#Erotica Review: The Red Queen (Adventures in Fetishland) by S. Nano

Over the past year, S. Nano has quickly (and rather surprisingly) become one of my favorite authors. He is what I would call a true erotic storyteller, by which I mean he is equally adept at arousing imagination as imagining arousal. His stories are full of both heart and humor, populated by unique characters, and as wildly wondrous as they are deeply depraved.

The Red Queen (Adventures in Fetishland, Book One) is actually one of his earliest books, given new life by eXcessica. As you can likely glean from the title, this is an erotic, fetish-fueled retelling of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Actually, strike that. It's not so much a retelling as it is a reinvention, a whole new story that re-imagines the characters, and exploits them with a similar sense of madness and wonder.

Everything and everyone you would expect of Alice are here, from the Rabbit to the Cat, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the rabbit hole, the tea party, and more. Similarly, everything I've come to expect from S. Nano is here, including leather and latex, elaborate costumes, bondage equipment, erotic toys, and more. It's not at all surprising how easily the story takes on an erotic cast, or how well the character of the Red Queen lends itself to a dominatrix interpretation. What is surprising, and what so intrigued me, is the story behind the story.

After enjoying so many of those BDSM-themed twists, the Cat sits Kim down and tells a sobering tale of the Red Queen as a pagan goddess, fighting against the rise of Christianity and the suppression of the feminine divine. It's a story of physical rape and spiritual conquest, with the Knights Templar at its heart, and it is utterly fascinating both in its historical content and its contrast to the fetish-themed madness. It's so out of place that it interrupts the flow of the story, jarring the reader out of the dream, but it makes the second half of the book that much more . . . well, significant.

Taken in that context, the themes of faith, trust, and blind submission really come to the forefront in The Red Queen. We're able to see the Red Queen herself in a new light, appreciating her drive, her motivation, and her sense of purpose. This is an incredibly imaginative, erotic story, with elements of wonder and seduction, but it's also a deeply personal one . . . one in which it becomes easy to find a deeper meaning behind the submission of her subjects in Nemesisland, men and women who so willing submit not just to her whims, but her transformations. By the time the White Queen comes on the scene, this has gone far beyond the original literary inspiration, far beyond the bondage and kink, to become something extraordinary and inspiring.

Kindle Edition, 239 pages
Expected publication: 18th May 2018 by eXcessica

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for review consideration. This does not in any way affect the honesty or sincerity of my review.