The Untold Taleby J.M. Frey
Forsyth Turn is not a hero. Lordling of Turn Hall and Lysse Chipping, yes. Spymaster for the king, certainly. But hero? That's his older brother's job, and Kintyre Turn is nothing if not legendary. However, when a raid on the kingdom's worst criminal results in the rescue of a bafflingly blunt woman, oddly named and even more oddly mannered, Forsyth finds his quaint, sedentary life is turned on its head.
Dragged reluctantly into a quest he never expected, and fighting villains that even his brother has never managed to best, Forsyth is forced to confront his own self-shame and the demons that come with always being second-best. And, more than that, when he finally realizes where Lucy came from and why she's here, he'll be forced to question not only his place in the world, but the very meaning of his own existence.
Smartly crafted, The Untold Tale gives agency to the unlikeliest of heroes: the silenced, the marginalized, and the overlooked. It asks what it really means to be a fan when the worlds you love don't resemble the world you live in, celebrates the power of the written word, challenges tropes, and shows us what happens when someone stands up and refuses to remain a secondary character in their own life.
- REUTS Publications
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- 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.27(d)
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Thank you to NetGalley and REUTS Publications for the chance to read The Untold Tale. This book was so much fun! I think anyone who’s a major reader of fantasy (especially epic fantasy) will enjoy The Untold Tale. It takes so many frustratingly cliche fantasy troupes and turns them on their head. This is the kind of book that have felt really cheesy and silly, but actually ended up being so thoughtful and wonderful that I could hardly put it down. Think about your favorite childhood book. The one you read and reread too many times to count. What would happen if, all of a sudden, you found yourself pulled into that world? For some of us, that might feel like a dream come true. But for Lucy Piper, the reality is much less glamorous and exciting than she imagined. Lucy Piper, or Pip, as she’s known to friends, is such a strong and fascinating character. I loved her so much and instantly felt a huge connection with her. Although, to be honest, I ended up loving a great many of these characters. They all felt so real that it almost seemed like I’d been pulled along into the world with Lucy. The only reason I didn’t give this book a full four stars is that sometimes the pace dragged and the plot felt a bit forced at times. I also would have liked a little more closure at the end. I know there’s at least one more book in the series, so I might feel differently about the ending once I read the next book. But, honestly I enjoyed this book so much. Anyone who’s a fan of fantasy should definitely give The Untold Tale a read!
I can definitely say, I didn’t see this one coming and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! J.M. Frey’s THE UNTOLD TALE contains a surprising number of quirky turns, endearing characters and some fascinating action, all barreling toward an ending that feels like another beginning! Forsyth is not your typical hero, which he will attest to over and over, he is a scholar with a less than sexy stutter that shows up when he is on edge or out of his comfort zone in the fantasy world he lives in. Actually, that works out quite well, because the battered and beaten girl his men bring him is no damsel in distress, she is a feminist with a streak of raw steel running through her bones! Pip is nothing like any person Forsyth has ever met, from her unusual way of speaking to the mystery of where she came from. Her world is actually where Forsyth’s story was born, yep, he is part of a tale about his hero brother, Kintyre, a legend to all. But Pip needs to go home, back to her world and this is the tale of two souls on a quest who find love and attraction along the way. At first, I had a hard time deciding if this was a young adult read or more, until clearly, this is directed at a much older audience. Although much of this tale reads with a young-at-heart manner, J.M. Frey was not afraid to toss in some spice, as well as the realistic side of having sex which became quite humorous! Definitely quirky, told with a sense of adventure with endearing characters and some very contemporary twists, it is an easy read to get lost in and enjoy! Three cheers for the feminist damsel and her under-valued hero! I received this copy from J.M. Frey in exchange for my honest review.
Damn. So let me tell you about this book. No, that's no good, I'd spoil it. Let me wax philosophical about this book. It isn't what you expect. When you think you have it figured out, it isn't that, either. And all the things you expect because you've read other books? It especially isn't that. This is probably the most intelligent and lovingly critical (or critically loving) treatise on fantasy I've ever read, and yet it isn't actually a treatise at all. It's a story. No, hear me: this is a STORY. STORY. It follows the story to the real end, beyond where fantasy books usually stop. It's terrifyingly practical, and the middle bits get so dark that I said, "Damn, she can't fix this!" in the middle of our local Big and Tall store while my husband tried on swimsuits. Hear me, reader, book-lover, story-collector: Frey fixes it. The right way. The only way. When you hit that dark part (believe me, you'll know), keep reading. (You may need a break to curse in a department store, but that's excusable.) Read to the end. In fact, that quiet, gloriously non-climactic last few pages are solidly some of THE most satisfying I have ever read. They're like a sweet ocean sound after the boom and crash of a terrible storm. So, there: I did not spoil it. I wouldn't dare. Get your thinking cap on, steel your heart (it's gonna hurt), and thank the author. This Story is a hell of a ride, and I, a lifelong fantasy-lover, am deeply glad I read it.
What a great story! So well written and a unique premise, I was pulled in and didn't want to leave the world of Hain, the world of Forsyth Turn. Pip is fantastic. I can't tell you how many times I wished to be inside her head, but to see her through Forsyth's eyes was a great way to get to know her. A fantasy quest. Heroes. Villains. A great twist and an ending that left me smiling. As a teen I wanted so much to jump into the fantasy books I loved, and this book gives me my dream. More than that...it shows us that we need to be heard, but we also need to listen. That maybe our dreams can go wrong, but with understanding it is possible for everything to change. That we can live together... all of us... in peace. Thanks, J.M. Frey!
I knew from the moment I heard this book described in passing by the author’s agent that I was going to love it. I could just tell, like an instinct. And I was right. Frey’s tale is bold without being preachy, innovative while still being familiar, classic with a modern twist, and is easily among my all-time favorite reads ever. Forsyth Turn is a swoon-worthy hero, though he is admittedly not what one pictures when they think of the leading man in an epic fantasy-adventure. Insecure, flawed, and adorably awkward, he’s real. But he’s more than just the point-of-view character, he’s the lens through which Frey paints her extremely relevant, extremely important message. Through him, we meet Pip, a woman who epitomizes what it means to be a fan, and who’s been literally pulled into her favorite fictional world. And through him, we watch as all the prejudices — intentional or otherwise — of the fantasy genre (and fiction in general) are brought to light. The beauty in this book is that yes, it does challenge the tropes of the genre, and yes, it does give power to those who are too often overlooked, but it does so without sacrificing a single shred of expert storytelling at the altar of “message.” This isn’t a book with an agenda — it’s an example of what great literature should be: unabashedly inclusive and a reflection of reality. It is most definitely thought-provoking and an intelligent discourse on the state of literature, but at the end of the day, it’s the story of two people learning about themselves, facing down their personal demons, and falling in love. The Untold Tale is written in a modern first-person present tense, and yet still somehow manages to evoke the spirits of literary greats (it has an Austen-like quality to me, though the author disagrees). Raw, often dark, and powerfully real, this is the kind of book that sticks with you long after you’ve read it, and I could not recommend it more. **Disclaimer: I was the acquiring editor for this title, however all opinions stated are my own and were not influenced by bias or compensation.**