*Full Disclosure I have been given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Trigger Warning for Rape.
Liefdom's synopsis on Goodreads is "A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for this differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?"
This book was a huge miss for me, personally. I'll start with the writing. I think if the writing improved, the story would make more sense. The action was choppy, there weren't any settings so the reader can't picture a scene in their head, they can barely picture the characters. I felt like I was thrown into a second book to a series like everything had been established and I just missed it. But it is more than that. I couldn't care about the characters or the world as a whole because there was nothing connecting the reader to the characters.
The story itself at times was entertaining, mostly Mandrake's scenes. I never fully knew what was happening but the parts I did understand were what kept me reading. I believe that the author was trying to write the story where the reader is given a little bit more and more as the story progresses, but the problem is the execution. The reader needs to be given enough so they can fully be invested. Unfortunately I just wasn't very invested in anything that was happening.
The chapters with Vrice are what I really hated. Because he's the evil demonic wizard, he's a bit cruel. I could go with that, but the way rape is used in this story made me absolutely sick. When rape is used in a story, it needs to bring something to table and make a point that a lesser cruelty wouldn't. Instead it's constant and heavy. So many of Vrice's chapters either mentions rape or there's a rape scene and after a while it got to mean less and less. I honestly think it was uncalled for, and it made me even more unhappy with the book. If these scenes weren't so consistent and felt like they had a purpose I think I'd give this book maybe a two stars at the most, but they were just too much.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I really appreciate that the author considered me as a reviewer for their work. I cannot imagine how a bit terrifying it could be to send a stranger a piece of your work and not know if they'll like it or not. So, I don't want to make it seem like I am unappreciative. I just don't think this book was for me, which is a real bummer because when I read the Goodreads synopsis before agreeing to review it my first thought was that it sounded like my kind of book.