Review: 'The Jackal Queen', by Roy Lisman
The front cover blurb reads: An Erotic Historical Tale. It is rated NC-17. Isaac Ellison, a part-albino cheetah (with unusually pale fur and a beefy physique like a Marine), and his inventor buddy, Raziel, a humanoid reptile (“He looked quite draconic, but slender as opposed to the more bulky builds of lore. Small spines dotted his scalp where eyebrows would be, and two long, black horns swept back almost uniformly with his fire colored mane that consisted of fur and light feathering, before the mane started springing out wildly in any direction it damn well pleased.” –p. 7), go back in time to an anthropomorphic Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians mistake them for warrior and fertility gods, and a tremendous amount of enthusiastic sex is had by all. In fact, until the ending, The Jackal Queen hardly offers anything but. Isaac and Raziel worry about changing history, but not much.
This is a mature content book. Please ensure that you are of legal age to purchase this material in your state or region. (publisher's rating)
Raziel still could not understand her fully, but the restructuring was taking effect; vague familiarity started to ring within the tones, and it felt like she asked if he wanted to hear more. He eagerly nodded while completely missing the implications of her pose.
Raziel’s eagerness turned to bewilderment when she put her lute down in response, and she walked over with a seductive hip sway that she expertly enhanced with her prehensile tail swishing and nearly coiling around her ankles. Small, silk-tied bracelets on her tail rattled when the beads struck one other [sic]. Satiah stopped as she looked at his face, apparently realizing something and tapping a finger on the side of her snout in consideration. For a while, she stood there silently. Her eyes looked him up and down occasionally, and her face carried an expression of mixed curiosity and uncertainty until she apparently made a decision.
Stepping closer, she put a hand on his shoulder, gingerly brushing her palm along to his neck as she walked around him, and then placed her other hand on his shoulder. Satiah squeezed carefully, using just enough pressure, goading him into allowing his head to rest against her soft belly. Raziel exhaled uneasily, and then settled. (pgs. 42-43)
This novella is a funny-animal rather than a Furry one. The animals are all very thinly disguised humans, despite a comment that a reptile can’t get a canine pregnant. They are the same size, share the same feasts, etc. The novella is illustrated with ten full-page closeups by Kadath, and whether the women are camels, crocodiles, cats, ibises, or what, they are all improbably busty animal-headed humans. In fact, there is a scene where Raziel and Isaac are being chased across the desert by the women, and what is most unconvincing about the scene is that women with such huge, jiggly, braless boobs could run so fast.
Her hands moved to her breasts, embracing them and pushing them up slightly, increasing the fullness that already seemed enhanced due to the poofed-up, fuzzy and down-like feathering on her chest. Her thumbs flicked at her black nipples and her beak opened slightly. Isaac couldn’t help but notice that his head wasn’t the only thing blood was rushing towards. (pgs. 48-49)
All of the characters are described in sensual terms.
Iset saw Abasi march off, keeping her eyes pinned on his tail and chiseled buttocks. She smiled. (p. 53)
The samples show that there are no complaints about the writing quality, and Kadath’s cover shows that there is nothing wrong with the artwork other than that it is NSFW. A work of fiction should offer more than a long orgy, and The Jackal Queen does finally combine the eroticism with a real plot development. But the novella is really for the reader who just wants beaucoup shagging.
Also, either Lisman has written stories with Isaac and Raziel elsewhere, or there are false hints about their previous adventures and how Raziel happens to have a time-travel machine handy. It does not really affect this novella, but there is a distinct atmosphere of coming in on the middle of something.