The Untold Tale, The Accidental Turn Series: Book 1, J.M. Frey

The Untold Tale, The Accidental Turn Series: Book 1,  J.M. Frey

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

Genre:  LGBTQIA, Sci-fi and Fantasy

Sometimes a book comes along that transcends age criteria, and for me this is one. On the face of it its very much a YA type read with sex thrown in, but get into it and there’s so much more to it.

Its like there’s two stories, the top one where Pip gets pulled into Forsyth’s world, and then the underlying one where the flaws in conventional fantasy are pointed out, how Pip’s Quest can be worked out via a mock-up Excel, using formulas from classic fantasy reads. Where we see the “hero” is often just a misogynistic characters, where females are deemed as “girls” and sent off to cook and clean…and its all accepted because “its fiction”.
I have to say until I read this book much of that had escaped me, but I found myself looking back at other reads (especially those by male authors!!) and nodding my head, working out how they fit into this criteria Pip has worked out. Even Watership Down, a book I loved, had the males rabbits doing all the exiting bits, danger and rescues while the few does were there for nest building and breeding 😦 and at the time that totally escaped me…

The actual story is fabulous, full of surprises, full of mysteries and some wonderful secondary characters, from the Viceroy and his evil henchman Bootknife, to Mother Mouth, the silver Sheriff Pointe, Forsyth’s brother Kintyre Turn and his loyal knight Bevel, and of course Forsyth and Pip.

It takes a short while to work out what’s going on, and how and where Pip has sprung from, and I did find the way she was so accepting of it was hard to take – but she was living it, and unlike the reader who’s just begun the story Pip has had some weeks, possibly months, with which to accept where she is.

As well as the light and fun stuff there’s some really dark times, Pip’s experiences with Bootknife and the Viceroy, and that and the underlying themes bring this into much more than a light fantasy read.
I loved Forsyth, so intelligent, so commanding in his secret role as the King’s Shadow Hand, and yet to everyone else he’s bumbling, stuttering, good-natured, book-loving Forsyth – well, that’s how he sees himself. He doesn’t see what the locals do, the intelligent and kind man, the visionary who started schools for the children, who arranged a proper jail and protection for his people, the man who’s looked up to by the villagers and much respected. He just compares himself all the while to his swaggering, bullying, adventuring knight brother Kintyre. The man who joined his father in ridiculing Forsyth from when he was a young child, and who swanned off to go adventuring, leaving Forsyth to take up what should have been Kintyre’s role looking after Turn House, and the area and its inhabitants.
When Pip drops into his life Forsyth is instantly attracted by her mind, by her intelligence, but immediately thinks she’s meant for his brother, as the eldest its traditionally Kintyre’s Right to her. Pip had a few words to say about that 🙂 and loud and often, when she sees more sexism in action.

Its a quandary too – can she blame people for acting as they’ve been brought up? Is it right to assume this role of superiority she has, thinking she’s come from the “better” society without knowing more about this world? She shows a different way when she talks about Kintyre and they way he wades in with his sword (Foesmiter!!), rather than asking questions first and looking for another way to solve an issue. She makes us look closer and we see that what he does and gets applauded for, often leads to unfairness and more issues later.
I love the way its explained, loved the idea ( and was a little scared by it too) of what may lie beyond an authors words. I love the way she describes her world to Forsyth as having been created too, with the Bible being the book we’ve sprung from, God as the Writer.

Its a fabulous read, pure escapism, lots of dramas and some heart-breaking incidents that stop it being just some jolly Boys Own Adventures jaunt, and turn it into a gripping read that’s full of depth. It has lots of content that made me stop and think, about my reactions, about the characters reactions, and overall wondering just how on earth they were going to come out of this story without someone’s heart breaking.

Stars: Five, a fabulous escape that made me think and question what’s written and accepted so often in Fantasy, and yet wasn’t a hectoring tome but a story that let me get lost in another world. A perfect ending too.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and publisher

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on amazon.co.uk for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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