flying. Blade immediately surmises that someone has destroyed the Power dealie. Apparently touching the Power thing doesn’t just shut it down, it blows up, probably killing everyone for miles in a horrific nuclear blast.

Yay?

Blade is confidentthat some folks will have survived and that Tharn will rebuild better and stronger in the aftermath. Well, here’s hoping. Blade sure seems to leave a lot of destruction in his wake, that’s all I’m saying.

Blade quickly catches up to Honcho and Zulekia. Honcho is dead, having taken his own life. Either he saw the explosion and new all his plans were doomed, or, more likely, he wanted to rob the story of its logical climax by dying off screen. Zulekia is there mostly to be naked and hot, which is literally her entire function in this story.

Zulekia and Blade exchange kisses and also a great deal of exposition. Zulekia, it turns out, is pregnant. Blade ‘demands’ she bear his child. Whether she honors that demand, we never find out, because before they can celebrate their reunion with steamy, tantric boning, Blade is hit with a splitting headache as he is pulled back into his home dimension.

Back in England we get a glimpse of Blade actually shifting between dimensions:

His Lordship’s little yellow eyes gleamed with delight as Blade’s big body began to materialize in the chair on the rubberized pad.

So apparently Blade does physically move between dimensions? Alright, but why all this talk about his brain? And how the hell would a computer accomplish this? You know what, fuck this noise, I should know better than to look for any semblance of logic or science in these fucking books.

As usual, Blade has accidentally brought something besides a boner back from Dimension X. This time, the oh-so-precious prize that Blade has retrieved at great cist from an alien dimension is the big honking sword that he pulled out of the rock when he was fighting Gutar. That’s gonna be super useful to British science, I’m sure.

We wrap up with Blade on vacation lying in bed in his cottage in Dorset besides some naked minx who is Not Zoe, thinking whatever passes for ‘deep thoughts’ for a manly man of MI6^a.

Problematic Stuff

Was it just me? Did it feel like there was a lot of raping in this book? Because I felt like there was a shit ton of raping in this book. Oh, and one of the rapists was Blade this time.  Am I remembering that right? Did he actually rape a mentally disabled woman to death? Let me double check. Yep, that happened.

Fuck.

OK, so that death thing was kind of an accident. But Blade definitely knew that Astar wasn’t ‘all there’ mentally when he went to stick his ding-a-ling in her oyster ditch. And he absolutely did rape her sister Isma – there was anger, intentional inflicting of pain, ignoring her pleas to stop, etc. The whole ‘Ceremony of Ravishment’ was a real shit show.

Time Blade spent regretting that shit show: 0.000000 seconds.

There was also the gang rape of Zulekia, recounted in graphic detail. Even though it turned out to be a simulation, it was still a nasty and unnecessary scene IMHO. And although the worst never actually happens in ‘reality’, Zulekia does spend most of the book naked or mostly naked waiting to find out if she’s going to be raped and murdered.

There have been a lot of discussions in the comics community in the last few years about the women in refrigerators trope. It’s important to remember that this problematic cliche isn’t unique to comics, and probably didn’t originate with them. Zulekia, at any rate, is the very definition of a woman in a refrigerator.

Well, okay, she doesn’t actually get put in a refrigerator, so I guess she’s not the definition. But she is a highly fucking pertinent example, alright? Zulekia exists purely so that bad things can happen to her or threaten to happen to her to motivate Blade, the (male) protagonist.

The book mentions the mass rape on the battlefield just briefly, but that simply illustrates how casual this series is about this shit. When male soldiers rape the hot female Amazonian warriors in broad daylight it is pretty much just shrugged off. Boys will be boys!

On the other hand, the book reserves endless scorn for the female-on-male rape of the Lordsmen. Granted, that’s not okay either. But the book spends plenty of time making a big deal about how disturbed Blade is by witnessing the sight of women raping men. The amount of time Blade has in the past spent being disturbed by the sight of men raping women? Basically nil.

Of course, once the Lordsmen have been raped most of them are promptly murdered. But Blade has no moral high ground to stand on here, either, because a few chapters later he purposely has the remaining Lordsmen massacred in battle. (Number of dialogue lines spoken in this book by Lordsmen? 0.)

The Lordsmens’ rape is really symptomatic of a bigger piece of philosophical misogyny that permeates this entire book, namely the idea that a female-lead society couldn’t possibly work. Obviously all women in such a society would be deeply repressed and constantly horny. They would surround themselves with phallic symbols. And they would still be basically incompetent and looking for a man to lead them.

In fact, it is the neuters, all referred to with the masculine ‘he’ who seem to run the day-to-day business of Tharnian society. Even in their own land the women aren’t really in charge. Women are lusty, jealous airheads who aren’t fit to run things! That’s the core message of Jewel of Tharn.

The retrograde sexual politics of this book are crazy backwards, even by the standards of its day. In a weird, twisted way, it’s kind of impressive.

Wrap Up

So how did I feel about Jewel of Tharn overall? Eh.

I could have done with less rape, for starters. That aside, pacing is also a problem. The middle of the book is basically one long exposition dump, punctuated by rape scenes.

Deeply problematic content aside, the plot of this book very much errs on the needlessly complicated side. Everybody is trying to double-cross everyone else, but we don’t actually care about most of the players, which makes it all feel rather pointless. The battle scene is needlessly complex without a lot of payoff in turns of twists, turns, and tension. Much exposition is spouted. Very little cool action actually happens.

Honcho the Neuter makes a pretty good villain, however, in the sense that he’s creepy and memorable and the reader is really rooting against him. The first book in the series, in particular, really struggled with this. And this book ups the sexy times quotient once more. Everyone strips off their knickers and gets down to boppin’ squiddles at the drop of a hat. At the current rate of increasing sexual content, experts predict that the series will consist entirely of gay erotica around volume six.

But how does this book stack up OBJECTIVELY?!? It’s time to run down our handy Blade Checklist to get the official tally for Jewel of Tharn.

  • Blade gets greased up by Lord L – check!
  • Blade is forced to be someone’s sex slave – check!
  • Blade bones an underage girl – nope
  • Blade bones an older woman who looks like a young woman – nope
  • Blade takes on a lower class rogue with a good heart as his manservant – nope
  • Blade befriends the bad guy’s second-in-command – nope
  • Blade takes over the bad guy army – well, he takes over an army. Are they good or bad? Depends on whether you count Isma as their leader.
  • Blade condones casual rape – check and check!
  • Blade sleeps his way to the top – check!
  • Blade drops his pants for someone – check!

I’m gonna give this a 6.5 overall. A little lower than average.

Stay tuned to this blog! Next time, Richard Blade chases a Russian spy into Dimension X in… SLAVE OF SARMA!!!

 

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