Katana Duet: Samuraiís Forbidden Love

Katana Duet: Samuraiís Forbidden Love by Silapa Jarun is a homoerotic love story based in the time of Feudal Japan.

Aki knows that the end is near. He and his twin brother Akeno pledged their lives in the support of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and when they lost to the Imperial troops, to the winners go the spoils. Aki is scared for his brother after Aki found him trying to drown himself in the lake. Aki vowed to avenge Akeno, and then they managed to slip away to try and start a new life. Things are very difficult for them to obtain success because their past affiliations are held against them. They have always worked together and thought of themselves not as two but as one person. Determined to succeed, Akeno earns money the only way he can, as a personal assistant/ lover, to gain enough money to send his brother to America, the land of opportunity, where he eventually follows. The two end up in Wisconsin as boarders for a brother and sister, Klara and Konrad. Aki is assisting Konrad in his experiments with Akeno working around the house. Klara and Konradís family are very upset not just over the arrangements, but the potential effects to Klaraís ill health. Klara has always been sick, and Konrad is determined to find the cure to her illness. As the story unfolds questions of alliances of the siblings will confuse and delight the reader. Will Aki and Akeno finally realize their true feelings for each other? Who are Klara and Konrad and what do they want from Aki and Akeno? What is really going on at the boarding house and does it bode well for the brothers?

Ms. Jarun has created a unique story by mixing characters from Feudal Japan into an early American culture to fashion a story that is fast paced and unpredictable for the reader. I loved the scenes from Japan and how Aki and Akeno adapted to America, sometimes with more success than others. It was interesting to see how individuals from both cultures responded differently to the same situations. The scenes where Aki and Akeno finally expressed their true feelings for each other was moving and very erotic. It was interesting to see how both sets of siblings found themselves in similar situations, but looked upon it differently, maybe due to the different cultures. It was fascinating to watch the action unfold and not be able to figure what was really going on until the very end. I will definitely look for more books by Ms. Jarun.

Reviewed by: Teresa