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.
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.
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.
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.