Mazi, by Koji A. Dae

19 May 2024

The Book

Pages: 112
Age Group: Adult
Published on 21 May 2024
Publisher: Ghost Orchid Press
Folk Horror
Available on:


When Silvena and her boyfriend take a vacation at an isolated mountain villa in Bulgaria, she gets the unsettling sense she is being watched by the knots in the house’s wooden walls. Her boyfriend tries to distract her with their usual BDSM games, but Silvena’s hallucinations only worsen when she encounters a local woodcutter who takes an unusual interest in her. Could his presence be somehow linked to her delusions?T

he debut novella from Koji A. Dae, author of Scars that Never Bled, Mazi is a seductive erotic horror tale inspired by the author's experiences using kink to deal with mental health issues and the bitter, sometimes isolating winter of the Balkan Mountains.  

My Review

Mazi is an erotic horror novella which explores dealing with mental conditions through kink, adding into the mix some Balkanic folklore, written by Koji A. Dae, and published by Ghost Orchid Press. A book with a powerful narrative voice and that makes an excellent job of transmitting the emotions the main character is experiencing.

Silvena and her boyfriend are taking a vacation in an isolated mountain villa in Bulgaria; there, Silvena starts sensing such as the knots are watching them. Phillip tries to distract her mind with their usual BDSM games, framed withing their open relationship where Phillip adopts the dominant role; however, they will soon be drawn towards a local woodcutter, Atanas, that seems to be really interested in Silvena.

With this premise, Dae portrays an intimate story, told through the eyes of Silvena, a conflicting character by itself; as she is divided between the mysticism that she was raised into and the rationalism of Phillip. This parallelism is also deepened with the introduction of Atanas to the relationship, as we can see how he empowers those mystical visions/hallucinations that Silvena is experiencing.

The novella has a length that pairs perfectly with its intensity, as the author has an ability to portray steamy situations; it was an amazing reading experience, as it differs from what I usually read.

If you are looking for an intense and steamy horror novella, which draws into a relatively unknown folklore, Mazi is a great pick. Ghost Orchid Press bringing again a mold-breaking book, so I totally recommend all of you to keep an eye on this publishing house.

The Author/s

Koji A. Dae

Koji A. Dae

A born drifter with plenty of dark stories, childbirth is the closest thing to eldritch Koji has experienced. Now she finds herself strangely settled in Bulgaria with two kids, a cat, and a whole lot of responsibility. She writes about things mothers see from the corner of their hearts and all varieties of human relationships -- with each other, with technology, and with the greater universe. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex Magazine, Zooscape, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere.