TO SERVE AND SUBMIT by Susan Wright

TO SERVE AND SUBMIT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wright’s Norse Saga–flavored sex fantasy, the first of a planned two books, makes minimal reference to the bondage/domination themes the title suggests.

Young Marja explores the fenlands for bog iron, communing with the olfs (cherub-like spirits) until handsome, exotic merchant Lexander buys her. At Vidaris, Lexander and his cruel partner Helanas (whom the olfs fear and shun) train Marja, a slave among slaves, in the most refined arts of sexual pleasure. Gradually, Marja learns that she is a true sexual submissive, delighting in the attentions of any man or woman—but especially those of Lexander, whom she grows to love. Later, at a celebration, huge, oafish, cunning warrior Birgir Barfoot threatens to rape Lady Silveta. If Silveta refuses to submit, Birgir will slay her husband and claim his holdings. Marja substitutes for Silveta—but come morning, Birgir rages at the deception and beats Marja. Soon, Birgir finds an excuse to kill Silveta's husband anyway, and with his warriors overruns Silveta's loyal bondsmen. Assisted by the olfs, Marja helps Silveta escape; Lexander departs, too, after confessing that he can no longer rear slaves to be shipped to his home, where they are abused and broken by the godlike inhabitants. Hoping to obtain help to oust Birgir and his cutthroats, Silveta, Marja and Lexander sail away to distant lands, even though Marja fears to join her spirit unreservedly with Lexander's since, being a god, he might accidentally trap her in the Otherworld, where mortals cannot abide.

Sensual, well-constructed and fairly persuasive.

Pub Date: April 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-451-46068-5
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: ROC/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2006




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