The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair is a fabulous lesbian, erotic sci fi romance. Because it’s heavy on the erotic romance and light on the sci fi, it’s a fabulous choice for someone who just wants to dip their toe into the sci fi waters.
Ariana “Ari” Geiker lives a solitary, absent-minded life tending to her plants and looking for botanical breakthroughs that can help other people. Her father may be commander of a space station, but Ari isn’t spoiled, unless you count the extensive gardens her dad has enabled her to grow in her quarters.
One day Ari is horrified when an older woman is brought to be her slave as a gift from her father. Ari has never wanted a slave, nor is she okay with slavery, even though it’s common. The only survivor from one of the dreaded space pirate Mir’s ships, the nameless woman has plenty of fire in her eyes.
Ari settles into life with “Assistant,” who takes over running her quarters, making sure Ari doesn’t forget to eat, and often joins her in gardening tasks. Assistant is brilliant and sharp-tongued, paying attention to everything and occasionally dropping tidbits about life in Mir’s fleet. Their existence is peaceful, and Ari tries to indulge Assistant as much as possible with trips to the observatory so she can pore through the station’s extensive collection of star charts. Everything changes for Ari, however, when Assistant skillfully seduces her, and then keeps coming back to do it again, opening Ari’s eyes to a world of erotic possibilities that she’d never known existed.
Ari knows that there’s more to Assistant than what initially meets the eye. Can she keep her heart safe from the enigmatic woman?
If the brilliant, scathing older woman/sweet, lovely younger woman pairing sounds familiar, The Lily and the Crown started out as a popular Devil Wears Prada fanfic (and if you all know anything about me and my fanfic tastes, it’s that I adore the DWP fandom). Roslyn Sinclair did a fabulous job of fleshing these women out and making them her own, taking them on the most delicious of character arcs. Assistant is the ultimate ice queen, and watching her melt through Ari’s eyes works very well, while at the same time we watch Ari develop a strength she never dreamed she’d be able to have.
The Writing Style
Because The Lily and the Crown was marketed as a sci fi romance, I didn’t anticipate how erotic it would be, which turned out to be quite the pleasant surprise. The sex between Assistant and Ari drives much of their relationship development, and oh my goodness is it ever hot. I was a little nervous about how that would play out given the fact that Assistant is a slave, but it ended up working well because of how the power dynamics play out in their relationship.
Pretty much everything worked for me, but the whole thawing ice queen element was the true standout leading to an ending that had me swooning.
I can’t think of anything.
Sci fi isn’t my typical choice, and I’m so glad I picked up this book. Its plotting and pacing are excellent, the character work is thoughtful and done well, and holy hell are the sex scenes hot. Roslyn Sinclair’s first published lesfic is a home run for me, and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future!
Excerpt from The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair
Mercifully, Assistant never seemed to guess at Ari’s thoughts. Thank goodness for that. No doubt she’d find them ridiculous. But she didn’t seem to resent Ari; in fact, she seemed more bewildered by her than anything else. Sometimes even amused. Ari got the feeling not a lot of things amused Assistant, so she wondered if it might not be a kind of compliment.
Therefore, on the fourth day, Ari felt marginally confident enough to ask, “Assistant? What was it like? Living with pirates, I mean.”
Assistant gave her a sharp look. The bruise on her cheek had nearly faded completely. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, what are pirates like? What do they do all day? When they’re not…” Ari gestured vaguely with her trowel and threw dirt on her own chin. “You know. Marauding and stuff.” She wiped her chin.
“Chiefly they’re going between places where they maraud,” Assistant said. “I understand there is also drinking and whoring involved. For some of them.” She dug her own trowel forcefully into the dirt. “Not the ones I lived with, however.”
“Whor…” Ari gulped and blushed. She wasn’t used to that kind of language, but even more than that, it sounded strange coming from Assistant’s usually refined mou…vocabulary. The base of her spine tingled. Grasping frantically for a different subject, she said, “Did you ever see her?”
“You know. Mír.” Ari kept her voice low, out of reflex. It was silly, but for two decades Mír had been used as a story to frighten children. Be good, or the ruthless pirate queen will snatch you away in the dead of night. Ari herself had gotten various versions of the tale when she’d been young.
“What about her?” Assistant inquired, lifting an eyebrow.
“Did you ever see her?” Ari repeated. “They say nobody has. No free person. She’s never on the holos. Nobody even has a voice recording.”
“Yes,” Assistant said. “From what I understand, she takes great care that this should be the case.”
“Well, some people even say she’s not real. Because nobody’s seen her, you see. They say she’s just a story to frighten children and somebody else is in charge of the pirates. Or several somebodies. Pirates-by-committee,” she added, inspired.
“Oh, she’s real enough,” Assistant said, turning back to the dirt.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955339425
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Roslyn Sinclair Online
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