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Literature / The Lords of Satyr

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An Erotic Literature/Paranormal Romance series by Elizabeth Amber set in nineteenth-century Europe and featuring two branches of the Satyr clan.

At some point in the mythic past, the Greek god Bacchus fathered children on EarthWorld. His sons, and all the sons of subsequent generations, were satyrs — humanlike men of impressive physical and sexual prowess who are compelled to worship Bacchus one night a month, at Moonfull. When this Calling comes upon them, satyrs undergo a physical transformation that covers their lower bodies in hair and makes them, briefly, doubly endowed and able to enjoy physical pleasure all night long — with the important caveat that every satyr must mate at least once while the moon is full or die a horrible death.

In 1823 Tuscany, three Satyr brothers receive a missive from the dying King of Faerie, Feydon, ordering them to find and marry his three illegitimate half-Human daughters. Though each reluctant for his own reasons, Nicholas, Raine, and Lyon dutifully venture forth (to Rome, Venice, and Paris, respectively) to find, woo, and bring home their brides. Complicating matters is their own duty to guard a portal on their ancestral grounds which links EarthWorld and ElseWorld, which remains secure only when at least two brothers are in residence. They also have to contend with the deadly phylloxera outbreak which is devastating vineyards in Europe — if the Satyr crops are destroyed, they will also sicken and die, giving ElseWorld and its denizens room to enter and cause mischief.

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A second series of books is set approximately fifty years later and focuses on another set of Satyr brothers — Bastian, Sevin, Dane, and Lucien — living in Rome. (The two clans are not related beyond their common descent from Bacchus).

The titles in the series thus far are

  • Nicholas (2007)
  • Raine (2008)
  • Lyon (2008)
  • Dominic (containing the novella Vincent, 2009)
  • Dane (2009)
  • Bastian (2011)
  • Sevin (containing the novella Lucien, 2012)


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The Lords of Satyr provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Jane Cova's father is so addicted to drink that she refuses to even touch wine for fear of inheriting his vice. (Fortunately, he's not her actual father).
  • Arranged Marriage: Nicholas, Raine, and Lyon wonder if King Feydon set them up for one of these with his daughters (turns out to be a Perfectly Arranged Marriage if so), and the mundane version is all over the place (this being nineteenth century Europe and all). Nicholas is able to use this trope to his benefit, since "Lord Nicholas Satyr" is an impressive candidate for the hand of an Impoverished Patrician like Jane Cova — though her guardians have ulterior motives for approving the match.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Aside from a bit of Anatomically Impossible Sex, Amber describes penises as shafts of "sinew and bone" and suggests that a woman's hymen is somewhere deep inside the vagina (instead of a membrane that covers part of the entrance).
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Admit it; you'd like to be named "Lord Lyon Satyr".
  • Badass in Distress: Juliette (unknowingly) endangers Lyon by putting him to sleep on a Calling night, leaving him helpless, sickened, and on the verge of dying. He is saved by a third party, but he doesn't fully recover until Juliette returns and finishes what she started.
  • The Beastmaster: Lyon's special talent is with animals — he keeps a "menagerie" on his part of the estate and is frequently seen with his twin black panthers Liber and Ceres.
  • Beast Man: Satyrs verge on this, especially during a Calling. Some embrace it; others hate being reduced to a rutting animal.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Satyrs are endowed to a ridiculous extent, and it only gets worse during a Calling, when there are two of them. While this necessitates a little extra time, patience, and lubricant, their wives are sufficiently flexible to take what they have to give and enjoy every minute of it.
  • Bi the Way: Satyrs seem to prefer women, but they'll take anything that offers. Raine has this somewhat with his part-male bride Jordan, overlapping with If It's You, It's Okay.
  • Blessed with Suck: Some of the characters with ElseWorld blood really, really hate how different it makes them, how it compels them to emotions and deeds outside of their moral code, and how it laughs in the face of any desire to just be normal. Raine and Jane get this particularly bad, though they both make their peace with it eventually.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: A trait of ElseWorld creatures in general which the Satyr men also have to some extent. Jane in particular gets annoyed whenever some bizarre practice is shrugged off as "the Satyr way."
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: Satyr, Faerie, etc., plus everyday words like Will, Human, and Calling are capitalized to give them special significance.
  • Contemptible Cover: The cover image for each book is the body of a muscular, nude man. Most of them have at least a little cloth to cover themselves, but the models on Raine and Dane don't even get that (Raine is covered by his arm; Dane's modesty is protected by naught but the title itself).
  • Crash-Into Hello: Jordan to Raine.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Everybody masturbates, though it's treated more as a weak substitute for sex than a pleasure in itself. Sympathetic characters masturbate themselves (or each other) as part of foreplay, or to show that the sex they're getting isn't satisfying their deepest urges; unsympathetic characters who have self-love as their only sexual pleasure are seen as pathetic for that very reason.
  • Disappeared Dad: Lord Marcus Satyr, the father of the three Tuscan Satyr brothers, never appears in the present-day storyline. Nicholas and Lyon's mother isn't even mentioned.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: King Feydon conceived his children on three unsuspecting human women while they slept, and this is not depicted as okay. One woman abandoned the resulting twins; another was killed by a rival who could sense her daughter's potential; and the third never got over her dream of being the consort of the Faerie King; she eventually dressed herself as Titania and committed suicide to rejoin her "Oberon."
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Jordan's gift is prophetic dreams. Initially she sees only three symbolic images, but when she gains more control over her power, they become three vivid, detailed scenes.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Good characters like (and are liked by) Lyon's pet panthers.
  • Express Delivery: Satyr pregnancies last a month. The mother's physical recovery is just as fast — a woman could potentially bear six children a year to a Satyr father.
  • The Fair Folk: Played arrow straight. The books repeatedly emphasize that the Faerie have a moral code of their own and cannot be trusted — and that if ElseWorld creatures got loose in EarthWorld, it would be a very bad thing for the latter.
  • Fantasy Contraception: Satyrs cannot impregnate a woman except with their first... release.. at Moonfull — and they have to consciously decide to do it. But if they do give a woman their childseed, conception is inevitable and the baby will be born at sunrise on the next Moonfull.
  • Fauns and Satyrs: Obviously. The satyrs of this book look human most of the time; during Moonfull they gain furry legs (no horns or hooves, though), a second phallus, and a tail-like appendage that helps soothe the friction of an entire night spent rutting.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Raine's painful past experiences have taught him that no Human will ever be able to accept what he becomes at Calling. (Fortunately, he's wrong).
  • Fisher King: For the Tuscany Satyrs — their health and well-being is essential to ensure that their vineyard produces well. The reverse is also true — when the vines are stricken, so are they.
  • Freakiness Shame: One of the central themes of the books focusing on the Tuscany Satyrs — all three are worried that what they become at Moonfull will terrify their half-Human brides (Raine's first wife left him for that very reason). Their brides are also hiding what their half-Faerie lineage has given them for fear of alarming their husbands (Jane has feathery down on her shoulders that can turn into full wings, Jordan is a hermaphrodite, and Juliette can shapeshift).
  • Godzilla Threshold: Raine swore that he would never father a child, not wanting to bring more people like himself into the world. Then Jordan falls victim to Morpheus and becomes pregnant with his child, giving ElseWorld a foothold in their land. Raine attempts to counter this by impregnating Jordan that same night and succeeds, with a heavy cost — Jordan miscarries the Morpheus embryo, but the child Raine fathered dies too.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Played in the standard erotica way — characters who are truly compatible have passionate, thrilling sex. Conversely, unsatisfying sex means that something is wrong.
  • Grand Theft Me: Sibela is a water spirit who moves from body to body like a hermit crab. The people she takes are alive and conscious but "sublimated" while she occupies them.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jordan.
  • Green Thumb: Jane's Faerie talent is a special empathy with plants.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Jane, Jordan, and Juliette are half-Faerie. Most of the male satyrs also have some Human blood.
  • Hermaphrodite: Jordan. This gets her alternately forced into living as a man or displayed as a genderless biological specimen. She falls for Raine because he makes it clear that he sees her as a woman.
    • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Largely averted, though Raine remarks that hermaphrodites are sought-after in ElseWorld, mostly as high-profile sex objects for the harems of the powerful.
  • Heroic Bastard: Raine is the result of an affair, and thus half-brother to Nicholas and Lyon (who clearly see him as their full brother and treat him as such). He's a good person, but the lesson he took was that Humans would always see him as demonic because of his Satyr lineage.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Juliette is a neat twist on this trope; she is paid to take clients, but she uses her magic to put them to sleep and alter their memories so that they remember a night of wild debauchery (she herself is still a virgin!)
  • I Just Want to Be Normal/I Just Want to Be Special: Best seen with half-Faerie Jane Cova, who feels the Freakiness Shame especially severely, and her fully Human sister Emma, who feels out of place among her Satyr in-laws.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: Used less often than one would expect, and justified when it is used — these are men who occasionally have to mate, after all. Juliette scoffs at Lyon when he tells her he will die if she doesn't sleep with him. Then she sees he is inches from lapsing into a coma and quite literally dying.
  • In the Blood: Another trope that drives this series. Jane, Jordan, and Juliette are all somewhat relieved to learn that their fathers are not actually their sires, but there is still a lot of angst to go around.
  • Intimate Healing: This is an erotica series, so intercourse is going to be involved in just about every dramatic moment. Special mentions go to Juliette mating with two Shimmerskin copies of Lyon to revive the real one, or Nicholas and Jane combining her Green Thumb abilities with his status as Fisher King to revive the stricken vineyard.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Jordan's doctor Salerno, who has exclusive rights to display her, tells the audience to refer to her as "it" or simply "La Maschera" (for the mask that she wears).
  • Love at First Sight: Downplayed but definitely present with the Tuscany Satyrs and their brides — there is an instant mutual interest the moment each pair first meet.
  • Love Potion: Part of the Moonfull ritual is drinking a special elixir to enhance pleasure and lower inhibitions.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Comes up particularly strongly in Nicholas, where Jane is frustrated that her husband goes to mistresses to satisfy his carnal desires because he thinks whores are for pleasure and wives are for procreation. After a lot of talk and some initial reluctance, they enter into a more passionate, experimental (and enjoyable) sexual relationship.
  • Marital Rape License: Carlo, Emma's late and unlamented first husband, believed this to be the case.
  • The Masquerade: The Satyr Lords occasionally struggle with the need to keep up appearances and be socially respectable, even though they are cavalier about sex and deal with the supernatural on a daily basis.
  • Mate or Die: Satyrs must mate at least once during the full moon or suffer a horrible death.
  • Meaningful Name: Most obvious with Raine (cool, remote, grey-eyed but occasionally warm and playful) and Lyon (large, boisterous, golden in hair and eye, and The Beastmaster).
  • Mundangerous: Satyrs can by killed by things like the phylloxera outbreak (which could destroy their vines and destroy them by proxy). A common cold can mess with their enhanced sense of smell, making it harder for them to detect danger. They also apparently age and die just like any other human.
  • Must Be Invited: No one from ElseWorld can cross into EarthWorld without invitation — though you'd be surprised what counts as an 'invitation.'
  • No Pregger Sex: One of the rules about Satyr pregnancy is that the parents cannot have any sexual contact until the next Moonfull. This is never fully explained.
  • The Nose Knows: Satyrs have an enhanced sense of smell.
  • Of Corsets Sexy/Of Corset Hurts: The discomfort of corsets comes up frequently. Jordan revels in hers, largely because it affirms her identity as a woman.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Nereids. They can convert their tails to legs (and back) at will, though the change from tail to legs takes longer.
  • Painful Transformation: Going into full Calling mode hurts.
  • Parental Abandonment: Raine is the result of an affair between Lord Marcus Satyr and a human woman. When Raine hit puberty and his Satyr heritage became obvious, his "father" dumped him off at the Satyr Estates saying (essentially) "This one's yours — deal with him." The experience leaves Raine with trust issues, to say the least.
  • Professional Sex Ed: Nicholas' father took him to a brothel to get the deed done, though he'd already taken some private lessons with a particularly bold housemaid.
  • Puberty Superpower: Most of the characters with supernatural abilities first noticed these developing around age thirteen.
  • The Quiet One: Raine. This makes him a foil to Nicholas, the leader, and Lyon, the charmer.
  • Sex Bot: A magic-themed version in the Shimmerskins — mindless magical constructs conjured by a satyr's Will to pleasure him however he likes. Sex with one is implied to be one bare step above masturbation, but it is enough to satisfy the 'mate or die' requirement.
  • Shown Their Work: There are a lot of details about viticulture, winemaking, Greek mythology, etc. that found their way into these books (see Very Loosely Based on a True Story, below).
  • STD Immunity: Satyrs have this.
  • Twin Telepathy: This plus a bit of Dirty Mind-Reading means that Juliette's first encounter with Lyon is basically Sex by Proxy.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Phylloxera is real (it is a species of aphid), and the mass die-back of European grape cultures actually did happen, albeit a few decades later than in the books' chronology). Some of the folk remedies mentioned in the books, like burying a live toad under the vines, really were tried, and Raine and Jordan's solution (grafting resistant American roots onto native French vines) is the one which finally proved viable.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: As part of her Faerie heritage, Juliette can turn her body to stone, or water, or a tree, or whatever else she is touching.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: All the main characters, each giving a hint at their personalities and powers.
    • Nicholas has eyes of a particularly vivid shade of blue. Raine's are a grey that is also described as silver. Lyon's are gold.
    • For the women, Jane's are leaf green, Jordan's are black, and Juliette's are sea green.

Alternative Title(s): The Satyr Lords

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