Wednesday, February 19, 2014

King of Dublin by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry - 4 Stars




King of Dublin 


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Author: Heidi Belleau Lisa Henry
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-097-0
eBook release: Feb 24, 2014
eBook Formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Print ISBN: 978-1-62649-096-3
Print release: Feb 24, 2014
Word count: 100,900
Page count: 382
Type: Standalone
Cover by: L.C. Chase

- See more at: Riptide Publishing

Reader discretion advised. This title contains the following sensitive themes:

dubious consent
explicit violence
non-consent

My Review:

Powerful. Brutal. Hopeful. 
Even if that hope is just out of reach. 

I had the very fortunate pleasure of beta reading this during it’s writing process. It gave me chills then and is still giving me chills now. It’s visual, visceral and vicious. Before you pick this one up know what you’re getting into. The brutality holds no bars. There’s very little sunshine and flowers here, but that doesn’t mean that intense hope and deep “real” love don’t develop. It’s that intensity that I found riveting. 

THE CHARACTERS 

Ciaran Daly (Boy) - Acutely intelligent and painfully naïve Ciaran finds himself surviving by his wits and his ass.

Boy was a twisted knot of contradictions that Darragh didn’t even want to unravel. To understand him, Darragh thought, would be to understand this place. And to understand this place would to be corrupted by it.
Darragh Fergus - Darragh, a gentle giant. Simple by nature, yet anything but stupid. He’s fiercely protective, possibly to his detriment and Ciaran’s. 

The King of Dublin - Evil. Heinous. Dictator.

THE STORY 

Darragh knows survival. He’s fought vicious animal attacks, watched disease take his loved ones and learned to build a community after the end of the world.

The Blurb:

Twenty years after a deadly pandemic ravaged the world, Darragh Fergus Anluan and the people of his village have carved out a hard but simple life in the Irish countryside. But with winter comes sickness, and Darragh must travel to Dublin in search of medicine. What he finds there is a ruined city ruled by a madman, where scavenging is punishable by death . . . or conscription.

Ciaran Daly came to Ireland with aid and optimism, but instead was enslaved by the so-called King of Dublin. After months of abuse from the king and his men, he has no reason to believe this newcomer will be any different. Except Ciaran finds himself increasingly drawn to Darragh, whose brutish looks mask how sweet and gentle he really is.

The tenderness Darragh feels for the king’s treasured pet is treason, but it’s hardly the only betrayal brewing in this rotten kingdom. Rebellions and rival gangs threaten the king’s power, but not nearly as much as Darragh and Ciaran—whose only hope for freedom is the fall of the king.

* This title contains the following sensitive themes: dubious consent, explicit violence and non-consent.

But when he gets to Dublin he is completely unprepared for the brutal nature of man that he finds himself in the midst of. 

Ciaran is living a nightmare as the treasured pet of the self-proclaimed King of Dublin. Only by keeping the evil king “entertained” does he survive. When Darragh becomes one of the king’s men it seems impossible that Ciaran would trust him with something so precious that it would be his demise. 













THE WRITING
He was free, and this was perfect. If the world ended now—really ended, not this horrible limping half-death they were all trapped in—then Ciaran could die happy. And Darragh had given him that.
The strong, solid writing of Heidi Belleau combined with Lisa Henry’s vivid intensity absorbed me instantly. I got deep into this very quickly and then, like I said, I couldn’t shake it off. This held my interest even when I kind of wanted to look away. It’s easy to say that I’d read anything these two collaborate on. 

Just know what you’re getting into here, and then if you decide this is for you…hang on. It’s big and terrible and messy and definitely hits all of your fears and hopes. And it’s going to get to you. 

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I would like to thank the authors and Riptide Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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