Hello and welcome to my tour stop for THE UNTOLD TALE by J.M. Frey! I am happy to be hosting a review today so you can hear my thoughts on the book. Let's find out some more, shall we...
THE UNTOLD TALEAuthor: J.M Frey
Publisher: Reuts Publications
Publication Date: December 8th 2015
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.
I really enjoyed this one. I thought there were a lot of good points in it, especially about the lack of female characters in fantasy novels and how those female characters are handled in fantasy novels. But I would say at some points it became too ~preachy~ about it. It is one thing to educate your audience through the course of action but quite another to literally put the dialogue in there about the good, bad, and ugly of fantasy novels.
I just, this was SO GOOD. There was all these elements of fantasy that were cliche but done so perfectly that I enjoyed every second of it, but I wanted it to end before it did. I loved the way that everything developed, how the characters so obviously changed throughout the story, and the character development throughout. The world building was so good and perfectly fit into what I was imagining for the story. I thought the PTSD, the torture, the rape (and the dub-con) were all handled SO WELL in this. I literally have no complaints about how the story unfolded.
I was just super disappointed by the last couple of chapters there and I know I shouldn't make my opinion about a book based on one point but those last chapters gave me closure I didn't want, or frankly even need. I could have determined for myself what would happen at the end there rather than it being spelled out for me. And sometimes it is good to be able to paint the picture yourself rather than have someone else do it for you.
Toronto-based J.M Frey (pronounced “fry”) is a science fiction and fantasy author, as well as a fanthropologist and pop culture scholar who appears in podcasts, documentaries, and on television to discuss all things geeky through the lens of academia. Her debut novel TRIPTYCH has been nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, won the San Francisco Book Festival award for SF/F, was nominated for a 2011 CBC Bookie, was named one of The Advocate’s Best Overlooked Books of 2011, and garnered both a starred review and a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.