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Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.
Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths – dreams that come true.
As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.
(From previous site)
Aric “Brute” is a giant of a man living in a place and time where magic is common but uniqueness is often linked with superstition and thus feared. He is orphaned early in life and forced to live with an abusive uncle. He grows and grows until he towers over all the people around him, and his face will never win him any beauty prizes. Forced by fear into a life without education or training, he is goes to work to do the only thing he thinks he can to survive: carry heavy things.
One day the Prince travels through Brute’s town and has an accident. Brute saves him but gets injured in the process. The Prince rewards Brute with a special job and takes him to live with him in the palace.
At the palace Brute is placed in charge of a special prisoner, Gray Leynham. Grey has a terrible and sad story to tell and lives a life full of misery, chained to the walls in the palace, fore-seeing people’s deaths.
Together, Brute and Grey form a fragile alliance that blossoms into something earth shatteringly powerful.
Kim Fielding has written an amazingly beautiful and heart-wrenching story that will have you reaching for your Kleenex with both extreme happiness and sadness.
This has the flavor of an old-time fairy tale, mixed with a smidge of sex – really, just a smidge – to spice things up. It is a deeply touching love story full of hope and forgiveness.
I truly loved this book and look forward to re-reading it time and again.
KC Kelly does a fantastic job of narrating Brute. He does all the voices quite well, and I found myself making comparisons with it and The Princess Bride. (Where the grandpa is reading the his grandson…) The pacing is well done and the stuttering of Grey is just perfect.
I highly recommend the book giving it a 6 out of 5 hearts and the audio version a 5 of 5, for a total of 5.5 of 5 hearts!