A lot of this tale is very shocking, some of it made for some very uncomfortable reading and I wasn't sure if I liked any of the characters, but I loved the book!
Toroa kicks off at Rochester Castle at the Medieval Merriment festival when Mahi, a young woman meets an enigmatic fire breathing stranger, Aryan, a young man completely free in life. Mahi, stuck in life and tethered to a cycle of shocking abuse can't resist his appeal.
Like a bird, the very creatures Mahi has a life long obsession with, he takes himself where he pleases, lives life with only one aim of being happy which reignites old questions inside Mahi. Who is her father and what is her Maori ancestry?
This is a tale about transformation, shocking and brutal. A very macabre coming of age story. I ended up hating Mahi but also at the same time I really pitied her. In the end she becomes a figure, sort of a dark god who comes to represent female suffering.
For me this was a very emotional tale as I ended up really hating a lot of the characters in this book, this is no good vs evil story, it is about the ugly side of human nature. All humans have the capacity for evil.
The ending is like the most explosive Jerry Springer episode ever so I can't say too much about it.
It would be cool to see a follow up to this as it's a very strong debut but also works really well as a stand alone novel.
About the Author
Erik Hofstatter is a dark fiction writer and a member of the Horror Writers Association. Born in the wild lands of the Czech Republic, he roamed Europe before subsequently settling on English shores, studying creative writing at the London School of Journalism. He now dwells in Kent, where he can be encountered consuming copious amounts of mead and tyrannizing local peasantry. His work appeared in various magazines and podcasts around the world such as Morpheus Tales, Crystal Lake Publishing, The Literary Hatchet, Sanitarium Magazine, Wicked Library, Tales to Terrify and Manor House Show. Other works include The Pariahs, Amaranthine and Other Stories, Katerina, Moribund Tales and Rare Breeds.