Hello Internet! Give a warm welcome to Tali Spencer who is guest posting here today. You will soon see why Tali and I are kindred spirits for silly genre tropes. Take it away Tali!
Thank you, Lex, for allowing me to stop by and talk about my love for fantasy fiction. I can do that all day, of course, so I’ll limit myself today to talking about just one thing.
Tropes are the great guilty pleasures of fantasy fiction. I love playing with them. One of the tropes I love best is the big brawny barbarian. This guy has been around forever. The Epic of Gilgamesh was penned in the 10th century B.C. and includes the adventures of civilized king Gilgamesh and the wild man Enkidu. The two became fast friends, because the best friend a king can have is a barbarian.
For one thing, barbarian men in fiction are uniformly hot. As representations of the force of nature, they have idealized male bodies, the pinnacle of what nature wants men to be: big, tall, muscular, virile, powerful, hairy… you get it. And they’re lusty, too. They’re walking phalluses. They almost always have bare chests and long hair. They get to wear loincloths and skins and look awesome.
Not only that, barbarians come without troublesome civilized programming. They are, in a sense, uncorrupted and view the world through clear eyes. They prefer action and will hack, slash, and kill their way out of problems. In fiction, barbarians tend to hack and slash bad guys, an activity readers find satisfying. Barbarians steal and loot, too, which is good guilty fun. They make excellent companions. If it’s necessary to insert a little civilized behavior into the story, another character can always step in. If there’s battle to be had, though, unleash the barbarian!
Conan is the classic fantasy barbarian, created by Robert E. Howard in the early 20th century. Having appeared in dozens of books and several motion pictures, Conan is firmly a part of Western culture. Other prominent barbarians include Fafhrd (featured in the novels of Fritz Leiber), the Beastmaster, and Khal Drogo from The Game of Thrones. Hotties, the lot of them.
My latest release, Thick as Thieves, is sword and sorcery—and of course it features a brawny barbarian main character. Vorgell the barbarian unwittingly fucks himself with a unicorn horn and as a result is perpetually horny. Here’s Vorgell as seen through the eyes of Madd, his male witch partner in adventure:
“Be careful!” Vorgell warned.
Madd held his tongue as the woman shaving the barbarian calmly lopped off another chunk of beard. Thanks to Ibeena’s erection-killing intervention, Vorgell’s bath had been uneventful. After being divested of a bagful of coarse and tangled hair, the big man was on the verge of looking well-groomed.
“There you go.” The woman stepped back and wiped her razor on a cloth. She gave Madd a lifted eyebrow of congratulations. “Under all that was a promising man.”
He didn’t deny it. Vorgell’s hair was drying so it gleamed like a lion’s golden mane, and the shorter beard revealed strong, shapely lips and a rugged jawline. Even shorn, the man looked disturbingly virile. Blue eyes shaded by golden lashes swept the woman with smiling invitation. To his alarm, she responded by flicking the pink tip of her tongue across her lip.
“Get out. Can’t you see he likes men?” Madd closed the hide curtain as soon as she’d left. “No witches for you,” he told Vorgell pointedly.
“Why not?” The big man shot him a glare. “She looks pleasant enough. Women have always been the best fit for my needs. You are not the first man to refuse my advances. I have often resorted to the soft bodies of women.”
“Well, find some other wench to plow. She’s a witch. Witch women use sex to create magic. And, you, my friend, have magical spunk.”
Vorgell at least appeared to grasp his point. He turned his back on Madd and reached for his clothes. Madd savored a glorious view of immense shoulders, a trim waist, powerful thighs, and a beautiful, sculpted ass. Damn it, but the barbarian was built like a god! And not just any god. Vorgell could only be one of the greater gods, a god of storms or of war, capable of crushing the god of poetry in his fist. The look he cast back at Madd over his shoulder possessed heat enough to ignite an inferno.
If he wasn’t careful, it just might ignite trouble.
After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.
Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.
Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.
Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college and enjoyed a series of interesting careers including respiratory therapist, airport executive, and raising three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to Lebanese cookbooks, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.