Review: Taming the Forest King

Taming the Forest KingClaudia J. Edwards, Taming the Forest King

This fantasy/romance hybrid is narrated by Tevra, a colonel in the king’s light cavalry who is leading a small contingent of soldiers into the northern provinces to investigate some rumors of wrongdoing. A woman in a man’s world, Tevra has fought her whole life to gain respect in her chosen profession, and she rigidly obeys the military’s strict code of honor in order to protect the good reputation she’s earned. But when she reaches the northern Forest, she will be tested in ways she never thought possible. A corrupt ruler has impoversihed the entire region, and supernatural threats menace the area as well. But the greatest danger may be from Tevra’s own heart, as she finds herself strongly attracted to Dard, a young man hailed by the local lords as the Forest King. Can Tevra start a romantic relationship that will lead to gossip and scandal while still maintaining her honor?

This book is a little bit dated and cheesy (originally published in 1986), but I have to admit that I really enjoyed it overall! The title is a bit of a misnomer; although the Forest King has a significant role in the book, I think it’s quite inaccurate to say that anyone attempts to “tame” him. But the book is much more romance-y than I expected. I was anticipating a fantasy novel with some romantic elements, but it’s actually more of a romance novel with a few fantasy trappings. The central focus of the book is Tevra’s love life, and there are two suitors in the picture. Of course, Tevra doesn’t realize that either man is in love with her — which is a trope that normally bugs me a lot, but here it didn’t bother me because I was simply enjoying the book so much! Aside from the aforementioned love-related blindness, I really liked Tevra; she’s a unique character in that she’s almost entirely driven by a strict devotion to duty. She’s also badass without being obnoxious about it, a rare feat among fantasy heroines these days. Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, romantic read.

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