Book Reviews

The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania 1) by TJ Klune at BOATK Books

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Elves/Fairies/Sidhe / Gods/Godesses / High Fantasy / Magic / Mythological Creatures / Royalty/Nobility / Wizards & Witches / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 13-January-2020

Book Blurb

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's 14, 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 15, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle - Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell 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.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2015.

Book Review

Ahh, it's good to be back in the zany world of the ever fabulous TJ Klune. I wasn't two pages into 'The Lightning Struck Heart' when in the back of my head I could hear "Have fun storming the castle, boys."  If you didn't get the reference then this author’s humor might fall flat with you. But since I seriously doubt that anyone has ever missed The Princess Bride, you're in good shape to get this book, immediately, and read it. It's totally worth it. From one nerdy, geeky person to another, that is.

“Flora Bora Slam,” he (Sam) said again, rolling his eyes. “Well, I’m all out of ideas.”
He (Morgan) looked incredulous. “That was your idea?”
“Yes. It might have gone better in my head.”
“I have a feeling that sums up your life perfectly.”

Sam, his best friends—Gary, the entirely fabulous hornless gay unicorn, Tiggy, the half giant—and Morgan of Shadows, the asexual King's Wizard, are absolutely every single thing I dreamed them to be. Truly. Their story is epic beyond belief, filled with sarcasm, laughter, outrageous adventures, heroic rescues, not so heroic captures, and everything you could ever dream of in a fantasy. And, true to this author, there's loneliness, regret, sadness, hope, and love.

Sam has to be the smartest, most unaware person I've ever met. He's madly hooked on Ryan, the Knight Commander, but has zero, and I mean zero, clue that Ryan is just as hooked on him. I can't really blame him. Sam's not high on self-esteem and the king just announced that Prince Justin and Ryan are to be wed. And Sam is just the wizard's apprentice who one day will be King Justin's Wizard. Ugh.

Even with two terrific best friends, an incredible mentor, and loving parents, Sam is still very lonely. Oh, he plays it off well, but he has a secret, a really big one that he can't share with anyone. Only Morgan knows since Sam is his apprentice. And this secret is a weight around Sam's heart, because if he's not careful the secret could be really good, or very, very bad. And so, sometimes Sam feels so different from everyone around him, and he hides that loneliness behind words. Sam is sad, often, because part of his secret will never be allowed to come true.

“I worry about you, sometimes,” he admitted.
“Because you’ve built up this shell around yourself. This exterior made up of sass and wordplay. You wear your heart on your sleeve, but you’ve disguised it so that only those that are close to you can ever hope of seeing it. You show so much without actually showing anything at all.”

It's impossible to describe how amazing this book is. It's probably one of the best books I've ever read, and considering the quantity I have devoured to date, that is truly saying something. I know, for a fact, that this review doesn't do TJ Klune or 'The Lightning-Struck Heart' justice. Sorry, TJ, I was really verklempt.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been purchased by the reviewer.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 451 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-November-2019
Price $5.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback
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