I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Thalgor's Witch Published by Tule Publishing on 1/22/2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance
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In a land of perpetual war and wandering, warrior Thalgor not only leads his people in battle, but keeps the hope alive that somebody his displaced tribe can rebuild the kingdom that was lost to the treachery between witches and men. When he captures a beautiful witch, he knows he cannot trust her. But to succeed in his quest to find a new home and prevail over his enemies, he also knows he needs her.
Erwyn might be a slave and feared for her powers and precognition, but she doesn’t cower when confronted by the feared warrior. Nor does she act as expected. Thalgor’s kindness confuses her. His flashes of humor confound her. And the reaction he ignites in her body creates a longing that she cannot deny.
Neither anticipated falling in love. The stakes are high, but when Thalgor is mortally wounded, Erwyn realizes she must accept help from an unlikely source to save him.
When I read the blurb for this book on NetGalley, it sounded like something that was right up my alley. I’ve been on a binge read of UF and PNR and the premise was intriguing so I was excited to check it out.
Trigger Warning for references to rape.
There were some problematic elements for me starting right away in chapter 1. The following line is from one of Thalgor’s men after capturing a 5 year old child:
“Small, but female,” the man declared with an ugly laugh
This was followed almost immediately by this comment by the same man after he saw Erwyn who is the witch in this story:
“A full-size female,” the third man said, his toothless leer close enough for Erwyn to smell the rot of his breath.
Repulsive right? Well this was followed by a this man groping Erwyn’s breast which is how we find out that witches have an inherent power that protects them from men. This should have told me all I needed to know about this book. If by page 10 the author needed to declare that witches have a power to keep themselves from being raped, I should have known there was more problematic material to come but I kept reading hoping this wouldn’t be the case.
In Chapter 4 after Erwyn exhausted herself healing members of Thalgor’s group following a battle, Thalgor carried her off into the woods with the intention of taking her. While he changed he realized just how weak she was, the scene was tremendously uncomfortable. The author highlighted how Erwyn was too exhausted to user her natural power to prevent her rape, and showed her mentally preparing herself for the rape to take place and pleading with him not to rape her.
And still I kept reading trying to finish the book I had agreed to review.
In Chapter 8 Erwyn discovers that she lost a child. She was unaware that she was pregnant and had been using her powers which is extremely hard on an unborn child. When she shared this news with Thalgor he was a uncompassionate asshole who instructed her not get pregnant again. And guess who continued to have sex with her in a setting that appears to have no means of preventing pregnancy. I am sure you can see where this is going. When Erwyn is pregnant again and cannot help Thalgor or his people he’s a complete ass about it. I was mentally raging about what a dick he was at this point but still tried to finish the book.
After Thalgor begins to exclude Erwyn from council meetings because he deems her unuseful now that she doesn’t have use of her powers (see he’s a dick), Erwyn begins to give him the cold shoulder. She is avoiding him during the day and has no physical contact with him at night when they go to bed. What do we get to see as Thalgor’s reaction?
“The next night he caught her staring at him with those unforgiving eyes and that lush body, and knew he could take her at will without her magic to protect her. For the first time he almost understood what drove the man who become Rygar’s father. But unlike that brute, Thalgor hated himself for the thought.
Are you kidding me? This is supposed to be a romance between Thalgor and Erwyn and you have him thinking about raping her because she is refusing to have sex with him after he’s a dick? Am I supposed to sympathize with his desire to rape her even though he supposedly hates himself for thinking about it. You can fuck right off with that.
And this my friends is when I finally put down the book at 46% to never pick it up again.
There were many other problematic examples I could provide about this book, but who needs anymore of this nonsense in their life? There are too many other amazing books out there to devote anymore time to this problematic book.