24 February 2014

King of Dublin by Henry & Belleau

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.

The world has gone through a deadly pandemic that has ravaged the land for over 20 years. Darragh and his village have found a way to survive in this Irish land. The harsh winters hits the village and causes severe illness to the people so Darragh has to travel to Dublin for medicine. What he finds is a city in ruin and run by a corrupted man who kills anyone who is found scavenging the city.

Ciaran came to Ireland to make a difference to the troubled country but was enslaved by the King of Dublin. He has been abused for so long by the king and his men and even used as a gift for when his men do well so he thinks that Darragh has come to do the same thing to him. Ciaran finds himself attracted to Darragh but not sure if he is a good man. The feelings that Darragh has come to feel for the kings prize possession; Ciaran could be looked at as treason and sentenced to death if they're to be found out! When the King does find out about their relationship then all hell is released on the two men and what they have to do to survive this will leave you in total angst.

I loved Darragh's character as he was a complex one and on the outside he is very brutish but soft and gentle on the inside. What I liked about him was how he came across as an alpha male but not controlling and felt he didn't have the right to own another person but as good as he was he still had his own demons to battle. I was so moved at his compassion and protectiveness as it was rare in this harsh world to find someone like Darragh.

The path that Ciaran had was so sad as he had such life in him when he arrived but after so much time enslaved and abused by these men. He had changed and at time he was frustrating to read but you understood how the abuse made him like this and that he wouldn't let it completely break him. My only issue was that the bond between the two men could have been more emotional and stronger. The sex scenes were intense and so well written and at time hard to read but also very pivotal to the story. Will Darragh and Ciaran survive the king’s wrath? Will the two men find a way to be together with all the odds against them? Will Ciaran's abuse by the King and his men continue? Will Darragh and Ciaran live?



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