TRIGGER WARNINGS ALERT Stay away from this one if you prefer safe reads. Don't read my review if the word "rape" makes you unconfortable, because I use it a lot, because this book has a lot of that. My review contains spoilers so beware.
I don't recommend this if you feel uncomfortable reading about:
Pedophilia Nicasius is only 13 and he's used as a sex slave. The worst is that he is supposed to be willing to be forever a sex slave because the king, his master, gets tired of children when they grow up and Nicasious is eagerly searching for a new master.
Rape and Sexual violence Damianos the Main character is entered in a slave contest where the loser gets raped. He gets drugged by Laurent "his love interest" so that he'll get weakened and lose the contest and Laurent can watch when Damianos gets raped...publicily!! In this book the court takes rape as a sport. Later Damiano's forced to receive oral sex from another slave to the enjoyment of Laurent. I repeat, Laurent is the "love interest".
No romance by the end of the book there's not even a kiss
Stockholm Syndrome Erasmus, A sexual slave, gets raped all the time but he supposedly enjoys being a sex pet and is all grateful when he gets to serve another master because said master treats sex-slaves "better". Sorry but in what sick world a sex-slave enjoys being a slave?How is that romantic or sexy?
Extreme violence Laurent, the MC "love interest", is a Prince and he gives orders to whip Damianos. This is vividly described and Damianos spends some time recovering from his injuries. How is that romantic?
Double standards So Christian Grey gets the sh*t here in GR although he NEVER raped ANA, (although, to be honest he pushed her consent, but NEVER raped her) yet Laurent gets nothing but praise??? So dubious consent, sexual violence, and rape are okay when the characters are male? NO JUST NO!! That's not feminist at all, that's not fair. If the main character had been Princess Damiana everyone and their dog would be screaming murder. "Oh the abusive relationship in romance!" But because the victim is a male then it's okay? How is that fair?
Unsafe reads This is supposedly a slow-burn-romance between two males, but there's a lot of cheating and disloyalty. [ In the sequel of this rape -fest Laurent who is Damianos owner and master, "lends" Damianos to a group of women warriors so that they can use him for reproductive purposes. Laurent's not even slightly jealous! He laughs with joy when Damianos returns to their tent worn-out from having sex with a lot of women in just one night. Damianos is attracted to Laurent but he is more attracted to women than to males. So we the readers don't get a little bit of cute jealousy and the couple doesn't kiss until way into the second book.
I'm not the most articulated, coherent reviewer, so I invite you to read these reviews if you want more info on the problematic issues of this book.
This book makes me angry. The writing is exquisite and clever, but it's the most disgusting portrayal of an M/M relationship. Contrary to what this book portrays, Homosexual Men have healthy, committed relationships . This is not the best book to portray diverse couples, because, as it is, a lot of people think wrongly that homosexuality and bisexuality are against nature and that Bisexuals and Homosexual aren't capable of loving, committed relationships. This book only re-inforces the idea of sexually "degenerated" characters. In real life gay people aren't like this. Not at all.
I gave two stars to the sequel because the graphic rapes aren't present. It's cleverly written and it's addictive, but it's still a harsh read because poor Nicaise. It's not fair what happened to him.
Final note: There are reviewers here in GR who praise this book to no end, and yet get all angry and write rants about romances like Twilight, Hopeless, FSOG, Beautiful disaster and other romance books of the romance genre. At time it feels like some of those reviewers are trying to make the people who enjoy, for example, FSOG bad with themselves because "they are supporting a book that portrays an abusive relationship". Yet they go and praise this very abusive book.
This isn't about me having a problem with the people who like this book. I think it's okay if people enjoy this kind of books because
* Everyone has different tastes and opinions and all opinions are equally valid. You enjoy this book? That's fine.
* WE ALL ARE SMART! WE ALL KNOW HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE REALITY FROM BOOKS. We all know that In real life rape is wrong. The people who love this book to death aren't supporters of rape, this is just a book. But just like the the captive prince fanbase knows the difference between reality and books, the FSOG fanbase knows better than go and get themselves in abusive relationships because of a book.
My problem is when the double standard comes:Contrary to popular GR belief the people who enjoy books that portray abusive M/F relationships are as smart as the people who enjoys Captive prince. Just saying.
So anyone who enjoys FSOG or any other bad-reviewed romance, but never says it aloud for fear of how their opinion will make them look in a site like GR where people trash "abusive relationship" books, should say it aloud. Most of FSOG bashers are top reviewers who praise this rape-fest so there's nothing wrong with liking FSOG or any other poorly-reviewed romance.
If you like me feel unconfortable reading certain topics, ignore most of the 5 star reviews, very few of them mention the problematic issues of this book and most lack trigger warnings. Read some 3 stars reviews and some triggers warnings before deciding if this book is for you or not