All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

In The Flesh – Sylvia Day

on October 10, 2013

In The FleshIn The Flesh
Sylvia Day
Penguin Books Aus
2013 (originally 2009), 355p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Sapphire is the most prized concubine of the King of Sari. For the past five years ever since he purchased her contract and took her into his bed, he has visited no other, not even his wife the Queen. However the kingdom of Sari requires an heir that must be conceived via natural methods and for that reason, the Queen engineers the removal of Sapphire from the palace. The King retires Sapphire, which grants her the independence that she so desperately desires. However, in her new luxurious accommodations, she finds that she has received a scheming, parting gift: one that could get her killed.

Wulfric is the Crown Prince of the neighbouring kingdom of D’Ashier. Kidnapped and tortured almost to the point of death, he awakes in Sapphire’s healing chamber to find her watching him. He’s a warrior, a man who could be Sapphire’s match in every way if he were not the enemy. Sari and D’Ashier have been at war for years with many casualties and the borders remain unstable and fiercely patrolled. Although Wulfric has the ability to leave Sapphire’s residence he chooses not to – at least not without having her first. They make a bargain to devote one night to the attraction between them and then he must leave and go back to where he belongs before they are discovered and all hell breaks loose.

But it isn’t that easy. One night isn’t enough for Wulfric or for Sapphire either. He wants her for more than that – he wants her back with him in his castle and in his bed. But the King of Sari still longs for his favourite concubine and who Sapphire really is complicates matters even further. This is an obsession that could destroy the fragile relationship between their countries even further and bring them to all out warfare.

In the Flesh was originally published in 2009 under the pseudonym of Livia Dare and is a futuristic romance set between two warring countries over the production of an energy source. Sapphire is a graduate of the School of Sensual Arts and her first contract was purchased by the King himself and she has been his most preferred (only, really) concubine ever since. The King does not even lie with his wife so deep is his obsession with Sapphire although she does her best to encourage him to do so in order for the country to gain an heir. Then Sapphire is ‘retired’ so that the King might be able to bed the Queen (something he seems unable to do with her in the palace). Her retirement however, comes with something that makes life very difficult for her: the kidnapped Crown Prince of D’Ashier.

Although the setting is different, the core story really isn’t except perhaps that Sapphire and Wulfric are both relatively put together characters, strong and confident in themselves and their abilities and independent. Although to be honest, Wulfric does tend to go from strong, confident arrogant typical Crown Prince with harem of concubines to this sort of desperate male determined to prove to Sapphire that she should love him and that they can be together and it will work. Sapphire is more reluctant – she doesn’t see how they can do this without sending their countries to war and without hurting people that are important to them both. She knows that Wulfric’s father the King of D’Ashier and his younger brother don’t trust her at all and this sort of attitude is sure to trickle down, creating hostility, resentment and perhaps even leading to assassination attempts. Wulfric is pretty single-minded in his pursuit of Sapphire and something more permanent and he’s not afraid to use his position to basically overrule everyone else and dismiss their concerns. Sapphire is more realistic about their chances of a future together and she takes some convincing that it might really be able to happen. Luckily she’s a warrior trained in combat because it seems like everyone wants a piece of her.

I didn’t particularly enjoy this one as much as I’ve enjoyed previous Sylvia Day books and I think that’s because I don’t really feel enough word count was devoted to the building of this world and laying out the customs and lifestyles and history between the two nations. I’d have liked to know a lot more including about when Sapphire goes “offworld” later on in the book – what even is that? It’s only vaguely explained and I feel like more attention should’ve been paid to making sure the reader had a better picture of the world that was being (loosely) created. Instead there’s an awful lot of page count devoted to sex scenes (this is Sylvia Day after all) but after reading a scene where I swear Wulfric was thrusting for pages and pages, I started to feel relatively…bored. Sex scenes are a really fine line: detail can be good and Day is famous for her detail but there is such a thing as well, too much. And too long. And too often. And you get the point. I wanted Sapphire’s lady parts to have a rest for a little while just so that I could get more of an idea of what was going on outside of the bedroom. Or the bathroom. Or wherever they happened to be at the time. Wulfric brings new meaning to the word insatiable but the scenes were often inconsistent as well: for example he fears completion too soon but then it takes him forever and ever and ever and Sapphire has had 39 orgasms in this time and quite frankly, I was exhausted and I wasn’t even there.

I feel as though this book could’ve been a lot more interesting than it was if more had been devoted to the actual story. I think when you step outside of contemporary (and even historical) you need to do more with the world and the surroundings for the reader. You can’t just be vague about it and throw in a romance the same as you could in a setting that readers are familiar with. Also this kind of ended with parts left hanging but I can’t find any concrete information about a sequel. I can only assume there is one though.


Book #261 of 2013


One response to “In The Flesh – Sylvia Day

  1. Hanzel Grace says:

    hello can i ask for a copy of the book – in the flesh by sylvia day

    thank you

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