Title: Kock Rider of Khymeera
Author: Joanna Noor
Publisher: Forty Lashes Press
Publication Date: June 30, 2018
Shelves: Female-dominant, Female-fronted, Female-author, Transgender
The Gor novels of John Norman are among the oldest of my guilty pleasures. As a teenager, working my way through the fantasy shelves, they were forbidden and taboo, naughty tales of sex, bondage, and slavery that I fell in love with. I adored the pulp adventure aspect of them, but it was the sexuality and submission that spoke to my very soul.
The only thing they were lacking was an element of gender fluidity to completely overwhelm me. While Lyka Bloom published one Gor-inspired fantasy with Kal’an, and there have been a few unauthorized Gor novellas published online, there has never been a professionally published, true transgender Gorean fantasy . . . until now.
Adventurous, humorous, thrilling, and erotic, Kock Rider of Khymeera is not just Gor-inspired fantasy, it is a transgender homage to the works of John Norman that is as clever as it is entertaining. What Joanna Noor has crafted here is a book that is undeniably erotic and sexually suggestive, but first and foremost a thrilling bit of fantasy, complete with danger, romance, horror, and friendship. Yes, there are pornographic elements that will have you frantically manipulating your Milk Stone, but this is far more than just a one-handed read, and readers would be doing themselves a disservice to dismiss it to easily.
As pulp fantasy goes, this is a marvelous read. We have heroes and heroines, rivalries, thieves, assassins, monsters, and some unusual beasts of burden. There are epic battles, both on the ground and in the air, and some daring escapes. There is a sense of awe and grandeur to the world of Khymeera, with a mythology behind the counter-Earth (that relies heavily upon the Pu’ussy Kings of the Soddom Mountains), and a geography that embraces far more than just the two nations at war. There’s a sense of scope and grandeur here that demonstrates Noor’s love for the genre.
The erotic elements aren’t just tacked on, they’re a part of the story, and that level of detail is part of what makes for such an exciting read. Take, for instance, the Kocks of the title. These are massive creatures, something of a cross between an eagle and a dragon, that can be mounted and ridden in more ways than one. It is not a sexual connection between Kock and rider, but an intimate telepathic bond that translates into a majestic experience. Another delicious example is Lactus of the Merchant Caste, a Hu’kow with four breasts that produce a hypnotic, mind-altering milk. She is an absolutely delicious character, and her race is just as important to her role – not just a bit of fetish fun, but something that binds the characters together, and opens the world to a new kind of leadership.
What makes is all work is the culture of open sexuality and acceptance that permeates the world. There is no such thing as straight, bi, or gay on Khymeera, no restraints on sexual acts, and no judgment on partners. Sex is both pleasurable and mystical, and all are free to partake of it, with whomever they please, however they please. There is a class system in place, with romance between certain classes an issue of cultural taboos (which is a part of Princess Ulva’s story), and there is the issue of the rare Fu’taanari being both reviled and worshiped, but sex itself is open and free.
There is so much more I want to say about this, but you really do need to read it for yourself. Yes, many of the names are deliberately silly and suggestive, but the story itself is far more than just ribald humor. Kock Rider of Khymeera is a well-written, imaginative, engaging work of fantasy fiction that delivers as much amusement and excitement as it does arousal. Highly recommended! All that’s missing now from the shelves of my dreams is for somebody to recapture the sensuality and the grandeur of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels with a transgender heroine.
Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀ ♀