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Taming the Forest King Paperback – October 15, 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
My daughter glanced at it and said, "the writing is so small!" So yes, it was published a while ago. But this is one of those timeless fantasies that doesn't diminish over time. The main character, a 30-something Colonel in the King's Army is one of the best SHOWING examples of a kick-butt female I've seen. So SO many books just tell us how tough the MC is by showing us violent thoughts or threats but this author presents the real deal. The Colonel is battle-crazy but not blood-thirsty, able to lead but doesn't relish power or executions, and overall, has a generous amount of compassion.
My only quibble is that at times I wanted to strangle her! She had two men clearly in love with her (though that's not the main focus of the book, it's a large part,) and she was SO BLIND. Bordering on ridiculous at times.
Sweet, charming ending. Compelling characters. Nice fantasy world. I loved that the king was a just one. Loved how tough the MC was. It's a great read for fantasy fans who like some romance thrown in
It's an old-style book, written back when third-person narration allowed for a little bit of authorial distance. That, I admit, was refreshing. I like "close" third person narration, but I also like variety. The main character, Tevra, is a woman who's worked her way up far enough in the military to become a Colonel entrusted with a mission that requires a great deal of integrity and diplomacy. She's been sent to the Forest Kingdom to deal with corruption and, potentially, rebellion.
Tevra is refreshingly frank and mature. She's thirty-seven, with a practical, no-nonsense personality. She's built along the lines of Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard or Galactica's Admiral Adama, impossibly inspiring and hardworking and moral, totally incorruptible. She shows up in the Forest Kingdom ready to do whatever it takes to stamp out poverty and hunger, end plague, and restore good relations between the forest people and the central government. This goes over well with everyone except the corrupt nobility, who really, really want her to stop the good works and go away.
The book is called "Taming the Forest King" but it's a misnomer, really. The Forest King doesn't appear until a third of the way through the book or so, and he's rather civilized. No taming required. There's a question of whose side he's really on - the corrupt nobles? the downtrodden citizenry? - but mostly there's a question of how much trouble Tevra will get into if she has an affair with him.
The really funny thing about the book, it's big running gag, is that Tevra is right smack in the middle of a love triangle...of which she is totally unaware. Her second in command, Hetwith, is always warning her away from the Forest King and getting into spats with the Forest King - Hetwith and the Forest King have very explicit conversations about the competition they're involved in - but regulation says that military officers should never be sexually involved with their subordinates, so it never occurs to Tevra that Hetwith is interested in her.
There just wasn't enough juice for me. The bad guys are bad but Tevra's got military might and strategy on her side, along with righteousness. And the good guys are mature adults who stumble their way to the right answer with a fair bit of dignity and a minimum of angst. Which, you know, kudos to them & the book wasn't bad at all. Just didn't drive me wild.
A shame that the writer died before continuing her works, because you're going to be wanting much more after this one.
This book is a nice blend of fantasy, supernatural and military elements, with a touch of romance to boot. The main character is Tevra who is a Colonel in the Light Cavalry of the Kingdom and who has been sent by the King as Viceroy to resolve the corruption in the misogynistic Forest Kingdom. She is accompanied by her brilliant second-in-command Hetwith, and is aided, strangely enough, by the deposed Forest King, Dard, who is also a wizard. Tevra is a person of high principles who's always defined herself by her military position. The story follows her attempts to familiarize herself with the ways of the Forest Kingdom and handle people and situations totally alien to her training, while dealing with treachery, corruption, rebels, and assasination attempts.
This isn't a massive book - Ms. Edwards was able to create this world and its inhabitants with deft precision. Tevra is slowly revealed to be a person who has triumphed over her origins by making her military career the be-all and end-all of her existence, somewhat to her detriment. As the book evolves, so does she, with the help of the two people she winds up depending on more than she wants.
This is the second book by Ms. Edwards that I've read, and I've enjoyed both of them. I've only found mention of four books written by her, all in the late 1980's, and biographic information about her is almost non-existent. Here's hoping that someday she resumes writing in this genre.