Storm Moon Press - The Forester Untitled Page

The Forester

Blaine D. Arden

Out of Print

Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith. Worse, a murder committed ten days before Solstice reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit: Kelnaht's former lover Ianys, who once betrayed him, and the shunned forester named Taruif, who is not allowed to talk to anyone but The Guide, their spiritual pathfinder. When Taruif turns out to be the only witness for the crime, Kelnaht has to keep Ianys from sacrificing himself and losing his daughter, while at the same time realising he'd gladly sacrifice himself to end Taruif's loneliness.

Tired as I was after spending all day scouring the clearing for evidence and examining Cyine's body, I wasn't granted any rest yet. Someone knocked on my door just as I finished washing up and changing my clothes. I regretted opening the door as soon as I saw Ianys standing on the other side, but I resisted slamming it closed.

"What do you want?" I asked, not caring how hostile I sounded.

After all this time, Ianys couldn't even look at me as he stood there, fidgeting with his tunic, eyes lowered to the ground.

Ianys was as gorgeous as he ever was. Brown, short cropped, messy hair, as if he had just risen from sleep, his muscles visible through the tight tunic. He was a tree elf, broad and more muscular than when we had been together, but as a smith that was to be expected; working the bellows was a pretty hefty workout in itself. I pushed down the memory of watching him work when we were together.

In all the turns since he'd left me, betrayed me, he had barely spoken two words to me. Instead, I had to watch from afar how he vowed himself to another, only to lose her to illness after their daughter, Atén, was born. I'd watched how hard he worked at being a good father, how he, finally, became a full-fledged smith. He'd never once approached me, but the hope lingering inside me could never be buried deep enough. How could I still want him? After eight turns, I should know better.

"I don't have time for this, Ianys. I am tired and I—"

"I need to talk to you."

5 - Shayla at Read The Rainbow
"This booked sucked me in from the very first page. In a few hours I was already reaching the end without a break in-between. Blaine Arden has definitely become one of my favorite authors, even though I'm mainly a contemporary M/M fan. In fact, after I was done with The Forester I immediately picked up Oren's Right, which I had won in a blog hop and kept postponing reading. Hope you guys will enjoy The Forester as much as I did."

4.5 - Brief Encounters
"I have to say I was very impressed. CSI meets elves meets menage-y goodness.... The romantic substory of Kel, Ianys and Taruif was sweet and bittersweet at the same time.... I have to say I was as interested in the whole murder investigation and how they went about it as I was in the romance.... So if you are in the mood for some elfin police drama, coupled with sweet but challenging romance, an excellent choice that I very much enjoyed."

4.5 - Lisa at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"Blaine D. Arden knocks this one right out of the ballpark on her first swing, in a CSI meets Law & Order meets J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy/mystery; then, to top it all off, she throws in a little tickle-your-fancy with a sweet ménage à trois, which comes together in a world where elves and magic rule. It all adds up to one wonderful read, as far as I'm concerned, evidenced by the fact that I was cursing myself the whole way through for not being able to read faster so I could see what would happen next."

4.5 - Pants Off Reviews
"I am in love with this little novella; I never expected the amount of awesmazingness that was packed into such a short story.... Though the mystery of murder and magic is very intriguing within the story, it's the relationship between Ianys and Taruif that holds attention.... Blaine D. Arden has stolen a piece of my heart with this story, and she can keep it... if she writes more about this magical and awesmazing little world she created."

4.5 - Vicki at Sid Love Reviews
"I enjoyed this book very much, I’ve seen Blaine’s name around, but haven’t read any of her books. It was wonderfully creative, with great characters, and a deep plot. Not at all what I expected for a fantasy book. My only complaint is I wish there were more details about the community and housing situation, I couldn’t quite get a grasp on how these elves live. But that is so minor, it did not at all detract from the story. I just had a few moments of curiosity. I’m off to read the next in the series, I see it is a much longer book. Maybe I’ll get my questions answered!"

4 - Wendy at Hearts On Fire
"The Forester was a little bit magical and a whole lot enchanting! I fell in love with the world the author created in this novella and kept discovering new surprises to make me pause and admire what I was reading. Overall, I loved this story and would have gladly kept reading. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the possibility of a sequel some day!"

4 - Joyfully Jay
"I enjoyed this short story and the glimpse into the elfin world. There was just enough detail to create an interesting and rich world, without getting bogged down in too much minutia for a short story. I also liked the relationship between the three men.... I think Arden does a nice job giving us a feel for the threesome and what the future might bring. It was a nice intertwining of a darker mystery with a nice, sweet romance. I will definitely keep my eyes open for more from this author."

4 - Kassa at Three AM Reviews
"[A]n impressive mix of fantasy and murder/mystery. The writing is superior and the romance is a nice touch without being too easy and ignoring the many potential problems. I personally liked the mystery component of the story more than the romance as ménages are a tough sell that I don't always appreciate. Overall I quite like this novella and recommend it even if the threesome didn't quite win me over as a reader."

3.5 - Cryselle at Cryselle's Bookshelf
"This short piece (novella?) packed quite a lot into the slender word count. We are introduced to the society of elves, who have a hierarchy and rules that cannot be bucked, and members of their society who cannot stay within the strictures. I applaud the author for giving us a lot of worldbuilding in a tight space, and for showing us three lovers-to-be without pulling an HEA out of thin air. I’m looking forward to the next book. "

3 - Sally at Bibrary Book Lust
"In many ways, this story reminded me of the work of Tanya Huff.... Romantically and emotionally, there's a lot going on here for such a short story. The story itself is wonderfully well-written, creating a very visual fantasy world within the reader's head. The most extravagant details (like wings) are woven in so subtly, nothing feels drastically different or completely out of place."

3 - Between the Covers
"With enjoyable characters, a twisty romance plot, and murder case to move it all along, "The Forester" is an enjoyable, although regrettably short, read. Arden does a commendable job of building the world in a short amount of time.... The writing is such that I would definitely check out other works by this author."

0 - Madison at More Than This
"The one complaint I might have is that it seems too big a story for just 50 pages, but to be quite honest... it's not even a valid complaint. The story is exactly as long as it needs to be.... The story gives us a murder mystery where you wouldn’t necessarily expect one, as well as a complex and ultimately satisfying love triangle."

Series

Tales of the Forest
The Forester Trilogy
Yuletide

Length

18,600 words

Release Date

Book Type

Short Story

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-41-8

Cover Art

Nathie Block

Keywords

M/M, menage a trois, polyamory, fantasy, mystery