Rating: 5 STARS!
Standalone/Series: Tales from Verania #1
How I got this book: Bought
Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.
Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam's pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
When Sam is fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.
At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle. Sir Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.
Naturally, it all goes to hell through the years when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.
Or so he thinks.
Disclosure: Due to the explicit nature of this book, this review includes some mature content and is intended for readers aged 18+. You have been warned.
I’m gonna be honest, it was the prospect of the ‘gay, hornless unicorn’ that really made me click ‘buy’ when I read the synopsis, and Gary does not disappoint. He’s overflowing with glitter, sass and a serious case of potty mouth, and he’s fantastic!
I want to start by saying how disappointed in myself I am that I’d never heard of T.J. Klune, or read any of his books until stumbling across this one on BookBub, and so on that note, I want to thank BookBub (check them out for discounted and free ebooks!) for making me aware of one of the most outrageously funny books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
I really don’t know where to start with this book, I finished it last night (read: early hours this morning) and I can’t get over how AMAZING it was. I don’t even have the right words to sum up how amazing this book is, I’m still so overwhelmed by it all, so I hope this review makes some sense.
From the moment I started reading, I fell in love with Sam, his friends and his world, and I was never once bored along the way. I was fully immersed in the world of Verania and its colourful characters from the very first page.
Sam is an incredible narrator, he’s sweet, caring, loyal to a fault, sincere, good, helplessly naïve and hysterically funny. Oh, he also does some pretty cool magic!
Even amongst all the sass, I found myself tearing up in certain parts for my beautiful, sweet Sam.
I love that this book isn’t a regular historical romance. It’s an epic fantasy adventure filled with magic, wizards (both good and bad), castles, knights, giants and dragons. It has literally everything you could want from an epic fantasy whilst also featuring a slow-burn, sizzling, pining M/M romance and more LGBT characters than I’ve ever seen in a single book.
There’s even a fairy drag mother, yeah, you heard me!
“Once upon a time in the Kingdom of Verania, there was a kickass boy born in the slums of the City of Lockes. His parents were hardworking, and at times, life could be difficult, but they were alive and had all their teeth. Which was important.”
Even more so, beneath all of that, this is a story with emotional depth spanning friendships, family bonds and true love.
Reading ‘The Lightning Struck Heart’ was no easy feat since I was reading mostly at night and having to smother my laughter at the sheer amount of sass and bitching from all the characters.
“’Horse?’ Gary snarled. The pretty unicorn act dropped immediately. Red sparks shot from his nose. ‘Did you just call me a horse? Listen here, you two-legged bag of shit. I’m not a motherfucking horse. I am a unicorn, and I am magic and a beautiful creature made of fucking sunshine and rainbows and good feelings.’”
“’Nicole,’ Tina hissed. ‘Keep your comments to yourself! Be a respectable fucking lady, for fuck’s sake!’”
“’Don’t marry Dimitri,’ he said. ‘You’re not meant to be a fairy queen. Not in the literal sense, anyway.’”
Somebody, stop me!
Sam of Wilds is such a fantastic protagonist. His inner monologue is perfect and from the very beginning, all I wanted was for him to succeed, to get what he wants, especially since he always puts everyone else first. He wears his heart on his sleeve and hides behind his words and I have everything crossed that he’s just as amazing in book two!
So, if you’re looking to be swept away on a magical, epic adventure with a love struck, oblivious wizard in training, a dashingly stupid night, a vengeful prince, a kind-hearted King, a loving family, a sassy, fabulous unicorn with a penchant for bondage, a half-giant trying to learn sarcasm, an overly sexual dragon-god, a bemused wizard, dick noses, almost gay fairy marriage, boys with ‘ears’, dark wizards, monologuing, fairy drag mothers, a corn cult, and cheesy dicks and candlesticks, then this is the book for you! Phew!
Recommended for anyone with a love for the ridiculous and preferably a room you can read in that's far away from people so that you won't startle anyone with your hysterical outbursts.
P.S: HaveHeart forever!
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
THIS BLOG IS SPOILER FREE!
5 Stars - AMAZING!!
4.5 Stars - Almost perfect!
4 Stars - I really loved it
3.5 Stars - I liked it alot
3 Stars - I liked it
(I don't typically review books that I rate below 3 stars)
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