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Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Flashback

From December 2002:

The Forest Lord by Susan Krinard. Paranormal romance.

I'm so glad that paranormal romance has become popular lately! I've always read fantasy and science fiction, and am only a recent fan of romance, so it's nice to combine the two. If I'd known of stories like this one years ago, I'd have been reading romance longer than 6 or 7 years.

Harn, Hartley, Cornelius, whatever name he goes by, he's an interesting character. He has the Fane outlook---superior, selfish, powerful, and he believes himself incapable of and above the emotion of love. It's interesting to watch him slowly get caught up in emotion. He keeps telling himself that it's practicality or his own whims that drive him, when really, he's falling in love. Always fun watching romance heroes delude themselves, and The Forest Lord is better at it than most.

Eden began as a naive girl, turned into a rather jaded young woman, then matured almost overnight when her husband died. It was understandable that she believed her father responsible for taking her son away---after all, he'd disappeared himself. Finding her son, providing a good future for him, and restoring Hartsmere gave her a purpose she'd been lacking before. She was deluding herself as much as Hartley was, thinking that she'd make a better life for Donal by marrying Rushborough and getting Donal accepted in society. It became clearer every day that the sort of life she envisioned wouldn't be good at all for Donal, but it was the life she knew.

I kept trying to see Aunt Claudia as someone who just wanted the best for Eden, someone who truly believed that Eden was happier with her previous social life in the city, and only wanted to help her return to that life with Lord Rushborough, but she made me so mad! I didn't suspect that she was responsible for sending Donal away, but I did feel vindicated when I found out! Very interesting ending to that part of the story, I thought. I wonder if her husband was the fox who'd been hunted earlier in the story.

I loved that Donal had inherited his father's magic. The scene with Hartley teaching him in the woods was very sweet.

It was perfect that Hartley did take Donal to Tir-Na-Nog. I always worry when characters just end up changing their minds, that they'll have second thoughts later, after the book ends. I think it was important that he did follow through with what he planned, and thought it was so appropriate that he couldn't enter because of the love in his heart. It made me laugh when the fairy offered to get rid of it for him!

And what a nice little jolt at the end, finding out that Mrs. Byrne, who I'd thought was just a nice housekeeper, turned out to be Nuala---I'm imagining Mother Nature.

All in all, a wonderful, entertaining story. Definitely a keeper!
You can read the entire thread, including comments from the author, here.

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