About The Path of Iro
by Mike Shade
Following his heart, young Chulu finds his way to a grand temple, where the followers of the Path of Iro use their bodies to praise the gods. They make their prayers with their earthly forms, decorating them and loving with them. Chulu's pilgrimage leads him to the Ivory Shard, where his new master, Pandreas, awaits him.
Through a series of stories passed from master to noviate, Chulu learns about the different shards, or sects, who follow the path of Iro, some with great passion, some with violence. Has Chulu truly found where he belongs? Join him as he learns this whole new world of sensuality, sex, and love.
Alexa Snow, author of Clear Cut, writes: "The Path of Iro" is the best of both worlds -- it's a novel for those who enjoy a long story, but within the novel are embedded a selection of shorter works that very nearly stand on their own. Reading it is a little bit like watching a well-written season of a quality television show with an ongoing arc; you can put it down between chapters and come back to it without losing the thread of the overall story, and yet there's no doubt that it's a novel in its own right.
Shade has created a lovely, gently drawn fantasy world, one in which the reader is sequestered along with the characters in an isolated temple with the followers of the Path of Iro. Finding one's way to the Path is a matter of instinct; discovering where one fits within the Path is another matter entirely, and not always as easy as one might imagine. This novel tells the story of Chulu, a new novitiate to the Curate Pandreas of the Ivory Shard, and allows the reader to learn of the Path as Chulu does, at the patient hand of his Master. As the story unfolds, a tale of each shard is told -- Onyx, Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby, and more. Each shard is different, each encounter invoking its own mood, each relationship between Curate and novitiate unique and fascinating. There's something for every reader, from piercing and tattooing to blood play and angst, from confidence to insecurity and everything in between. This is a very enjoyable book, one that, at the end, leaves the reader with an unexpected sense of peace, as if all is right with the world.
Chulu walked along the path he had been following for days. He was tired -- his feet were sore from walking and walking and he'd abandoned his shoes a few days ago, the forest floor cool and right beneath his soles.