Title: The Emperor’s Slave
Author: Chera Zade
Genre: Romance, Erotica, Historical Romance, Fiction
Publishing Date: 31st July2015
Publisher: Self-Published/Patchwork Press – Cooperative
Format: kindle Edition
Other Notable Works: Viking’s Woman, The Slave Queen, Punishing The Slave Girl, Ravished By The Vikings, Ravished By The King’s Guard, Conquered By Vikings, For the King’s Pleasure, Cota’s Claim
Viewer discretion advised. 18 and above only!
I was given a copy of this by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
This book’s main themes are sex, romance and religion. The author Chera Zade writes and describes various sexual acts throughout this short story under the guise of religion (Ancient Roman Gods and Goddesses e.g., Jupiter, Mars, Pluto, Mercury, Venus etc.).
I was drawn to the cover’s illustration first. It made me curious about how the title, blurb and content reflected what to me, seemed to be a sexually serene image. I also love the use of light that shines down on the woman in the picture and how this correlates to the main character Caligula’s perception of his self.
Chera Zade loves to breach taboos in this novel, for example, when the female protagonist Arianna of Crete a lowly serving-girl uses the Emperor Caligula’s household shrine in order to ask the gods to spare the young ruler on his deathbed and to, take her instead. The reason why this is taboo is because, it was considered treason for someone not of royal blood to touch a shrine belonging to the emperor; yet Arianna of Crete did so anyway. The second taboo is one which, young Arianna allows herself to indulge in and that is, allowing herself to believe that she is more than a servant in his household…that she is his first and most treasured priestess in his new position as a God.
This story is told from Arianna’s POV. She is portrayed as young, naïve, eager to please and overly sexual. Arianna slowly but surely begins to question her master Gaius Caligula; Emperor and self-proclaimed god of Rome. Her sexual tastes are greatly explored and her kinks are also discovered thanks to Emperor Caligula’s own perversities, for example, multiple partners, orgies and BDSM.
Zade looks to show two sides of a story and an attempt to see whether her male antagonist truly is a god or suffering from medically induced insanity. Caligula is shown both in this story and historically to be quick to anger, stubborn, proud, vain and to be a satyromaniac (male version of a nynphomaniac).
I grew to find Arianna’s ability to accept her new role as priestess of Caligula’s religion and expectation to act as his personal whore both irritating and unrealistic. My reason for this is that before Caligula took her to his bed she was a virgin – albeit a sexually curious one. However, I do not think in my opinion that it is realistic for someone completely sexually inexperienced to automatically fulfil every sexual desire Caligula requires of her without question.
I find Zade’s portrayal of the Emperor Caligula to be inconsistent. I think that is to do with the way in which she is using Arianna as a mouthpiece. However, Zade is either depicting him as an egotistical tyrant or as a beautiful, strong and merciful god like Jupiter himself. The one thing that truly bothers me about this characterisation is the way Caligula comes across as a winey, petulant and spoilt brat who will murder you as soon as look at you one minute, and a purposeful, sexual deviant the next.
Zade does need to ensure that her work is properly proofread before publishing as I found a few sentencing issues and typing mistakes whilst reading this short story.
Overall, this book is a good, quick, steamy read that will appeal to of-age readers across the board.