Author: Kim Fielding
Narrator:: K.C. Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 11 Hours, 14 Minutes
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: 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.
Review: There’s nothing worse than finding out that you’ve had a fantastic story on your TBR shelf for a couple of years, and it takes a newly released audio for you to finally figure it out. Then again, I could say that I waited to get the full impact of Brute by reading both the story and listening at the same time. I could say this too: Kim Fielding is a master storyteller!
Life has been exceptionally unkind to Brute. As a child, his father was hanged as a thief, and his mother ended her own life the same day. Brute was then turned over to a cruel uncle, taunted and treated like dirt by the villagers. You’d think Brute would grow up embittered, but not so, this gentle giant who toils away like an animal to earn a living.
When a prince comes to inspect a bridge that is being built, Brute doesn’t think twice about risking his own life to save the prince when his life is in danger. The prince is saved but tragically, Brute is severely injured to the point that he can no longer continue his line of work. Ever grateful, the prince offers Brute a position that involves working at the palace. As the blurb states, Brute becomes Grey Leynham’s guard. At first, he’s confounded as to why he’s guarding a man who is nothing more than a filthy, blind, naked miserable lump of flesh chained to a wall. A man who cries out in dreams, which Brute must repeat to the guards at night. What could Grey have possibly done to earn a lifetime in this hell?
As time goes by, Brute begins to question why the man is treated the way he is, and begins to show acts of kindness towards Grey, and once you find out the truth, you can’t help but fall in love with both these characters. Brute is a Beauty and the Beast tale, but with a twist. It’s a story about seeing a person’s inner beauty, which, of course, is Brute, a man who’s heart is so big, it needs a giant’s body to hold it.
Damn, what touching story. I had a couple of moments where tears were welling up. I love these types of fairy tales, and K.C. Kelly did a wonderful job of narrating Brute. It’s highly recommended as a read or a listen—or both. I’m giving Brute 5 very enthusiastic Stars.
You can buy Brute here: