I have to say, I read the blurb to this book and thought it would be a humorous light-hearted adventure set in a fantasy/Au world.
This was so much more, and a lot darker and dealing with more serious issues than I had anticipated.
It's set in a world where male witches are looked down on, it's very much a matriarchal society.
There are also wizards, they are bad, bad news.
Madd grew up in this world, never feeling wanted or loved, always looked down on and persecuted. Scraping and thieving and doing other things just to get by and survive.
“I know your worth, Madd. Men who boast of their fathers do so when they cannot boast of themselves. I have fought beside heroes and the greatest warriors of the Scur nation… and I would choose to have you at my side above any of them. You’re clever and loyal, and you would fight until the last drop of blood has spilled from your body. These witches don’t know you as I do.”
As if that isn't enough he's caught and held against his will and used and abused by magical means.
Vorgell is a giant warrior and after accidentally eating a unicorn and um..using the poor things horn to pleasure himself he's now in a perpetual state of horniness.
They are thrown together with the expectation that the big brute would kill Madd in his lust.
That's not what happens, obviously. Vorgell is smitten.
“You saved me and not just from the baron. I had no home, no future. And now look… I would fight every wizard and every fiend, hand to hand and tooth to tooth, to keep you from harm.”
Poor Madd, he lives with so much guilt and pain. He's closed himself off and doesn't trust, understandably.
Whereas the big barbarian Vorgell is open with his affection and feelings. Open and trusting, a dichotomy, minutes after killing a baddie he worries about a dog or a basilisk hatchling.
I liked seeing him slowly wear down Madd's walls and really show him love and safety.
They depend on each other, rely on each other and take care of each other and being together gets them through everything and now they have Petal too!
“We don’t escape our pasts, you know,” Madd said. He sounded defeated. “Never. We can never escape what we are.”
“Maybe not. But I think we can escape what other people try to make of us. We can decide our fate for ourselves.”