Book Reviews

My Lord: The Transcended, Book 1

"You try to comfort yourself with visions of events that didn't happen, but that doesn't mean that what did happen left no scars." After losing hearth and home, Meya attempts to escape the traumatic memories by travelling east. In 13th century Tristanja, however, it’s not safe to be alone. A local slave trader catches wind of the kinless woman and abducts her in the dead of night. Beaten and abused, the now meek Meya is sold to Lord Deminas. He's known to be cruel, yet becomes strangely protective of his new chambermaid, punishing anyone who dares hurt her. After cutting her to drink her blood, he even uses his own to heal her wounds. Meya and her paramour wonder if Deminas' dark secret is why servants regularly vanish, including the lord's previous chambermaids. However, the two women quickly learn that Lord Deminas isn't the only danger lurking in the castle's shadows. MY LORD is a queer, slow-burn erotic gothic horror novel about rediscovering yourself after trauma—with kinky, blood-drinking immortals and polyamory.

Update – 21 May 2023: The author has confirmed that My Lord‘s wonderful bonus content is indeed included in both the paperback and eBook versions of the book. You can blame Amazon’s wacky eBook page calculations for the difference in page count.

Erotica and horror can make for entertaining bedfellows, but they can be a difficult act to balance. If the story leans too heavily into horror, it can make the erotic scenes feel tawdry, there to shock the audience as much as the acts of violence. If its eroticism is the overpowering factor, it can make the horror itself feel cheap, giving it a B-grade type of feel. Thankfully, My Lord by L.B. Shimaira manages to balance these two components, ensuring both aspects complement each other. With a strong sense of character that examines its protagonist’s trauma as it tells a story about her growth, My Lord becomes something stronger than a simple combination of erotica and horror.

As it tells the story of slave Meya, a sexual assault survivor drawn into the world of BDSM by her vampiric master, Lord Deminas, trigger warnings are naturally going to apply. If you’re likely to be triggered by the following subject matter, My Lord is likely not the book for you. This is a novel that includes all sorts of violence, ranging from battery to cannibalism, and it includes explicit descriptions of sex, including kinks such as polyamory, wax play, knife play, and master-servant dynamics. Rape also plays a part throughout the novel, but it is not presented with anywhere near as much detail as the horroresque violence or the consensual sex.

Much like BDSM outside of fiction—and sex, period—consent plays a key role in My Lord. Throughout the tale, Shimaira presents characters seeking and offering their consent for the various sexual acts partaken in. As protagonist Meya is a survivor of rape, the book establishes the difference between providing consent and having something taken from you, and this is written with the utmost sensitivity. As the relationship between Meya and Lord Deminas is a master-servant one—both literally, with Meya having been sold into his servitude, as well as their relationship in the bedroom—highlighting the concept of consent is tricky, but something that is, for the most part, handled well. During Meya’s early encounters with Deminas, he forces her to strip naked, regardless of whether she consents or not. While the author articulates her reasons for this in the afterword, stating that as her master, Deminas was able to make such demands, and I understand the reasoning behind this, the forced aspect doesn’t sit entirely well with me, as I found it somewhat undercuts Deminas’ firm belief in consent.

As a character, Deminas is someone I find to be largely unpleasant. As the titular lord, he knows he is in control of Meya, and constantly uses it to his advantage, enjoying the superiority he holds in their power dynamic. While this plays to the master-servant relationship between them, I didn’t see any reason for Meya to be drawn to him outside of this dynamic. However, as the book progresses and the story shows more of his devotion to Meya, I found their interplay to be entertaining, with the characters bouncing back and forth. This relationship isn’t as strong as Meya’s with her fellow slave, Nina. Throughout My Lord, Meya maintains open sexual relationships with both Deminas and Nina, and the relationship between the two women is beautiful. At every interaction, you can feel the love and connection these two women have for each other. It is natural, and a true highlight of the book.

Outside of these relationships, Meya is a wonderful protagonist. The entire novel is written from her point of view, with everything happening on the page seen through her eyes. From the book’s very beginning, Meya is put through the emotional wringer, leaving her a slave, broken both physically and emotionally. As strong a character as Meya is, her trauma has left her with a sole purpose of survival, resulting in someone who tries to mind her place for fear of upsetting those in power (something with very real consequences, if the lord’s previous servants are anything to go by). The author often steps out of the prose to provide a window into Meya’s thoughts, which, while generally amusing, show a juxtaposition between what she is thinking and what she is saying. As My Lord continues, Meya grows in confidence, and this journey is an absolute joy to follow.

While Meya’s thoughts are full of witticisms, as are her conversations with Nina, many of the conversations in My Lord are more staid. Her relationships with the other slaves doesn’t have the same warmth as her one with Nina, and despite how close she grows with Deminas, he is still her lord (although there are some great conversations between them in the latter half of the book). Regardless of the warmth—or lack thereof—between the characters, the dialogue is written well, capturing the thirteenth century (I assume Europe, from the use of clogs, though the story is set somewhere called Tristanja), without getting bogged down in old-style speech patterns. The prose throughout is clear and inviting, making for a pleasant, easy reading experience.

In some ways, this inviting tone belies My Lord’s darkness. The writing style wouldn’t be out of place in a young adult book, but its content would certainly be. This is a gothic horror, and as I mentioned earlier in this review, the horror extends as far as cannibalism. This dissonance works in the book’s favour, and while it doesn’t lure the reader into a false sense of security—the spectre of horror always lingers within the novel’s words—it helps the reader see the world through Meya’s eyes. Doing so makes the horror elements that much more shocking, particularly when they are as grounded as they are. As the book’s blurb mentions, blood is consumed between Meya and Deminas, a vampiric exchange, but through knives instead of fangs. The word “vampire” isn’t uttered once in this story, but the word “transcended” is, and while details are scant, I anticipate more details will be provided in My Lord’s sequels.

At 362 pages in paperback, My Lord is a reasonably quick reading experience, thanks largely to its easy reading style. The estimated reading length on Kindle is 548 pages, which seems like a huge difference. The book includes some great additional material, and if it’s only included in the electronic version (which I read), that could explain it. Included is a wonderful afterword discussing kink and consent, a bonus scene (something I wish more books would offer), and a fun text game reminiscent of those old MS-DOS and Commodore 64 games (or even Choose Your Own Adventure books) for those of us old enough to remember. It’s great material that adds value to the book.

My Lord is the first book in the author’s The Transcended series, but there’s no need to be wary about it being part of a series; it stands alone perfectly. There’s certainly more story to come, but this ends on a satisfying note. While the second book is likely some time away, Shimaira has written a modern urban fantasy featuring the transcended, They Call Him Lucius, which is available on Wattpad right here. I’m looking forward to reading it the moment I get the chance.

While the lack of consent in forcing Meya to strip naked doesn’t sit entirely right with me, and I’m not a huge fan of Lord Deminas, My Lord remains a thoroughly engaging read. It finds the perfect balance between horror and erotica, and tells a great story about its protagonist moving past her trauma.

Favourite Passage

Trying not to let his question derail her, Meya asked, “What happens if you— No, wait.” She scolded herself. Don’t ask what happens if he doesn’t drink blood—he just said it keeps him sane, so no blood would mean he’d go mad. Don’t waste your questions. She bit the inside of her lips as she thought hard about what to ask. “Why does my lord need to drink blood to keep sane?”

My Lord: The Transcended, Book 1, Part Three: “Spring, 1240,” Chapter 36

My Lord: The Transcended, Book 1 was provided by the author for the purpose of an honest review.

My Lord is available in paperback and Kindle, exclusive to Amazon.

You can follow L.B. Shimaira online, via:

Note: I do not post scores on reviews on this website, but do post them on my Amazon and Goodreads reviews:

Interested in purchasing My Lord: The Transcended, Book 1?

Please find a link below; please note I do not collect any proceeds from the sale.

My Lord (The Transcended Book 1)


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