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Review: Spyder’s Trial – Korin I. Dushayl

Spyder's Trial - Korin I. Dushayl

Genre: Sci-Fi, Erotica, Space Opera (Not Romance)

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Gay, Lesbian, Non-Binary, Poly

Reviewer: Lucy

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About The Book

Spyder expertly guides the combat-crippled spaceship Truth to a “safe” crash landing at the bottom of an Aargine ocean. A salvage ship owned by a powerful criminal snags Truth and Spyder’s owner, the Lady Cassandra, negotiates safe transport for the ship’s passengers—her slaves, her prisoners, and her revolutionary recruits—as well as the tools vital for her work as a Dominatrix. 

When Sypder finds himself swept up in a Piety Purist political plot to overthrow Abhinav Lanka’s civic government, the Lady Cassandra enlists her other slaves—including a former assassin, an ex-military sniper, and a one-time thief—to rescue him. But the Pietests’ determination to destroy the Lady Cassandra at all costs risks their lives and tests each of them.

The Review

I loved absolutely everything about this book. As the third installment in The Lady & The Spyder series, this is not a standalone, so start with the first in the series. You will not regret the time spent getting to know this strange little band of space-pirates-turned-reluctant-heroes. 

Dushayl is an excellent storyteller – she weaves her worldbuilding flawlessly through an exhilarating story of Lady Cassandra, Spyder, and the other crew and passengers of the spaceship Truth, who are trying to escape the ever-widening reach of the Piety Purists. Until now, the crew of Truth had thought to disrupt the Pietists’ plans with guerrilla-like tactics. In this installment of the series, Lady Cassandra and her slaves realize just how large and far the reach of the Pietists has become and that they will need to readjust their tactics if they are to succeed.

I was very much looking forward to reading this, but it isn’t the book I thought I was getting. The first two were raucous romps with lots of BDSM sexual elements worked through an excellent plot about escaping the Piety Purists. So I expected a similar story in Spyder’s Trial. That wasn’t what I got, but sometimes, what you want and what you need are two different things. And it turned out what I needed was this book. 

Unlike the previous two in this series, there is very little sex in Spyder’s Trial. We still get Lady Cassandra’s dedication to her slaves’ well-being and their devotion to her, and there are still strong elements of BDSM and the slave/master construct.

Throughout the story, Lady Cassandra is working to stop the Pietists’ assault on freedoms that include sexuality, gender expression, reproductive rights and healthcare choices. During all of this, she feels the pressure to do right by her slaves, to care for them the way she promised, and to bring them all safely through this current conflict.

This third book is not a rinse-and-repeat of the first two in the series. Instead. Spyder’s Trial takes us deeper into the conflict between Lady Cassandra and her slaves, and the Piety Purists’ plot to control the known universe and force it to bow to their narrow view of right and wrong.

It’s an excellent story with well-developed characters, seamless worldbuilding, and a strong plot that has been expertly carried from one installment in the series to the next. I think you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did!

The Reviewer

I’m an avid reader who loves pretty much all genres except math textbooks. As a kid, my parents exposed me to everything from fairies, hobbits, and dragons to the biographies of interesting people around the world, interspersed with poetry, plays, and music. Into adulthood, I spent a lot of years with my nose buried in various textbooks. Now, I read whatever grabs my fancy.