The Untold Tale (The Accidental Turn Series, Book 1) by J M Frey

“Bootknife has flayed her very prettily. Artistic tendrils of bloody ivy are torn into the vellum of the young woman’s flesh.”

This was going to be a nice ‘other world’ tale full of interesting characters and amazing creature. With a twist somewhere to entice and intrigue me.

It actually wasn’t far off what I expected and I was enjoying the read. It follows the sedate and comfortable life of Forsyth Turn who is a lording in a small part of the country under a benevolent King. He enjoys taking care of his estate and the population in his care.

Then a young woman is brought to him, one who has been rescued and is in a ‘bad way’. He ensures that his healer takes care of her and takes the young woman into his home. As she heals Forsyth gets to know Lucy and finds that he likes having female company around in the Hall, and begins to think that it would be good to hear female laughter echoing through the rooms again. The populace start to talk of a betrothal, to his embarrassment!

There is a section almost halfway through the book that I found so off-putting that I nearly put the book to one side and didn’t finish it. So for that I was only going to give the book one star. However, I overcame my distaste for the unnecessary and overly explicit descriptions and managed to continue reading.

I was trepidatious about whether further scenes may be introduced but thankfully all further such scenes were tempered and I was content to read on and finish the book.

On the matter of ‘the end’, it seemed that I had reached it and then, really nicely it continued on, in a different vein. A nice pleasant twist at the end too. So, taking into account the bit in the middle, I am happy to award this book the star rating below.

I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. NetGalley does not allow for paid reviews.

3/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
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.

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