The Siren and the Sword is an erotic urban fantasy that both succeeds and misses the mark as a successful story. The plot is fun and easy to follow. But the writing is substandard and characters paper thin – so much so that is was hard to care about any of them. The author clearly had fun with the erotic scenes, which aren’t lurid or over the top. It’s a simplistic piece of eye candy that could count as a guilty pleasure.
Story: Kyle receives a grant to Harvard but instead winds up at a different part of the university – one hidden to most. It’s there, at Veritas, that students with magical abilities (most having fae backgrounds) learn their crafts. Kyle was an orphan, adopted early in life, and had no idea he had any gifts other than being a descendant of Wordsworth. But he’s about to be flung headfirst into a mystery as a succubus attacks and nearly kills one of his friends. He has to find his powers, and fast, if he wants to save Alex’s life.
What I did like about this book is that the sex is nice rather than kinky. People enjoy it without reservations (or regard to gender or audience). It’s erotic fiction that once you’ve read it, you won’t really feel like you’ll need to take a shower afterwards to get the ‘filth’ off (and I mean that in a really good way). As well, the story flows easily and is a very smooth read.
Problematic is that it is a very shallow story, lacking nuances and depth. Sometimes, a very simple read can be lovely but those with a more sophisticated reading palette will immediately discern the lack of writing chops. Tan is a great storyteller but definitely needs more experience with the writing aspect.
I neither loved nor hated the book. There are four in the series and this first book felt more like bloated introduction filler rather than the beginning of a series arc. But it is also pleasant enough that it is worth continuing.
Reviewed from a free copy from the publisher.