Author: Thea Hayworth
Length: Short Story (62 pages)
Publisher: Storm Moon Press (August 12th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Blurb: The wood-locked town of Orm is facing a problem. Their forest home is turning to the wilds, beyond their control to force it back. In a quest to discover the reason, ranger Koster seeks out the mysterious Irsing, the guardian of the forest. And even though Irsing may be the one responsible for the calamity, Koster aims to do whatever it takes to set things right.
Product Link: http://www.stormmoonpress.com/books/Wildwood.aspx
Review: I just loved it! This story managed to give me the impression I was reading a full on novel instead of a 50 pages short. And not only that, it was simply wonderful. I absolutely adored it.
This is a tale that takes you in a time of magic, when men and gods walked the earth side by side. Forests, lakes, rivers, and practically nature had a living, breathing heartbeat and Guardian Lords cared for what was theirs. But in the small town of Orm, surrounded by the huge forest Oakensea, their Guardian Lord has abandoned them and the people fear the forest will turn wild on them.
Ranger Koster is send from the kingdom to take the place of a former ranger, and due to his previous experience with a forest turned wild, he is an asset. Koster, a big man that makes you think of bandits at first look, is a kind spirit and the town’s people quickly take a like on him. But they are not the only ones. Master Oakensea himself keeps an eye on the young ranger who managed to awaken his interest after about twenty years of seclusion.
This is a very wholesome story and I’m frankly very surprised by it. The idea that even ethereal creatures get lonely and can withdraw from society, waiting for their deaths is a powerful one. Irsing literally doesn’t want to be seen because he’s grown older and his appearance is no longer, what humans are used to, green and fresh. He rather resembles his forest that is old and ancient, and for that he has withdrawn from everybody, yet he still lurks around when people join the festivities in his honor to guard them from darkness and the evils it hides. It is Koster that brings him out slowly and strengthens him with his beliefs that he is beautiful inside out and the most caring Guardian Koster has met.
Together they protect the forest from Necromancers and their evil spawns, they form a friendship and a bit more, but most of all, Koster gives Irsing a reason to fight and live.
Wonderful tale, really. I adored every part of it. It was not so much based on romance as it was on other human feelings. Friendship had a great part in this story. There was plenty of action, swordsmanship and a Guardian Lord that kicked ass with his moves. Hell, yeah. Brilliant! And when the time came for the two of them to get intimate, let’s just say it was the first time that the “tentacle” sex didn’t cause a parallel feeling of horror in me. It was so well-balanced and in the heart of the story, you got to actually adore Irsing at that point that the intimacy between them two was nothing short of sweet and romantic and made you wish for a bit more.
On that note, I seriously hope this author keeps up with this world, because it was a beautiful one, intriguing as it get and it would be a shame to let go. As for this story? Strongly recommended to anyone who loves fantasy, I’m sure you’ll love it as I did.