Storm Moon Press
4 Pants Off
Dylan Taggert was one of the few people lucky enough to wake up the morning after the world ended. But as humanity picks up the pieces, he quickly learns that there is no place for a gay computer programmer in a subsistence farming community. Hounded out of one settlement and harried out of another, Dylan keeps his wagon packed and his walking boots ready.
All that changes when he is captured on the road by a wildpack. The ferociously masked leader, Lord Barbarossa, sees something in Dylan that he wants and he keeps the programmer as the pack makes its round of the settlements. The wildpack serves as defenders, trade caravan, circuit riding judge and priest, and mail carrier for the settlements. And Dylan, now called Kane, serves Lord Barbarossa.
But Kane wants to be more than just a warlord's toy and sets about making himself a useful part of the pack. Over the years, he earns himself a place, clothing and his membership marks. But the wheel keeps turning and once again things are changing for the wildpack. The settlements are stronger. The trade routes are secure again. And they are growing older with every winter. They have lived through the end of the old world. Now, they face living through the end of their new world as well.
Sort of Reviewish:
I haven't read an Anglia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks books that I haven't enjoyed the crap out of. Nobody does post-apocalyptic like these two. Barbarossa's Bitch is right up there at the top of original stories with amazing strong characters. I really enjoyed reading this one.
Dylan woke to a world where practically everyone just died. Without reason or an explanation, all he knows is that he is one of the survivors and he's got to make it in a world on hold. Like with almost many things, societies start to form, and Dylan being gay he doesn't quite fit. They want breeders to begin the world anew, people with a specific skill set, and for a computer programmer nothing quite fits for him. So he's drifting, in and out of settlements until he meets Lord Barbarossa. No skill required, unless being someone bitch toy is the new thing. Lord Barbarossa is the leader of a wild pack, and his trade is protection offering it to those settlements in need. Dylan then becomes Kane, a fixture at Lord Barbarossa's side and nothing more than a toy around a bunch of men, outcasts like himself but a strong and powerful family.
The book tells Kane's life, not in chronological order but in what seems significant to him. His life with his Master from wanting to get away to coming love him above all else, the story telling seems almost random at certain points, but it’s the significance that it has to Kane that makes it so entertaining. Difficult to read especially in the beginning when Kane first joins the wild-pack, his treatment from Barbarossa is very questionable, but understandable in a Dom/slave type kind of relationship. Not overly mean, but very humiliating sometimes to show Kane's value in the pack but also proving his worth (gotta not be sensitive to appreciate it).
The story follows the wild-pack power, and their involvement in the growing settlements, to the overall fade out of their importance. Kane’s role as Barbarossa’s bitch also transitions from glorified slave to that of him being important to the prosperity of the wild-pack. While not loved by all, he proves his underlying strength and smarts when it comes to making serious decisions (all kept on the down-low of course). Dylan and Barbarossa’s relationship changes, just like the world around them. It’s a series of ups and downs, but it’s clear that their love for each other will overcome all while riding bitch.
Should You Read It? Hell yes! Interesting, satisfying, with bouts of amazing sexiness. Barbarossa’s Bitch is right up there with awesome.
|4 Pants Off|