17th century Perigord is a county of sun-drenched villages and dark forests, languid rivers and moonlit lakes. It is a corner of France teeming with spirits, dryads and nymphs, and like everywhere else, witches are burned at the stake.
Born with the second sight, young fisherman Jehan wants nothing but to keep his head down, work hard, and stay out of trouble. Which works well enough until a suspicious string of bad luck befalls the village smith and his wife. Their adoptive son Giraud is everybody’s dashing darling, who behind his sooty smile and swashbuckling manners has buried a painful connection to the supernatural himself. Fearing that some evil is afoot, Giraud turns to the only other man in town who knows about the hidden world around them - Jehan.
Before long, they are embroiled in a quest involving brigands, witches and noble fey, while their friendship and attraction gradually shifts into something deeper. If they manage to survive ancient feuds and everyday prejudice, they might even have a chance to forge a Happily Ever After all of their own...
From Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll & Osiris Brackhaus, ‘The Blacksmith Prince’ is an old-fashioned, swoon-worthy historical fantasy romance about tender love in a time when history and fairy-tales were one and the same.
A fairy tale kind of story with a light romance. I was happy that the story picked up in the second half and I started to enjoy this more than the first half. So 3 stars it is.
This story is set in the magical country of 17th century France, where magic is feared and witches are burned, but where the Fae and other magical creatures rule the forest.
Jehan is a young fisherman with the ability to do magic. But while his grandmother is telling him to develop these abilities and take over for her when she’s gone, Jehan wants nothing to do with it.
Not everyone is fooled by Jehan and his denial about everything magic, since Giraud, the blacksmith’s son, comes to Jehan for help. Giraud knows Jehan can see all magical creatures, because Giraud can see them too.
Giraud asks Jehan to help him because he feels his parents have been cursed. When Jehan visits Giraud’s parents, he sees it is a very complicated curse and agrees to help Giraud.
And that’s how both of them leave the small village to go on a magical quest, looking for a way to help Giraud’s parents. They encounter all kinds of magical creatures during their journey, as well as some dangerous Fae. And while they are both trying to survive, they are also slowly falling in love…
While this is definitely a colorful book with its descriptions of this beautiful country, one thing bothered me and kept me from truly enjoying this book. I felt as if Jehan had no personality. This story focusses mostly on everything these guys do or see, but not on inner thoughts. Jehan didn’t think about anything it seemed. Yes, he had the occasional thought about Giraud, but that was it. I couldn’t have said if Jehan was bold, shy, easily angered, or what he liked to do when he was not off rescuing people. I don’t like books with too much inner musings, but I would have loved to read about Jehan’s feelings every once in a while. Even Giraud had a personality, while we never even got his POV.
As for the romance, there wasn’t a lot of that. These guys acknowledge their attraction at the beginning of this book and become friends. But readers will just have to do with some kisses. It’s not that this story is entirely unromantic, because there is talk about true love, and I really liked those parts, but I can’t say there really was a lot of relationship development (don't worry, there is a nice HEA and they do end up together).
The second half was a bit more action-packed and definitely more interesting. I loved how badass Jehan got at one point, so that’s what kept my entertained.
I think this book will appeal to people who like fairy tales and magical stories, but don’t really need a lot of romance or sexy times.
While I liked the second half more and ended up enjoying this magical journey, I was missing some real character and relationship development. The ending was nice though.
An ARC of The Blacksmith Prince was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
If you're in the mood for something fun and exciting, and at the same time sort of sweet and innocent because of its fairy tale feel, even when it gets more Grimm brothers than Disney, then this is the right book for you. The MCs are so loveable, and both their magical quest and their romance so engaging! Super extra bonus points for the great lore and awesome secondary characters, especially the female ones.
This is a feel-good fairy tale that'll have you smiling and sighing. It's gorgeous, and the sense of place (Southern France) is described by somebody who was there. This is a short summer break away to the french countryside - balm for the soul.
Ah, a good old-fashioned fairy tale, set in a world that resembles the Perigord of the 17th century, yet contains some distinctly alternate-reality elements as well. The setting in a dreamy region of France is wonderfully described and pulled me into a world full of charm, traditional values, and hidden dangers from the first page. The supernatural makes a quick entrance, since both main characters have links to a reality their compatriots fervently refuse to acknowledge. If either Jehan, born with the second sight, or Giraud, the village blacksmith’s adoptive son with a similar connection, are caught, they will be burned at the stake. Not to mention they are attracted to each other instead of to the young women in their village. How’s that for an immediate raising of the stakes?
Jehan is a fisherman, and even though his ancestors have all been witches with all sorts of talents, he wants nothing to do with any of it. Yes, he enjoys communicating with all kinds of supernatural beings that nobody else can see, but he knows that nobody can ever find out or he will die a gruesome death. As if that weren’t enough, he is attracted to men, a second reason for the death penalty in those days. Jehan is trying to be unobtrusive, to live a quiet life, but - lucky for me who loves a good fairy tale with a few fantasy elements woven in – this is not meant to be. Bad luck, curses, and some sort of dark threat that even Jehan’s grandmother thinks is very, very serious force Jehan into action.
Giraud may be the adopted son of the village’s blacksmith and everyone’s darling, but he has more than one dark secret as well. His and Jehan’s adventures begin with what they expect to be a short, if slightly dangerous trip, but it soon becomes apparent that lifting the curse is going to be far more difficult than Jehan thought. The quest expands, as does the danger, and one revelation and twist chases the other as Jehan and Giraud discover secrets and truths they never could have imagined.
Woven into the physical journey they take and the physical dangers they overcome, is a hesitant slow-burn romance that has both young men realizing they want to be together. The enemies are plentiful, the obstacles many, and it doesn’t seem possible for them to get what their hearts desire, no matter how much they (and I) want it. All I can say is: expect the unexpected. I take my hat off to the author for coming up with a truly magical solution for creating a happy ever after that is no less than marvelous.
If you like heroic tales of bravery and courage, if you want to see two young men battle for their lives and love in equal measure, and if you’re looking for an entertaining read that is as adventurous and occasionally funny as it is suspenseful and emotionally touching, then you will probably like this imaginative novel as much as I do. I recommend it to anyone in search of a creative fairy tale with all the proverbial trimmings.
I bought the paperback at the Euro Pride Con 2017 in Berlin. Let's start with the cover - it's the most fitting cover I've seen in a while ....and soooo lovely and pretty and I want to pet it :D Seriously though, the cover fits the book. The cover artist very clearly has read the story.
Now - the book - ah, the book. It is described as historical fantasy romance - and while this is not untrue - it's a bit insufficient. It's a fairy tale, it's a journey to another time.
Jehan and Giraud are unusual heroes in their story, serious and tentative, open and bold, and on the first glimpse they don't seem to fit but soon enough it's becoming clear that both are a lot more than they seem to be. The story itself is in huge parts an imaginative fairy tale, there are curses, magical creatures, powers to be and powers to gain and it's entertaining and captivating. If there is a fault in the book, it might be that the slowly growing romance between Jehan and Giraud could have gotten a bit more space on the pages but on the other hand, it's there all the time, in their smiles, in the way they interact and turn to each other. For lovers of slow burn and those who are tired of sex all the - even inappropriate - time, this book doesn't do that. This book concentrates on the story, on the magic. And that made it magical for me. I've read it in one day and enjoyed it a lot. From time to time you stumble over a jewel that doesn't fit the mould and this is one of them.
The Blacksmith Prince is a genuine fairytale in the tradition of a Hauff, La Motte Fouque or even Tolkien, quirky and imaginative and laceed with a healthy dose of fine, subtle humor. It has just about anything you'd wish for: a damsel in distress and a knight in shining armor (who switch roles now and then)going on a quest together, curses that need lifting and spells which need to be fueled with blood and passion, supernatural beings, witchcraft and sorcery and, on top of all this, not only one, but two love stories. The whole of it combines traditional elements with a more modern narrative in a way that I can only call masterful storytelling.
And what's more, this author duo has really mastered the art of painting pictures with words. I felt like I was really there with Jehan and Giraud during those long ago summer days in circa 17th century Perigord, in a time when "wishing still helped" as the saying goes, when twists of fate could still be begged, bartered for or bought from the forces of nature. It's a world where magic and mystery are still close to the surface, where ancient, secretive beings dwell in rivers, lakes and trees, where those who take the time and pay attention can call upon the forces of nature at will. In short, this is a beautiful story and a very delightful way to spend a few hours of escaping reality. Highly recommended.
This cover. Can we take just a moment to give Anna Sikorska some appreciation for her artwork? This is the second of her more recent covers that has left me in awe, and is again one of the reasons I grabbed this book. It’s the fairy tale in visual that this novel is in word.
The Blacksmith Prince has all the stock elements of a classic fairy tale: fae creatures, witches, earth magic, a dark curse, and a hero’s journey. It is the story of Jehan, a simple fisherman and the grandson of his village’s midwife—a woman whom Jehan will not succeed, despite his talents and aptitude for magic, because he is male. But there are more than just his witchy abilities that set Jehan apart from other citizens of La Morangiasse. There’s also the fact that he’s attracted to the son of the local blacksmith, Giraud Forgeron (what better surname for a blacksmith?), which is something Jehan can’t hide from his all-knowing grand-mère, but can’t afford for it to become general knowledge, either—for those feelings are forbidden.
As with every good fairy tale, there is a quest in The Blacksmith Prince. It seems someone has placed a curse upon Giraud’s parents, a bit of dark sorcery that, if not lifted, will surely be the cause of their untimely demise. Giraud asks for Jehan’s help to not only discover who has cursed his mother and father but for help in lifting the curse too. So, sealed with a kiss, a kiss that Jehan wasn’t at all expecting, they set off in search of the identity of the fae whose magic is strong enough to bring such misery and woe down upon the house of Forgeron, as well as what prompted that wrath.
I loved the fairy tale elements in this novel. In fact, there was a fairy tale within a fairy tale aspect to it that made it even more enjoyable. The authors have created a beautiful setting and show a deft hand at invoking imagery through their descriptions—especially in nature and the elemental magics, as well as in the fae elements that encompass so much of the story’s charm and intrigue. There is a skin-walker scene that was a fantastical addition to Jehan’s many talents and was revealing in that he’s much stronger a witch than perhaps even he suspected. We also learn that Giraud isn’t quite as ordinary a mortal as Jehan had believed, and some of those reveals were exceptional in their detail. Overall, the world building in the book is gorgeous and perfect.
For as pretty as this world is, however, the story is missing what, for me, is a necessary deep point of view to build an emotional link between Jehan, Giraud, and myself. I would have loved for their story to be told in the first person, from Jehan’s point of view, as it might have helped me make that imperative leap from reality, the absorbing connection to the characters I need to commit to a story, and, more specifically, to Jehan and Giraud’s romance, which is sweet and innocent enough that The Blacksmith Prince reads perfectly well as Teen Fiction. There was never a moment where I became so lost in the story that the authors’ voice disappeared to allow Jehan and Giraud to take over, though, which made it difficult to became invested in their budding relationship. But, that in itself is characteristic of the fairy tale--it's about the journey, not the destination--and so, more on me than the story itself.
The writing team of Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus deliver on the fairy tale promise of The Blacksmith Prince with a skill that sent my imagination into overdrive, picturing this magical world and the beings that inhabit it. The setting they’ve created is lush in its conception and diverse in its characters, with an innocence of romance that complements and contrasts the danger these two heroes meet on their quest. If you’re a fan of an old-fashioned fairy tale adventure, you’ll find just that in The Blacksmith Prince.
The Blacksmith Prince (Le Prince Forgeron) By Osiris and Beryll Brackhaus Published by the authors, 2019 Five stars
“It’s only a disaster while you’re living it. Afterward it becomes an adventure.”
A fairy tale, with real fairies.
I read the French edition of this, which seemed particularly apt, given that the time and place—the Perigord, 17th century—evokes the settings for such classic fairy tales with French roots as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. What’s striking about the Brackhauses’ wryly literal take on a fairy tale is that its atmosphere is carefully built to feel old, without the self-conscious artifice of a historical novel.
Jehan and Giraud are young men, living in a bustling river town in the Perigord called La Morangiasse. They are not peasants, but rather from the artisan class—Jehan being the town’s fishmonger, making his living off the river; while Giraud is the adopted son of the town’s blacksmith. Their family names are linked to the family trade. Upriver a way is the fortified town of Castelfort, where the local noble family presides, living in their medieval castle atop the cliffs that define the topography of this river valley.
Jehan in particular has grown up listening to the fairy tales of the region, knowing that there is more history hidden in those stories of magic and romance than most people understand. He knows this because he has second sight—he is able both to see and to communicate with the fae world and all its many creatures, from the forest sprites who inhabit the trees, to the noble fae who rule unseen, and who have lived in this land since the dawn of civilization.
The trouble is, 17th-century France is a Christian nation, and overt knowledge of the fae world is dangerous, even deadly. (Remember America and its witch-burnings in the 1690s.) The last sorcerer was burned at the stake a century ago. Well, the last known sorcerer. So Jehan tries to minimize his interactions with the magic of the natural world, and has resisted his grandmother’s attempts to educate him in the gifts that are his by tradition and birth. His grandmother is the local midwife—but she is much more, being a healer and having skills with herbs and other things linked to the magic of the land. Jehan only wants to keep his head down and avoid trouble, to live a peaceful life in his little cabin, set on a little hill between a small lake and the life-giving river.
Giraud, outgoing and beautiful, is Jehan’s unrequited crush—because that’s something else that could get him into serious trouble in his world. Although he is his father’s assistant at the forge, Giraud seems to want adventure, and is as outgoing and social as Jehan is quiet and retiring. For all his admiration of the dark-haired Giraud, Jehan avoids him, because he knows trouble when he sees it.
Until, one day, Giraud comes to Jehan with a confession and a request. He, too, has second sight, and can see the magical creatures that Jehan sees and speaks to. He also needs Jehan’s help in a life-or-death problem that affects those he loves most. Against his better judgment, because he is a caring and generous-hearted person, Jehan agrees to help the man he secretly desires. The result is both comical and terrifying, as these young men set out to face the unknown in the name of love.
Jehan is gentle and considerate, and his interactions with the fae world are beautifully depicted. Giraud is dashing and moved to action, making him both heroic and frustrating. The language, the landscape, and the two strikingly different—yet somehow complimentary—personalities of the young men, all combine to create a story that is exciting, romantic, and imbued with with a moral complexity that is far more nuanced than in any of the fairy tales we knew as children. The fact that the entire adventure takes place within a radius of ten miles over the course of a few days makes it no less epic.
Brawn and brain, head and heart, body and soul: together Jehan and Giraud have to solve a problem as ancient as the crumbling ruins of Beronsac Castle on the clifftop outside of town. In doing so, they will either find each other, or lose everything in the attempt.
17th century Perigord, France. La Morangiasse market place. Jehan le Pêcheur (fisherman) was closing up his stall for the day. The other apprentices & journeymen from all the other shops were glad the work day was over. Giraud (adoptive son) wanted him to go swimming it was so hot out. It was Marianne’s (niece) birthday so Jehan had to stop by there. Jehan had brought Madame Cassanoë a goat’s horn. She gave him the current gossip of Maître Segui (smith), & Marette (Segui’s wife) who live up the hill from her.
Castelfort (town). Jehan & Giraud were doing quite a lot of traveling/site-seeing & meeting new PPL. Sanglier Ivre garden. Maître Jehan & Giraud (bastard son) couldn’t believe their eyes, before them was Lord Silvanus (Prince of Castelfort). Unknown to most, he was Giraud’s father. Giraud ask for a favor but it could not be granted. Right after, Marton (brigand), & Gis go into a fight with Giraud & Jehan. Pons was making false accusations about Giraud & Jehan to the Captain. Giraud & Jehan went swimming with Limnada (mermaid). What did Jehan reveal to her? What does the future hold for Giraud & Jehan?
Warning: This book contains extremely graphic adult content, violence, or expletive language &/or uncensored sexually explicit material which is only suitable for mature readers. It may be offensive or have potential adverse psychological effects on the reader.
I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one. All thoughts & opinions are entirely my own.
A very awesome book cover, & great font/writing style. A very well written historical fiction romance book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great 17th century romance movie, or better yet a mini TV series. Wasn’t as exciting as I was hoping but I’ll still rate it at 5 stars.
Thank you for the free Goodreads; Making Connections; Making Connections discussion group talk; Author; PDF book Tony Parsons (Washburn)
I am not sure how to rate this book. While I enjoyed the adventures, I couldn't connect with the main characters. And some of the secondary characters seemed nothing but a prop, like Jehan's grandmother. All she did was some nagging in the beginning, being sick and silent in the middle and being dead and happy in the very end. There is no adequate impact on the story for the pages spent on her, unfortunately.
There was so much thrown in together: the non-stop adventure and the pending doom of a curse, powerful creatures bent on destroying our MC's, Jehan's and Giraud's sudden coming out of a wizards' closet ....my head spun. I would have loved to see more slow, tender moments between the two men, other than preparation of one meal or another. BTW, they constantly eat in this book - what's up with that? O.o Anyway, I would have loved to know what was going in MC's heads, both of them. Alas, I was mostly denied that pleasure.
Another thing - why France? Could have easily been anywhere. A few French sounding names do not France make.
For the adventure and the world of magic - 4.5 stars. For the romance and deh feels - 2 stars. Final score - 3.25
I started reading after 1 clicking after I accidentally found the author through The Pet and His Duke. This is quite another kind of story but I don't mind that difference at all in the least. I like variety. The other book had quite a lot of hot content in a sci-fantasy type framework which I do love whereas this one didn't concentrate on that and is set in historical framework and is fae fantasy. Didn't mind that in the least; it fit this story and showcased how the author can do both ways so well. This choice fit here very well. The story is a fine mix of romance, adventure, magic and relationships and love conquering all.
Historical, fantasy, fae fantasy, romance, MM all twined together. In my opinion fits very well for romantic readers who enjoy stuff outside the contemporary. It kept me spellbound and one of those enjoyed at one sitting. 100% to my taste. I've nothing negative on quality. I already grabbed a third book by them. REC
Jehan is a pleasant enough character. Mild and mannerly, he’s almost a Mary Sue, but manages to avoid the obvious pitfalls of perfection. He comes across as fairly mature, though he’s only a few years older than Giraud, and has spent much of his life trying to avoid his own sorcerous powers. Because Giraud needs him, and his powers, he’s trying to push himself to do what he can.
Giraud is more or less perfect, which — owing to his heritage — makes perfect sense. His charm, his charisma, his ease and grace all come from who he is. It makes him a little boring, but he has moments of honest obnoxiousness that make up for that perfection. His slow growing relationship with Jehan feels natural, flowing with the story and the characters. It never feels forced or fake, and while there’s honest instant attraction, it takes time for both of them before it grows into love. And when it does, it’s believable and sweet.
Because much of the story is teased out during their conversations and interactions — and because I don’t want to give any of the plot twists away — I’ll keep it at that. Two boys on a journey, with Jehan growing in power and confidence as a sorcerer, and Giraud leaning about his own powers and abilities, and what it means to him to use them.
Rating (All ratings use a Scale of 1-5) = Very solid 4 stars; this has the feel of a true fairy tale and is less about modern romance
Blurb = 4 My Genre Scale = 4 Odds if not your genre = If you love fairy tales then it would be worth a try.
Development of: = *World = 4.5 - very descriptive (even those without a lot of imagination should be able to picture the scenes) *Characters = 3; despite being in the 1st pov, I still got the distinct feel of "being on the outside looking in". It felt more like Jehan acknowledged his mistakes, but I was left feeling there was minimal actual growth as a character. Giraud was more than one dimensional but has even less growth. He stays the same throughout. As a couple they are just getting started when the story ends. *Plot = 4
What stood out = The actual feel of a fairy tale
Mood Type : Appeal to those looking for... (and /or those who should avoid) Coming of age fairy tale, supportive m/c"s, on a quest to solve a curse. Avoid if looking for fast paced adventures, romance before the end, and /or sex.
Warnings = Not a typical romance. Just kissing "on page" and very little of that, but it is to be expected based on the time period in which it was set.
HFN/HEA = Yes, and a clever one at that.
Series Notes = N/A *Reading on? N/A *Reading back to back? N/A *Can be easily read without the previous? N/A
Rating Notes = (SubPlots, thoughts, etc... ) Descriptive and clever are the two words that come to mind when reflecting on this story. The pacing is steady; thus it is not fast paced. There were lulls, but I was never bored or thrown out of the story. The m/c's have 'adventures"that are at times dangerous but not particularly harrowing. It was a sweet adventure where a young magic user is forced into some "growing up" to help out the boy on which he is crushing.
*************** I am way off my usual rate of reading over the last 11+ years. Real life has hit hard this year. Most recently with the death of my mother, and I had just been getting back into the swing of things. More upheaval appears to be on the horizon, but it has as much potential to be good as bad. I have no idea what that means for the rate of my reading and reviewing, but we will see... *************** Below is my philosophy on reviewing! *************** 1. I try to take into account and note common pet peeves often bemoaned by others. 2. "Brain candy' does not necessarily carry a negative connotation. (What is brain candy? Publishing industry 's version of pop music - Typically: formulaic, from a prolific author published often and quickly (like monthly), things escalate fast, and are often solved easily etc..) It has its uses: to pass time when tired, on the beach, etc... The problem comes when "brain candy" is unexpected or even disguised. 3. Blurb rating purpose: Like many readers, I do not like to think I'm reading one kind of story; just to end up with another. But...I also don't think a book should be docked stars for being as stated. If I don't like stories about "_________", and I choose to read it; I shouldn't give it 2 stars based JUST on my preferences. Unless... it wasn't clear in the blurb. 4. Other Factors that effect my perspective when reviewing: Since 2009, I have exclusively read m/m. My 1st was in 2007. I am a Kindle diehard, and I never do audio for m/m. I read at least 100+ books a year - with an average length of 220± pages; but the total number of books is usually much higher. My Goodreads lifetime rating (at the start of 2021) was a 3.64 average for 1527 books. Which considering, one should be better at picking out books the more one reads, I feel is an accurate average. I have over 795 reviews within the m/m genre here on Goodreads.
Welcome to the land of Perigord, France, where the air smells sweet and hidden in every crack and crevice is a magical creature of some sort. Nymphs, witches, fae and more roam among the humans, yet remain unseen by human eyes. It's a magical journey of loss and betrayal but of hope and love and the renewal of all things lost.
Jehan, to most, is an oddly quirky but sweet fisherman. He just wants to live his life quietly and in peace. But Jehan has a gift that is special to him. He can see magical creatures like fae. He mostly tries to ignore being a witch, unless it's to talk to his special creatures. Despite his grandmother trying to teach him. He knows she's not long for this Earth but just can't seem to get into all that his grandmother is trying to pass down to him. Mostly because he's not a girl. And her profession could cause him problems with him being male. But a matter comes to his attention from a man he can't keep his eyes off of, Giraud. He needs Jehan’s help to figure out who and why his adoptive parents have been cursed. And of course Jehan can not refuse. In search of answers, Jehan learns he cannot ignore his gift of being a witch. As he digs for the truth, he also finds out secrets which Giraud has been hiding. And those secrets are causing nothing but trouble. But Jehan made a promise to get to the bottom of things and they begin the journey into solving the puzzle and getting rid of this curse.
I love the characters in this book. Even when they are haughty, selfish and just downright hateful, they are written with such passion and detail. Jehan is probably my favorite though. All he wants in this life is just peace and quiet. How many can relate to that? Lol. He loves his little world with his grandmother and magical creatures but really doesn't feel the urge to take over her business of 'looking out for’ the village. Being a guy tends to make some things rather uncomfortable. But what makes it humorous is as much as he fights it, he is such a nurturing and caring person. He wants to help and to make things better. Even if helping Giraud is for selfish reasons. He is amazing in how he cares for the fae and magical creatures as well. He is so in tune to the world around him. It makes him such an in depth character. He's slow to anger, patient and kind. And you can't help but just want to be around him. You want to spend time with him and see what makes him tick. And knowing that he's about to enter into a world of trouble with Giraud and solving this curse, he still does it. Knowing he needs to help. (Plus he's hoping for more kisses). Giraud has secrets, and when Jehan figures out what his secrets are and how they relate to this curse, he's not very happy. He knows that the secrets are going to cause more trouble and he's right. It leads to loads of anger, betrayal, and lots of hurt feelings. But being on this journey has also brought him closer to Giraud and hopefully a future of them together.
I really enjoyed the way this book was written. I love reading about magical creatures and enjoying the fantasy that it is. And the tale this book takes you on is full of intrigue. It's also comical in some spots. Imagine seeing a whole world of fae and dryads and all sorts of other creatures that no other human can see. And then talking to them in plain sight. Lol. People think you're nuts. But even still, being able to talk to creatures and feel the magic all around would put me in awe. And in this book, you get that. You get to immerse yourself in this world and just enjoy the ride.
It was a very fun, sweet, light ride — although Jehan and Giraud are very much in a time when two men are not allowed to be in love (I assume), they don’t have a lot of angst about who they’re attracted to, and they do have quite a nice ending. I liked how it all worked out, and Giraud and Jehan’s adventures were fun.
So, Giraud basically tricked Jehan into helping him. He told Jehan the truth — his parents (or adoptive parents) were cursed, but he knew, or had more of an idea, who cursed him and why, and he withheld this information. I think it’s interesting — that’s the fae side of him coming out, it feels. He never lied, he just very cannily omitted key pieces of information and by the time Jehan found out, he had already committed to the affair.
But, I did also like how Jehan found out and all the people (and beings) Jehan met with and interacted along the way: his grandmother, the witch Raelle, and lots of other fae beings. Jehan bargained or asked for a lot of the information, learning a lot about himself and his powers in the process. And neither of them were wholly generic: I could expect how Giraud or Jehan would react in each situation, and their reactions were different. (Giraud was way more hotheaded and prone to outbursts.)
I liked how the two of them were able to bring about a conclusion. It didn’t need war or battles — just some impromptu couples’ counselling for two century-old fae whose love for each other was undiminished but whose separation had created great wounds precisely because of their regard for each other. The betrayal cut too deep, bro.
Also, it was really to imagine what Giraud’s ‘fairy prince’ persona looked like — his antlers, flowers in his hair. It had some very nice visuals. Ooh, and I loved the scene where they became wolves, the whole ritual they went through, the rabbit fleeing, and then the realization that oh, wait . . . they aren’t really human anymore are they?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Cela a été une lecture très agréable ! Certains pourraient qualifier cette histoire de cucul la praline ou de trop rose, mais c’est ce que sont censés être les contes, n’est-ce pas ? Un concentré de bonheur, de choses mignonnes ou à la fin, malgré les obstacles, ils vécurent heureux pour toujours ? J’ai beaucoup apprécié le développement de la relation entre Giraud et Jehan, au point ou l’intrigue n’était pas mon premier souci. L’histoire était bonne et les auteurs sont parvenus à me surprendre alors que je pensais que l’histoire serait quelque peu prévisible. Elle l’est, concernant Giraud et Jehan, mais pour le reste, gare à la surprise !
Un roman assez court que je conseille. Très divertissant et qui vous arrachera beaucoup de sourires.
What I Think: This tale is my introduction to this pair of authors who wove this sweet, fantasy romance that brings to mind the fairytales I loved as a kid. Pure and true love mixed with adventure. A young couple that found the courage to re-write their fairytale. Filled with elves and nobility, sadness, heartbreak and a vivid example of how love can really last forever. How it can give you faith and strength and hope. It’s a reminder that it is never how long it takes you to come to full self-awareness that counts but what you do about it after you do. Jehan le Pêcheur is a simple man who wants nothing more than to coast on the fringes of humanity so as not to draw more eyes than necessary to his way of seeing things no one else can see. Due to his fear of how the villagers will react to his sexuality on top of his otherness, he chooses to ignore his sexuality, preferring to remain single if necessary. Until trouble comes knocking on his door in the form of the most beautiful boy in town. With charm and a kiss, Jehan begins a journey that will change him forever. He will learn his own courage, just as he learns his own desires. He will solve the biggest love spat ever while claiming some love of his own. In the end, Jehan will firmly grasp his abilities even as he grasps his love. Verdict? Pure fairytale, sweet and pure. You don’t realise how interesting this tale is until you’re reading at 1am and can’t bring yourself to stop!
I’ve really loved all of the books that’s I have read by this author duo, and this one was exceptional as well. It felt like opening a book of fairy tales and kind of falling into this story. Once the story was experienced, you kind of just faded back to reality with a smile on your face.
Charming and delightful. Considering the reputation of the fae, it was nice that this was kept as sweet as it was. It hit just the right notes, having some steam, but not getting too into it. Like a good fairy tale. Tease only. Then HEA.
Yes, please. I think I’ve never read anything by these authors before, so I had no expectations when I picked up the book. As I started reading the story, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it all. The book was fun, magical and intriguing and I couldn’t put it down. I fell in love with the characters and got pulled into their slow-burn love story and their magical adventure. Oh, and I loved the humour, too. I’m really glad I found this book.
I can't believe I've been reading this since May. It's January.
This book was *really* hard for me to push through. It wasn't actually bad, it was just very slow paced for me (despite taking place over just days). It didn't really have much of a hook and even the interesting concepts of rural French folk magic and romance and fairytale vibes just... Landed extremely flat for me. It was like you took that and gave it the appeal of a math problem that was able to be solved with just some herbs and favours from forest spirits and stuff.
I almost wonder if it would have been better with rotating perspectives? Maybe more tension and comic relief? A lot less errands, or at least give those errands the threat of not being able to reach completion. More stakes maybe? I really don't know why it is this just came off so dryly to me.
I have to preface this one with a warning that I've known the Authors of this one for over half my life. They are dear friends, and as such I can't guarantee this review isn't slightly bias... ..... That said this book is everything I love about a fantasy adventure. The attention to the detail in the world around our MCs is likely to be over the top if you are not into high fantasy. The pace wasn't runaway, it took time with the process and the characters. Whilst there is definitely room for more, it focused on one dilemma to it's conclusion rather then promising another 50 books before resolving the initial issue. It felt like it was true to the place and time rather then an out of place hero/damsel with crazy progressive sexual ideas. The slow burn of the relationship was perfect. I guess the lack of a 'money shot' sexual encounter would be my only gripe, but it would have felt out of place to the rest of the pacing and story setup. Probably couldn't recommend it if you steer clear of high fantasy or rich fae stories, because this was more about the place and time then the romance, but certainly worth your time if you like that.
I didn't love this book but I didn't hate it either so I gave it 3 stars. It's a light romance. I liked the plot of the story, but it was kind of boring at points. I am very picky about my fantasy books and what I expect from them, and going into this, it sounded really interesting but it just didn't do it for me. I liked it, I just wouldn't read it again. If you like historical fantasy this is perfect for you. If you like high fantasy not related to our world, then I would pass on it.
3.5 stars. Not the best book I've ever read and I doubt I would read it again, but it's worth checking out if you think it sounds interesting. It was sweet and I really loved all of the magical elements, and the way the authors wrote the Fae. The romance lacked a little something for me and that made the book not as satisfying as it could have been. But I enjoyed it well enough overall.
The only thing I had an actual problem with was the quite frequent way it was casually ableist.