Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from Around the World blends together two of author Autumn Bardot’s primary genres. In this book she goes through a variety of historical legends and rewrites tales between well known lovers into erotic short stories. Her stories span continents and time periods, but always come back to an amorous connection between two people. Legends of Lust is a mature read full of passion.
With so many different stories full of figures from myth it is hard to pin down exactly which stories to highlight for this review. Bardot is a masterful writer who creates strong stories that also include a variety of sexual acts that are remarkably full of lust. The first story in the book, “Mistress of the Isle,”is a retelling of the time Odysseus spent with Calypso after he washed ashore on her island in the epic poem, The Odyssey. When she is commanded to release Odysseus, the two find a way to turn his building a seaworthy vessel into a more amorous affair. This is a tremendously strong start to the book and many of the stories do contain deals being struck in exchange for certain deeds being performed.
My favorite story in the collection is “Riding the Mare.” I had never heard of this myth before, but found myself very invested in the characters. Based on an Armenian folktale, it focuses on an unlikely coupling between a princess and a woman who wishes she were a man. After becoming lost in the woods the princess finds herself falling in love with a woman, who she believes is a man, and after a visit to the palace the couple are married. When the princess learns that her husband is actually a man the king and queen are irate. As punishment the woman who was believed to be a man is sent on a number of dangerous quests, but throughout there is a talking horse that helps her to become who she truly feels she is in her heart. This retelling examines trans identities and I was surprised that it was derived from such an old folktale.
If you enjoy erotica or are looking to find a sexy read, Legends of Lust is something you definitely need to read. The stories are well written and with so much diversity in characters and plots you can either read the full book in one go or you could stretch it out and read one or more stories at a time. Bardot has crafted a book that a variety of readers would enjoy, even if they have never read erotica before, and in creating such diverse worlds in one collection to has shown a great deal of talent. You can purchase your copy of Legends of Lust today.