Blog Tour (and review!): King of Dublin!

I'm a busy wench these days!  I've been peeking through the upcoming releases from Riptide, and am bringing a whole bunch of interesting blog tours to stop our way!  Today, I bring you King of Dublin (released February 24), which I am super excited to have gotten to read!


Now, anyone who knows us here at The Saucy Wenches Book Club knows we have a soft spot for Dublin.  Can you blame us?  Add in post apocolyptic, and I'm majorly intrigued!  Follow us through the jump for a look into King of Dublin...




Hi! We’re Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau, authors of the new post-apocalyptic romance King of Dublin. We’re touring the web talking about Ireland, the post-apocalyptic genre, a behind-the-scenes look at our book, and even a sneak peek or two! And what would a blog tour be without a contest? We’re giving away two ebooks and a souvenir from Ireland to one lucky commenter, so read on!

Thanks so much to The Saucy Wenches Book Club for having us, and to all you readers for following along. And now without further ado, today’s look at King of Dublin!

Run, Rabbit, Run!

Rabbit is a character in King of Dublin, who makes his entrance in the second half of the book. Rabbit is a bandit, and a breath of fresh air. He’s a fun character in a very dark book, but he’s not immune to that darkness either. Rabbit’s background is a mystery to everyone – probably himself, even. He’s probably about eighteen or nineteen, no older.
There are only a few years between Ciaran and Rabbit, but it’s the world of difference. Ciaran is old enough to remember the catastrophic fall of society. He remembers, vaguely, how things were before and has a desire to rebuild.


Rabbit doesn’t remember how the world was. He doesn’t care much either. Rabbit lives in the now.


Have you lived here always?” Ciaran asked, wondering if he could bring the conversation around to what he really wanted to know: whether these bandits were allied with Boru.

Always and forever,” Rabbit said.

“What about before?”
Rabbit scratched his nose. “Don’t remember before. Them old ones talk malarkey about all that, but what good can come of harping on about it? Before counts for shite in the now.”

Rabbit is quick to smile, and quick to laugh. He’s called Rabbit because he never shuts his mouth – he rabbits on and on. He’s part Lost Boy and part Artful Dodger. He wears a duck feather in his wild hair, and does magic tricks with coins. He can’t read or write, but he’s clever. And, as he tells Ciaran proudly, he can run real fast.
But only if he’s given the chance.


  Run, Rabbit, run!


Contest


Thanks for following our tour! To celebrate our release, we’re giving away a great pair of prizes! Up for grabs are: a book from BOTH of our backlists (that’s one Lisa Henry title and one Heidi Belleau one!) and a King of Dublin-themed souvenir from the National Irish museum, mailed straight to your door! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a way for us to contact you, be it your email, your twitter, or a link to your Facebook or Goodreads account. Please put your email in the body of the comment,not just in email section of the comment form, because we won’t be able to see it otherwise! Two weeks after King of Dublin’s release, on March 8th, we’ll draw a winner from all eligible comments! Be sure to follow the whole tour, because the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to win this awesome prize!
About King of Dublin

Twenty years after a deadly pandemic ravaged the world, Darragh Fearghal 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.
You can read an excerpt and purchase King of Dublin here

About the Authors


Lisa Henry
lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.
She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.
She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.
You can visit Lisa her website, at Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter.


Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write.
Her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialogue, the occasional mythological twist, and most of all, love—in all its weird and wonderful forms.
When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her daughter or sipping a drink at her favourite coffee shop. She also writes queer-flavoured  M/F as Heloise Belleau. Chat with her on Twitter using the handle @HeidiBelleau. Browse her website at HeidiBelleau.com or HeloiseBelleau.com. Check out her books on Goodreads. Follow her Facebook and Tumblr accounts. 
Or contact her using good old-fashioned email: heidi.heloise.belleau@gmail.com


And now, the review. I went through this book in a single sitting.  This was due to a combination of factors, first because I had to know what happened next, but also... Because I couldn't let the story end *there.*  King of Dublin is very definitely a dystopian novel, and there are several themes in play that make the book incredibly difficult to read, while still not being able to put it down.  


The story opens with Darragh, from a small, isolated village in Cork, searching for medicines to get his family through the winter. It isn't an imminent need, but definitely an anticipated one. This is where things start to go pear shaped. Darragh is accosted by a group of men who claim to represent the King of Dublin, a person (and title!) that Darragh is wholly unfamiliar with.  After his capture and subsequent initiation into the King's Men, Darragh meets the character we know for the first half of the book only as Boy.


Darragh's relationship with Boy is complicated at best. The king is a horrifying, vile, treacherous, disgusting, I-can't-come-up-with-enough-adjectives-to-adequately-summarize-how-awful-this-man-is person, who has kept Boy as... the best descriptor for it is "sex hostage."  There is a fair lot of non-consensual sex, and a fair lot of trauma, particularly in the first half of the book.  It makes the story extremely hard to read... but also in a strange way, dragged me closer to the main characters.  It wasn't that I didn't want to like them, but I know dystopian lit - you don't ever get attached to anyone, or they die.  I loved Ciaran, who is the young man who would become Boy. I loved him so very much. And my heart hurt, and still hurts, for the suffering he endured.


But then.  Oh, there's always a then, isn't there?  In a grand plan the likes of which I'd not expected, both Darragh and Ciaran escaped the custody of the King of Dublin.  Thank goodness.  I kid you not, an audible sigh of relief.  Darragh was going to ensure Ciaran was returned to his home, his family, and that no further harm would be done to him.  I should have known better.  I really should have.  The minute you breathe easy... there's the threat of recapture. Happens every time.  


I don't want to spoil the book for those who would like to read it (and though it is difficult, I do highly recommend it!), so I will tell you what I felt, rather than trying to compress 350+ pages into "first, next, then..." for you.  I started the book wary. I don't like new reads, though it seems that may be changing. Then, I was wary for another reason. I liked Darragh, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and shit was hitting the fan.  Then we met Boy, and the King.  I was leery, then disgusted, then horrified.  I came to love the glimpses of Ciaran inside Boy, just as I came to loathe the King.  I was touched by gentle moments, perplexed by what was necessary to survive, and hopeful for the future of both Darragh and Ciaran. I feared for them, I was happy for them, I hurt while they struggled, and Rabbit caught me off guard.  Oh, Rabbit. Rabbit... I didn't expect to like from his introduction. But he was a sweetheart, and I quickly came to care for him as well.  I cringed, I bit my nails, and I sighed in relief, and I'm not going to tell you about the ending at all.  Not because I don't love you, dear readers, but because to tell you the ending spoils the entire second book.  Just allow me to say that if you aren't put off by the triggers of rape, non-consensual sex, forced rape, violent sex, and humiliation, this is a book that is absolutely worth the read.  The only reason it doesn't get five kisses from me is that I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this book to anyone and everyone, due to triggers.  But truthfully, I have no other issue with this novel, and (probably unsurprisingly) would love to see a "what happens next."  

It is now two days since I initially wrote this post. I have not been able to stop talking about it.  As such, I can't honestly give it only four kisses.  It deserves - truly deserves - five kisses from me, and so it shall have them. With the warning that this book is laden with triggers, and thus let the reader beware.  But this book truly is a wonderful read, dark and intense, but genuinely wrenching and unforgettable.




Comments

  1. Hmm...I know it will be rough sometimes, but it does sound like a grabber!

    vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was. It was so difficult to get through the first half of the book, but it was also so worth it. It's a real grabber - generally, if I don't 'catch' a book right away, it languishes on my in-progress list for ages. This... I read all 360+ pages in a day. It was that good. I really did love it, and I am still talking about it!

      Delete
  2. Thanks Care. This sounds like a great read.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice review

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was already looking forward to the book and this post has brought me to the point of salivating! By the next one, I shall be drooling all over my keyboard.
    andreams2013 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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