As the son of a wealthy man, Enitan Javed has spent his life frivolously - drinking, fighting, and making love. But after his father dies, Enitan is unjustly accused of murdering him and is given the harshest sentence possible. Judged irredeemable, he is banished to the Downs. As even young children know, nothing lives in the Downs except demons who delight in torturing the condemned. Brutalized by the men who transport him to his fate, Enitan has nothing left but his thirst for vengeance.
His plummet to the Downs nearly kills him, and Enitan finds himself battered and helpless in a frightening, mysterious land. But many surprises await him there, including a strange man named Rig. And the realization that the demons he must face aren't at all the ones he expected.
©2015 Kim Fielding (P)2016 Kim Fielding
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"Beautifully narrated by K.C. Kelly!"
Kim Fielding builds an amazing dystopian fantasy world full of deadly things, including the darkness that can eat at Enitan’s soul if he lets it, and she does it in a quiet unhurried pace that offers redemption, hope, revenge, and love.
Slow and steady. That describes both the pace of the story and Rig, the man who heals Enitan after he’s thrown to the Downs.
Wrongly judged for a crime he did not commit, Enitan is brutalized before being hurled into the Downs, a place where criminals and banished are thrown to die. When Enitan survives the fall, he is found by Rig, a gentle, but scarred, giant who helps heal Enitan’s body.
I loved that Rig has his own scars, both physical and spiritual, but Enitan helps to heal him as well.
Beautifully narrated by K.C. Kelly, I was drawn into the story immediately and never lost focus for a single moment until the end. I loved his choice of character voices, his pacing, and almost soothing tone. This was just an absolute treat to listen to.
“I choose you,” he whispered in Rig’s ear. “I will always choose you.”
And of course they kissed.
"A slow and steady yet beautifully sweet romance."
The magical combination of Kim Fielding’s lovely prose and K.C. Kelly’s superb narration never fails to entertain. I listened and followed the text at the same time because I just love Kim’s writing. This certainly is an outstanding story. Her imagination creates wonderful new worlds with flawed yet beautiful characters.
K.C. Kelly’s delivery perfectly suits this tale, its steady pace, and the gradual revelation of the fantasy world. He brings the story and characters to life, imparting the right emotions and tone throughout.
I particularly enjoyed this fantasy story and the excellent world building. It’s similar but on a smaller scale to Brute. There’s a clear contrast between Enitan’s luxurious life in the city and the basic and sometimes frighteningly dangerous life in The Downs, with its demons, caustic fog, and venomous creatures. For all its harshness, the people who inhabit the Downs appear to be unselfish and more accepting of others. They live in a world where same sex relations are the norm.
The two main characters come across as believable and real. They are both physically and emotionally imperfect, but together they slowly find love and healing in each other. It’s not instant and that’s what I love about Kim’s stories. She gives them time to get to know each other and build a friendship first.
Enitan is the proverbial rich kid who likes to fight and fuck. He is wronged by his sister and judged as unredeemable. He hankers after revenge.
Like Brute, Rig is big and lumbering and disfigured. Both Rig and Brute have a heart of gold and consider others before themselves. Rig’s backstory is heart-wrenchingly sad and when his future with Enitan is in doubt I could see him being broken all over again.
This is a story of love and hate, revenge and redemption, and of finding peace and happiness with your lot in life and with the person you love. A story of second chances and discovering what’s important in life.
"I don't want to die. But if I have a choice between a few minutes with you or an eternity without, well ... I choose you ... I will always choose you."
A slow and steady yet beautifully sweet romance set in an imaginary world. Highly recommended.
"Rough, real, lovely"
Entian is condemned for killing his father – which he didn’t do – but feels the judge was right when she decreed him “unredeemable” because he’s been selfish, lazy and not a good contributor to his family’s wealth.
Rig is a … okay – well he’s the guy who saves Entian and it’s part of the story so I won’t tell you much about him – only that he’s a healer and amazing!
This is an earth-like place? I’m not sure how you qualify this – but it feels earth like but not the earth we know.
Entian and Rig must navigate through both their insecurities and Entian’s desire for revenge before finding their very, very HEA.
It’s a dark story – similar in flavor and feel to Brute, also by Kim Fielding, but so rewarding! Neither character is perfect, in fact you might classify Entian as an anti-hero for most of the book – but his redemption is complete and perfect by the end.
KC Kelly does a masterful job with this vaguely “old world” story – giving it just the right “other” sort of inflection and making us understand and appreciate the “otherness” of this world. He’s just so easy to listen to and so good with pacing and emotion. I truly love his narrations and this is no exception. I especially loved Rig ☺
Overall 5 of 5 stars
"A heart-melting and lovely adult fantasy"
I understand that Kim Fielding wrote "The Downs" a couple of years ago as part of a Goodreads event in which authors were challenged to write a story inspired by a photo of their choice. The picture which inspired "The Downs" is the photo you now see as cover photo, and it's astonishing to read the imaginative and beautiful story Fielding composed based on that single image.
In a fantasy world that isn't terribly detailed (which doesn't matter, really), Enitan is framed for murder, brutally tortured, then thrown off a cliff into a nether world called "The Downs". The Downs is this 'verse's hell; if he survives the fall Enitan will be tormented there for the rest of eternity.
The story begins as the sentence is being carried out, and that's where things start to really get interesting. This is a short listen- I polished it off in one afternoon- and worth every minute of your listening time.
Despite the dire nature of the setup, since this book falls into the category of M/M romance, it's probably no spoiler to say that, well, the ending isn't sad. The two MC's are nicely drawn and likeable, you are pulling for them right from the outset, and you'll come away with a great lesson in priorities. You'll also come away loving these two guys.
Narration beautifully done, clear vocal characterizations and a charming accent for a few of the characters.
Adult content: a few steamy intimate scenes. Not for kids. If M/M romance is your cup o' tea, you won't be disappointed. Even if you've never tried the M/M genre before, if you're a grownup who's up for something like a fable or fairy tale with a feel-good ending, give it a listen; I think you'll dig it.
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