Enlightenment by Tsukizubon Saruko

Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆ 
Title: Enlightenment
Author: Tsukizubon Saruko
Genre: Victorian historical
URL: Shousetsu Bang * Bang
Price: FREE!
Other Information/warnings: explicit m/m, period racist and homophobic attitudes

A wealthy Victorian newspaper proprietor hires a new columnist, and gets so much more than he bargained for.

My review:

If you’re tired of seeing Asian people written offensively and stereotypically, then this intelligent, layered story will be a breath of fresh air. Wu Li, the educated, much travelled gentleman who walks into David Chamberlain’s newspaper office and demands to write a column for him about the issues affecting London Chinese is a marvellous, complicated character, challenging David’s prejudices and those of the reader.

David too, is a fantastic creation – tough, smart, decent, restrained by society’s pressures in some ways, but breaking out most forcefully in others.

Set against the events surrounding Oscar Wilde’s conviction for sodomy, and the millieu of London in the late Victorian age, this is another nicely sharp piece by this talented author, with wit and wry observation aplenty. Again, no sap, but much manly tenderness without overdoing the angst or the handwringing. A real gem and highly recommended.