4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Kinard tries something a bit different,
This review is from: The Forest Lord (Mass Market Paperback)
Kinard combines fantasy romance with a little Regency style, and has produced a story about Hern, the Forest Lord, one of the Fane who, in order to return home, must produce a human-fairy offspring with a human woman. Eden Fleming is the woman he chooses, as her father has broken the generations-long trust between the Forest Lord and the Fleming family. He blackmails Eden’s father, and poses as a human to seduce her. At the almost last moment, Eden discovers the deception. She rejects ‘Cornelius’ and flees to a new life in London. Six years later, Eden is back at her hereditary home, Hartsmere. Her husband has recently died leaving her in reasonably dire straits. She and her aunt, each with their own agendas, set up house and Eden starts trying to set her house in order. Meanwhile the Forest Lord has been asleep for 6 years, thoroughly disgusted with the Flemings and humankind in general. He is woken and told Eden is back, whereupon he determines to make her pay for his losing his chance at returning home, and meets her as ‘Hartley’ – a man of the ‘servant’ class who seemingly shows Eden nothing but contempt. But even the supernatural cannot escape from their fate, and it would seem he and Eden have more between them than bad feeling – not the least being a six year old boy. The half human son who is his way home…
This is a well constructed and well written story, and I liked the use of the natural world reflecting how things are between Hartley and Eden. However, neither of the central characters were particularly attractive to me – Eden with her short sightedness, her complete self involvement and her always being aware of class to the nth degree. Hartley/Conelius/The Forest Lord is little better, as the Fane cannot love and the only emotions he has at first are hate, a drive to get home, and a calculated manipulation of the Flemings. I became involved in the story mainly because of Donal, their son, but I’m not sure this is enough to carry the book for me. Also, Eden’s immediate attachment is unconvincing, given what we know of her character. Ultimately it wasn’t enough for me, however the writing was strong and well thought out. If you don’t have my problem with the central characters, you’ll enjoy this blend of fantasy, and historical romance.