Shinobi, Book One – Concealed in Shadows by Sessha Batto
Pfoxmoor Publishing, PfoxChase [link to buy]
Rating: 2 out of 5 paddles
Yoshi Takahashi is his ninja clan’s most powerful assassin, the feared “Shadow Wolf”. Only he hasn’t been practicing his art much in recent years. The clan leader finds it more profitable – for her – to pimp him out as a sex toy to other clans and Yakuza crime lords to pay for her gambling and opium habits.
Early on in the book, we’re given a rather lengthy description of the sexual tortures to which Yoshi is subjected when he is sent on assignment to ‘serve’ a Yakuza boss. It’s hard to label this BDSM, it’s non-consensual and there is no safe word. Yoshi is bound, mutilated, bled and subjected to whatever humiliations his captors can think of. I can get into a good master/slave story, but Yoshi is already broken when the story begins, and not in a ‘good’ way. He receives no pleasure from his tortures, nor does he attempt to give any. He simply endures the ordeals out of misplaced loyalty to his clan.
Fortunately for Yoshi, the clan’s chief interrogator, Makoto, has discovered what the clan leader has been doing, and informs the elders. They remove the clan leader and send Makoto to rescue Yoshi, which he does with brutal efficiency. The two men form a sort of bond over the ordeal, but this isn’t the end of the story, which takes several twists and turns before Yoshi finally finds peace with the man he learns to love.