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The Breaking

(Eternal Dungeon #1.1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Elsdon Taylor, a prisoner accused of committing a terrible murder. Layle Smith, a torturer with a terrible past. Their meeting in the Eternal Dungeon appears certain to bring out the worst in both men.

The prisoner knew that the Eternal Dungeon was a place where suspected criminals were broken by torture, and he was prepared to hold out against any methods used against him
Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Published June 13th 2012 by Love in Dark Settings Press (first published April 14th 2010)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  114 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Danny Tyran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Free on Smashwords as of 23 March 2013

Intriguing first instalment of 'The Eternal Dungeon'. Well-written short story describing suspected murderer Elsdon Taylor's 'searching' in the Eternal Dungeon by the perceptive High Seeker Layle Smith.
'"That's why this is called the Eternal Dungeon? Because you help prisoners to continue in eternal rebirth?"
The guard nodded without speaking.
Elsdon said, "I thought - I'd thought it was named that because no one who is imprisoned here ever leaves here."'
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
What a strangely singular piece. I loved the textbook excerpts the author created. Actually, I just love it when authors do that, create texts within their universe and show it to us. It gives more background on the universe, how the changes that make the AU affect that universe versus our own, and give great little oblique meta-analyses. not a romance at all. There's absolutely no romantic interactions between the main characters at all. In fact, I think there being romance in the next
Danielle Tremblay
Very intriguing story. An excellent introduction to Peterson's universe. I loved both MCs. Eldson, for his vulnerability, Layle, for his mystery. Both seems connected at soul level. I will certainly read the sequels.
Rating is somewhere between "better than okay" and "I like it", or 2.5* and 3*, if you will.

This is a very dry, asexual and extremely thought-out and intricate AU of a past world in which torturing and truth-"seeking" has been elevated to a religion, or rather to achieve the end goal of the belief system of these people.

Unlike several other reviewers I was quite able to see the torture in this, though of course it is not sexual. Also unlike many, who apparently didn't even notice it was there, I
Dee Wy
Not quite what I was expecting, though the setting is as dark and mysterious as I'd hoped. But no torture or romance is this 90-page, stand-alone story. It was interesting though, and this set up has me thinking I want to read more. This one is free on Amazon.
So this wasn't what I was expecting. Not as dark, violence wise, but definitely a mind bender. There is no romance in this volume, nor real M/M indication even. Just a jailer and a prisoner, and yet more than that. I am definitely intrigued and plan on reading the rest of the series.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was bored one night and just randomly sorted my Nook books by date and choose the oldest one I had not read which was the novella The Breaking.

Upon seeing the cover and the description I was hesitant to try The Breaking but I was pleasantry surprised. It is really hard to put into words anything about The Breaking, as I was reading all I was able to do was compare it to the writing I read in philosophy. Even several days later after reading it I still keep finding different parts of the story
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kink, m-m, not-just-sex
This is a really powerful short story. I know it sounds like a BDSM fantasy cliché - terrified prisoner interrogated by grim torturer. But the prisoner is surprised, the torturer is surprised, and you will be too by the wheels within wheels within the characters, setting and plot. It was just a really satisfying read at all levels, although you will have to wait till later parts of this series for the hot sex. Yes, this story is pre-slash. The relationship continues in the next part, Love and Be ...more
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebies
The Breaking was far more intriguing to me as an introduction to the author's world than as a romance, which I think served the short story better in the long run. Though the characters were rather formulaic, the world-building—especially all the detail given about the Eternal Dungeon, and hints about the world abroad—are incredibly interesting. In fact, it's a very interesting take on "barbarous" system of interrogation, rooted in psychology, in a way that makes a sort of sense. I also apprecia ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I’m not a fan of short stories as a general rule, but I loved this one. It’s so dark, so intriguing. Peterson is able to built a fascinating world in 84 pages. Don’t go looking for romance in this instalment of the series, but it is about the connection between two men and the world in which they live. It is a story that definitely will stay with you for a while.

Elsdon, and especially Layle, were intriguing characters. There is really not much more to say about them, seeing as this is mostly set
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book turned out to not be about what I thought it would be about, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was still really good. The author has created a really unusual world in which some people,who may or may not have committed murder, spend the rest of their life working in some capacity in the Eternal Dungeon. I liked the two main characters and really liked their interactions with each other. This was a free kindle book....I was surprised that it was so good. There are more book ...more
Rosalind M
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
A thought-provoking read, quiet but absorbing in spite of its dark tones. Definitely not what I expected from the title or description. This free read has encouraged me to seek out more stories set in the Eternal Dungeon.

Additional note, May 2011:
Okay, the other stories were a bit beyond my personal tastes, but my review of this one still stands.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: free, from-amazon, series
I judged this book by it's cover and the reality was not what I expected at all. There was no romance (so no bdsm elements at all). There was bondage and whipping. This story is set in a prison where the jailers are psychologists who use any means necessary to get to the truth of the crime. Most times torture works. Sometimes friendship works.
This was a good story that intrigues me.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although I am loathe to share my recent kink for gay bdsm stories and such... I read Dusk Peterson free "prequel" story The Breaking for the title and the cover. Ooooh, I thought: a deviant story about deviants set in a prison called the eternal dungeon. It wasn't what I expected but I liked it.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great Read !

This story was very different, unique. I love how the writing flowed and the story unfolded. It was a pleasure to engage in the psychology of Elsdon's imprisonment.
Aug 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: bought
kindle freebie 8.29.12
lesley dawn wallace
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Breaking

The Breaking

The breaking is a ok read you have to stay on top of it but like other books you find love in strange places
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Not quite what i thought, but i enjoyed it. A nice short story, i really liked the phrasing
S.M. Johnson
Apr 10, 2013 rated it liked it
There is no sex (nor torture) in these pages, but the writing is smooth and easy to read, the characters are fairly well-drawn, and it sets up a nice story world for future installments.
rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2014
Megan White
rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2019
Deb Williams
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Apr 13, 2013
rated it it was ok
Aug 05, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2011
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Nov 05, 2012
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Dec 10, 2013
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Sep 06, 2014
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Mar 21, 2014
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Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction with diverse characters: historical fantasy, alternate history, and retrofuture science fiction. Friendship, romantic friendship, and romance often occur in the stories. Visit for e-books and free fiction.

A resident of Maryland, Mx. Peterson lives with an apprentice and several thousand books.

Other books in the series

Eternal Dungeon (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Rebirth (The Eternal Dungeon, Volume 1)
  • Transformation (The Eternal Dungeon, Volume 2)
  • The Balance (The Eternal Dungeon, Volume 3)
  • On Guard (The Eternal Dungeon #4)
  • Sweet Blood (The Eternal Dungeon, Volume 5)
  • The Unanswered Question (The Eternal Dungeon)
  • Torture (The Eternal Dungeon)
  • Wax / Broken (The Eternal Dungeon)
  • Hunger (The Eternal Dungeon)
  • Never (The Eternal Dungeon)

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