Title: Galen and the Forest Lord
Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Torquere Press
Characters: Galen Olaf-Kin, Lord Erik (The Forest Lord)
POV: 3rd Person
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.
Eden Winters has made the leap into the fantasy pool and come up swimmingly with Galen and the Forest Lord, a fun, witty, and enchanting fairy tale of an orphaned young man from a mythical village whose life takes a fantastic turn when betrayal causes him to be banished to a mysterious forest, a dark and dangerous forest, from which those who enter never return.
Galen Olaf-Kin knows that his attraction to the blacksmith’s son is dangerous. He knows that no one can ever know he doesn’t desire to take a wife. To do so would mean public humiliation and certain death if his true nature were to be revealed. What Galen doesn’t know is that there is a nefarious plot brewing to entrap him with the very man he craves, a plot that will ensure all of Galen’s worst fears will come to fruition and he’ll be thrown to the wolves.
The village witch, Kitta, has been the only mother Galen has ever known, in spite of him being raised by his aunt and uncle. For years, Kitta has spun the tales of the Forest Lord and knows that one day Galen will be forced to make the journey to find him. Galen’s best friend, Esja, has taken in an unwanted half-breed infant, and it is the babe that will be the catalyst for Galen’s quest, earning him safe passage to the lands of the Forest Lord; a journey that, for Lord Erik, will fulfill an age-old prophecy and secure him a mate.
Galen accepts the call to duty. Or rather, he’s given little choice but to accept, but he performs admirably in the face of the unknown, reaching his destination, crossing the threshold into another realm, and falling into a bizarre new world, a world where his place in the grand scheme of things will change abruptly with one passionate encounter with the Forest Lord. It is that encounter that sends Galen into a tailspin, refusing to accept his place in this new life, a refusal that introduces a new set of challenges for Lord Erik.
As Galen becomes privy to more details of the ways of life at the Forest Lord’s castle, he becomes ever more confused by how he ought to feel and where his place truly is. He needs Kitta’s wisdom, and though the return trip to his village is ill advised, Galen makes the journey anyway, suffering the consequences of that decision immediately upon his return. It is a significant call to action for both Galen and Lord Erik, one that will shape the future and make Lord Erik the master of the two worlds.
Galen and the Forest Lord is a departure for Eden Winters, whose stories are always perfectly angsty, sometimes heartbreaking, always touching. This sweet and funny fantasy will introduce readers to a new side of Eden’s talent. The story is a fast paced, single sitting read that introduces a hero in Lord Erik, who is anything but your run-of-the mill alpha male. He’s charming, handsome, perhaps not the sharpest nail in the box, and a little bit clumsy at times, but entirely appealing, no matter what he says or does.
This was such a fun and entertaining story I can only say I hope Eden will stray this way again from time to time.
Reviewed By: Lisa