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A Harem Boy's Saga - I - Initiation received the Pinnacle Achievement Book Award for the best autobiography of Summer 2013.
There are 5 volumes in this series.
Posted April 30, 2013
“A Harem Boy’s Saga: Initiation” is the first volume of a series in which the author recalls his life, from his birth in Malaysia to his career as a fashion designer and then writer.
Young is born into a wealthy family in Kuala Lumpur; though his doting mother longed for a daughter, she nevertheless loves her third son, who early on shows a predilection for crocheting, ballet, and fashion. His relationship with his father is not as smooth—his father is a successful businessman but a bad husband, given to infidelity and coldness toward his family. When Young is caught in a sexual encounter with another local boy, Young is shipped off to boarding school by his angry and embarrassed father.
What his father can’t know is that by sending Young to boarding school, he’s giving his son an opportunity to join the Enlightened Royal Oracle Society (E.R.O.S.), which trains young men in the art of sexuality and sensuality and basically apprentices them in harems in the Arab Emirates. In addition to a traditional education, Young also begins a carnal education, one that exposes him to new countries, new cultures, and new ways of thought and life.
I enjoy reading memoirs about life in other countries, and learning about different upbringings and cultures than mine, so I enjoyed this book. Young’s childhood and experiences in the Arab Emirates were fascinating and well-written; he has an excellent way of recalling small details that make the scene real to the reader. I will say, though, that if a reader is offended by graphic sexual scenes, especially those involving same-sex love, then this book will not be the best pick, though it’s obvious the graphic scenes exist more to further the plot and explain Young’s coming of age than to titillate the reader.