Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Galen and the Forest Lord by Eden Winters


Galen and the Forest Lord by Eden Winters
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Fantasy, GLBT
Length: 119 pages



By the time Galen Olaf-kin woke up and smelled the spiced ale, it was too late, and he never finished the wicked deed for which he stood trial. Banished from his home, he flees to the forest, taking nothing but the unwanted infant he's rescued. Perhaps the legends are true and the forest lord will take them both in. The lord is said to give sanctuary to outcasts, but none of the stories mention the naughty, tempting things he whispers, or that he shares Galen's forbidden passions.

Lord Erik rolls his eyes at the prophecy that says when human hands deliver a babe to the forest, he’ll meet the mate destined to reunite forest folk with humankind. What interest has he in a child? The handsome human who brings the babe is another matter entirely, and a little thing like destiny won't stand in Erik's way of claiming the golden-haired Galen as his own. Or will it?

Sometimes prophecies are overrated, legends incomplete, and heroes not always the sharpest swords in the scabbard.

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I've learned to read Eden Winters' stories with a box of tissues nearby, because either I'm going to cry or snort my drink. When I read Galen and the Forest Lord, I should have put my ice tea down.

This story takes a very tongue-in-cheek look at the standard were-wolf tropes, making them fresh and funny. Just disclosing the forest-folk's wolfhood and playing with Galen's disbelief and fear was good for a LOL. The unwanted infant he's carrying is Galen's ticket in, and the source of considerable comedy.


The story does start more seriously, with some very important issues being decided, such as dispensing Galen's patrimony and punishing a young woman suspected of breaking the mores of this medieval feeling society. With just the discussion over whether Esja could have really done what she's accused of, the author signals that this isn't going to take the grim path. Everything after that is a comedy of errors.

Lord Erik isn't a shrewd leader though he can be guided into the paths of shrewdness if it's done delicately, as Jarl and Eydis manage to do – he's young and randy, befitting his rather earthy subjects. (The banquet scene is a good place not to be holding liquids.) Galen's a fish out of water, fully convinced he's going to be eaten for dinner, but he manages to adjust his sense of right and wrong to encompass ways different than he's grown up with. The two of them are cute together, each trying to understand the other's incomprehensible ways. Between them, they manage to make a hash of things, right an old wrong or two, and find what each of them has wanted all their lives.

The medievalness isn't strict, but the twisted modern sayings are funny because they aren't overdone. (Is that a tuber in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?) The dialect is a little overwhelming in places, but remains understandable.

If you like your werewolves tall, dark, and brooding, this isn't a good story for you, but if you like a story that refuses to take itself too seriously and resolves in a charming HEA, Galen and the Forest Lord will entertain you. 4.5 marbles

2 comments:

  1. I just read this one and thought it was so cute. Perfect when you are in the mood for something light and not angsty. Sometimes I was shaking my head at those two boys, smart, but not that quick. :-)

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  2. "Not the sharpest sword in the scabbard" kind of sets the whole thing up for you. Just fun.

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