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.
Brute is a lovely story, a tale of a gentle giant with magical overtones…. Fielding does an excellent job with layering her characters, making them so accessible in their personalities and actions that we are engaged in the storyline and their futures immediately. You can count on realistically drawn characters, speaking dialog that matches their stations, and personalities whose actions mesh perfectly within the parameters the author has set for them. Do not be surprised to find yourself so emotionally connected to these people that the tears flow on their behalf.
Brute was so engrossing that not only did I want to gulp it down as quickly as possible, I also couldn’t read it in public because I kept getting agitated and exclaiming out loud…. I appreciated that both main characters were disabled in multiple intersecting ways, which helped keep anything from seeming stereotypical or exploitative. Plus they’re just really strong characters with personalities and hopes and dreams and lives that seem entirely real.
—Hannah Reads Books
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.
—The Novel Approach
K.C. Kelly gives each character such an incredible voice and tone – it blew me away. I was so impressed with his narration – it was brilliantly done. ….
—Gay Book Reviews
The story of Brute and Gray was so sweet that I’m not ashamed to say in more than one occasion my eyes were brimming with tears.
There is a special kind of pleasure in books where we see dirty, broken places and people fixed up–repaired, scrubbed cleaned, properly fed, and healed. This is one of those books.
As soon as I started this book, I did not want to put it down. Fielding weaves a fantastic tale with amazing characters that you can’t help but fall in love with.
Sometimes a powerful book comes without having to shout its existence, without having to offer actions and fireworks, without having to throw the characters to emotional or physical obstacles. Sometimes a powerful book comes with a quiet sigh, compelling tale, and unforgettable characters. This is what “Brute” means to me…
This is one of the rare times that I was delighted to have lost my way. I couldn’t escape this book. I was pulled back in again and again, completely content to stay. It was the writing, the characters, the story and the narration. I didn’t just love it, I was addicted.