The Lion and the Crow - Eli Easton
Say what you like. You are mine and forever will be.

This is a very simple story. And that's nothing to be ashamed of. Well written, well paced, convincing and straight to the point, it gave me what I was asking for. It took me into the Medieval world for a few hours and it drew me in a relationship full of warmth and affection.

I have to say first that everything Medieval draws me. I'm lucky because I live in the Old Continent, so there are endless opportunities to go crazy when finding those characteristic silhouettes on the horizon. And I also go crazy when there is a M/M story between those stoned walls. Above all when they are not that common.

Christian Brandon, the Crow, is the youngest of 7 brothers, none of which made his life easy. He's been mistreated as far as his memory goes. He is too pretty for a man, but he has learnt to defend himself and toughen up. And he has sinful desires.

William Corbet, the Lion, is several years older. He first sees Christian in the archery competition and his beauty hits him to the core. He refuses to acknowledge it and decides to concentrate on his purpose: ask Sir Brandon his help to free his sister from his abusing husband. Sir Brandon rejects the proposal but Christian offers to accompany William in his mission. Sir Brandon agrees, but with strict orders to get married once he comes back.

I truly expected much more resistance and much more beating around the bush, but in fact both guys came to the conclusion that ignoring their desires was hiding from the truth, and as such, a pointless thing to do. The trip is several weeks long, so plenty of time to form a bond and get to know each other better. William finds out Christian is not a weakling who spends his existence from bed to bed. And Christian is only more determined to get William be his finally and forever.

It's a very adorable story. It doesn't show complicated conflicts or forced twists. There is also a striking stratagem from Christian that was utterly unexpected and original. The ending is pretty predictable and the plot sometimes is too convenient for the main characters, but the important thing is that I lured into it, because the feelings were real. I liked how they get under each other's skin and their feelings develop. There is always a defeatist aura around because of the cruel circumstances and the conviction this is not going to last. But Christian is not ready to resist and let William go after he has found him. This only adds an epic brush on the story, but it never felt exaggerated or lame.

The review ends here.


The killing lesson begins here.

Of course I'm kidding.


I don't want to be the pettifoggery here but that murder was a shitty thing to do. Not the act, because the guy really deserved to get some kind of justice, but because of the making. When you are hugging someone and you have a dagger in your hand, the last thing you should do is stick it between two ribs on the front. It's just impractical. If you want to kill someone from that position, you should stab the back just under the ribs and aim upwards. Do not choose the centre of the back because that's where the vertebras are. Go for the left side, just where the spleen is, because it bleeds nonstop, or for the right side, the liver, which is not a bad option, either. This way is much more effective for two reasons: your blade will not bounce against a rib because, believe it or not, it's damn difficult to hit the target. Ribs exist for a reason so of course they are not useless protectors. Secondly, moving your hand upwards and towards yourself makes the most of your strength, while at the same time you might reach the heart and death is just coming sooner than later. Because that way you pull the person towards yourself in order to trap him, and at the same time you stab him adding that strength in the same direction. Pushing the dagger and pulling the person is less efficient, more tiring and more problematic.

If you decide to go for the front anyway, you need to get away from the person to make space for the dagger, and you lose a little of the surprise factor, above all when you want to achieve a silent death in order not to be discovered. Anyway, the way to do so would not be between the ribs, either. Yes, I know it's pretty impressive to see a sword hanging from someone's chest in the movies, but reality is never that cool. As I said, it's very hard to hit the target that way. If the person is quiet (and thin), sure, go for it. But the person is not going to wait for you to put the dagger in his heart. The most effective way here, and the most lethal one, is to go for the stomach, which is obviously softer than bone. You go for the sternum, just below the xiphoid process, and aim upwards and to the left side of the thorax, directly to the heart. If you don't touch the heart you will surely reach the lung or an important vessel or maybe the pericardium. Whatever you manage you will have enough time to finish him off it he hasn't died yet.

Another possibility is cutting the carotid artery.

I'm of course not a master in the killing area, but with a little of anatomy knowledge and common sense it's not difficult to figure this out. To show you that I'm not creative nor clever, Jamie Fraser gives a lecture about this to Claire inOutlander. That's why it doesn't make sense Christian is a warrior and still does things this way.