by Laura Kat Young
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Pub Date 27 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 13 Sep 2022
When Lady Mae turns 18, she'll inherit her mother's job as the Butcher: dismembering Settlement Five’s guilty residents as payment for their petty crimes. An index finger taken for spreading salacious gossip, a foot for blasphemy, no one is exempt from punishment.
But one day Winona refuses to butcher a six-year-old boy. So their leaders, known as the Deputies, come to Lady Mae’s house, and, right there in the living room, murder her mother for refusing her duties.
Within twenty-four hours, now alone in the world, Lady Mae begins her new job. But a chance meeting years later puts her face to face with the Deputy that murdered her mother. Now Lady Mae must choose: will she flee, and start another life in the desolate mountains, forever running? Or will she seek vengeance for her mother’s death even if it kills her?
A devastating, alarming page-turner infused with melancholy, humanity – and society’s maddening acceptance in the face of horror.
Praise for The Butcher:
"Young crafts a mean little world of stark landscapes and sharp edges, and beneath each turn lies a wound. Psychologically claustrophobic, and a harrowing debut." - Hailey Piper, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Queen of Teeth
"Readers will be swept away by the fresh take on dystopia found in this intelligent, immersive horror novel drawing on both The Lottery and The Hunger Games. In a poverty-ridden mountain town ruled by unfeeling overlords and their monstrous code of punishment and retribution, Lady Mae will – one day – take on her mother’s role as the Butcher, delivering bloody eye-for-an-eye ‘justice’ to a resentful population. Her coming-of-age is brutal, and Laura Kat Young is unafraid to ask tough and necessary questions about corporal punishment, shared guilt, mob mentality, and who is served when the disadvantaged are pitted against each other." - Ally Wilkes, author of All the White Spaces
"Immersive, original, and unflinching, The Butcher is a pitch-perfect dystopian Western. A satisfying, blood-spattered exploration of justice and vengeance." - Rachel Harrison, author of Cackle and The Return
“Savage beauty, unrelenting violence, and unbreakable love crash together in this powerful and hypnotic novel of a dystopian West and the young woman who wields an intellect and sense of justice and revenge sharper and more deadly than her butcher’s knives. A bleak, brutal, and thoroughly original meditation on the horrors and triumphs of life.” - Livia Llewellyn, author of Engines of Desire and Furnace
Average rating from 46 members
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