Reviewed by Caroline
AUTHOR: R Phoenix
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 151 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 30, 2017
The capture of an arms dealer’s spoiled lover should’ve been a win for the humans struggling to survive their harsh lives in the slums. Powerless and outnumbered, it seems like only a matter of time before Romulus betrays the Butcher. But when Kieran realizes their prisoner is none other than his stepbrother, he has to face the harsh truths he’s been avoiding for too long. Torn between loyalty for his new family of humans and the witch he has more than brotherly feelings for, Kieran must make a decision that could leave him with nothing.
Though Spoiled is set in The Fate of the Fallen / Status Quo world, this is a standalone work. These characters do not appear in the FotF/SQ books, and there are no spoilers for the series.
I have been going backwards and forwards with this review for days and I think the problem is that in my own head I can’t decide what to call this story. It’s definitely not a romance although there are moments that have the feels. It’s not a horror although the first few chapters that include torture are quite brutal and difficult to read. It’s not a mystery as almost from the beginning we have all the facts. It also ended too easily for me and is a definite HFN rather than a HEA. One of the biggest issues for me was that I felt the story didn’t really go anywhere because of the lack of resolution at the end. I needed to know more about the world and I wonder whether even though this is a standalone the fact that it is set in a world the author has previously written about meant that I lacked the finer detail.
Romulus is described as the “whore of the butcher” and that is part of the plot that I would have liked to know more about. The elusive “butcher” is not shown in a very good light but towards the end when we finally met him he seemed to me to be one of the most stable and sane characters in the story. I never understood their relationship so when Romulus is captured by a group of humans who are struggling to survive and beaten and tortured for information I couldn’t see why he would start an affair of sorts with his stepbrother who is living with the rebels, particularly when he has been half beaten to death and is trapped in a cellar with a collar on his neck to stop him casting spells. Romulus is a witch but seemingly with very limited powers and Keiran his brother is a failed witch who never had any powers manifest and was shunned by his family as a bit of a failure.
Who seduces who? I’m not sure but Romulus and Kieran end up together until Kieran puts together a plan to help his brother escape before the slightly bloodthirsty members of the group end up killing him. But where does that leave the brothers and the “butcher” who has been missing his supposedly spoiled boy toy for over a week? We are left wondering how the three move forward and how the dynamics would work out in the end.