I still have no idea how to describe what I thought these books would be vs. what they actually are. The layers and layers. The whole premise of Kingsley founding his kingdom to save lives— it got to me. I mean, if it’s helped me a ton, imagine the kinds of lives it could actually save. In amongst his origin story (and Sam!), there’s a proper villain, one who flips the expected roles of good and evil, right and wrong, saint and sinner. It goes at a core philosophy of the series: no one is too broken to heal. And everyone deserves the chance, except for the predators who perpetually prey on the helpless.
In fact, I’d be willing to bet a favorite scripture of Kingsley’s (of Søren’s, of Nora’s, of Tiffany Reisz’s?) is “God looks on the heart.” Which would happen to be I Samuel 16:7. Which would happen to be when David is anointed king. (Did I think I would call upon my old summer theology courses for an erotica book? No, I did not. Am I thrilled that I do? YES.)
Someone else has read the same Bible I have, full of these exact people. Doing these exact things. David screwed up more than just about anyone, wild, shameless, heretical, tenderhearted David, and what does God call him? Beloved. And do? Crown him king.
I’m here for that parallel all day.
Now that I’ve scared off anyone without a degree in advanced theology, let me assert that you don’t need any of that to get what makes these books special. It’s just a bonus. Come as you are. Take from it what you will. Most likely it won’t be the thing you expect.
*Is this the first erotica novel written at a Jesuit retreat? I doubt it, so I’d like a list of the others, please and thank you.
**In this episode of Everything Connects, Søren reads The Inferno to Kingsley in Italian, of which I now know enough to be supremely jealous.