Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The King of Dublin by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry

I recently received a copy of The King of Dublin through NatGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.  Here is the cover and Goodreads 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 book was kind of a quandary for me. It is really well written but the subject matter was what kind of ruined the book for me. I feel like the more books we see out there with non-consent, dubious consent, rape, torture and sexual slavery, the more we are promoting rape culture as a whole. I believe that everyone has the right to the kinks that they like but there was little positive in this book. I came away from reading it wishing for more positive. I wanted to believe that something good could come out of all the pages I had just read. It felt very... off putting. There is so much rape culture in the story that it really ruined the little romance that was to be had. The other works from Heidi Belleau that I have read have been edgy and not always what I would call romance. I loved her book "Wallflower" but there were elements of rape in that as well. (It was brief and no where near as awful as the scenes you will have in King of Dublin.) I know- to each their own, but this book was just not for me. The long wait until the very very end for any positive after pages and pages of rape and torture was a bit much for me. I think that the things we read should leave us in a better place than we were in when we started. If you are into the dark and the angsty, this might be a good fit for you. I just caution that anyone reading pay attention to the Trigger Warnings on this one.

You can check out other reviews for this book on Goodreads.  The King of Dublin will be published on February 24th and can be preordered from Riptide Publishing now.You can find Heidi Belleau can be found on her website, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. Lisa Henry can be found on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.  I had to give this book 2 Fairies because it just was not for me.  There was too much that made me nauseous for not enough of a Happily Ever After reward, no matter how well written it was.

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