Barbarossa's Bitch - Angelia Sparrow, Naomi Brooks When the first line of a book is...

When the settlement delegation entered the encampment, Kane was being fucked. Lord Barbarossa hammered away at his ass, growling obscenities.

Barbarossas Bitch

And with the title Barbarossa’s Bitch, I was pretty much expecting a dark slave novel, raw, gritty and full of sex in a post-apocalyptic setting… but what I got was completely unexpected, very different and I have to say quite surreal in parts!

It is also very difficult to review this story as the narrative is not set out in chronological order, it spans fourteen years from the day before the apocalypse to the books present day, but it flip flops backwards and forwards randomly along the timeline so the middle is at the beginning the beginning at the end and so on, you have answers before questions and vice versa… it all sounds incredibly confusing and I did have to think WTF on more than one occasion but strangely enough it worked, how on earth the authors put it together so as not to confuse us as readers and still keeping us engrossed, I can only attribute to their talent, and it certainly kept me turning the pages.

A note from Dylan Taggert:
These are scenes from a life, my life, both as myself and as Kane. They can be read in any order. Cut this apart and shuffle them like cards. It will make as much or as little sense as the reader likes. Much like my world where there are only two real times: Before and After.

The world building was excellent the authors did a great job, and you get a real feel for the despair and uncertainty, how the weak were manipulated through loss of hope and need for guidance… they ranged from people working together as a community to settlements where women were slaves, settlements of only women, religious sects and of course the Wildpacks who were only men… outcasts from those communities, as everything is a commodity and has a value, with procreation being a must… so if you were gay, as a human being you were worthless and a drain on the society. But with trade being the only way forward the Wildpacks were now the Marshalls and enforcers, and the only thing tying it all together.

Dylan is picked up in a slave raid and is immediately drawn to Barbarossa, he is naturally subservient with a sincere and honest disposition.. he is actually too nice as he holds no malice or anger towards Barbarossa despite his treatment, he just accepts and I would have expected some resentment and more profanities at least from him.

Barbarossa wears leathers and a mask… it is his persona and he is definitely one badass dangerous and powerful man and his shows of dominance and humiliation towards Dylan only confirm that… although for Barbarossa it was also to protect Dylan and at the same time send a message to the pack of his authority, he cannot be undermined in anyway as it would not only be Dylan but also himself that would fall victim  to the savagery of the pack at any sign of weakness  … especially if they perceive that weakness to be Dylan.

Even though I enjoyed this, I was expecting a dark novel, something to get my teeth into and my blood boiling and we did touch on that occasionally but for the most part it was nice, with some of the dialog actually formal and polite which at times was disconcerting for me, and didn’t quite fit with the characters.  At one point I did feel as though I had been dropped into the middle of a surreal dream and taken back to the times of knights and lords in a very bizarre ménage scene. Having said that I read this book a few weeks ago and I have to say that even now I can still recall the book, I can’t say that I connected on an emotional level with the characters, but as a whole the book was intriguing and I was engrossed in their journey which was a long and arduous one but full of hope and in the end love, it was a fitting end to the book and I would certainly recommend it.

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