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The Untold Tale Paperback – Dec 8 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 572 pages
  • Publisher: Reuts Publications (Dec 8 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1942111282
  • ISBN-13: 978-1942111283
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #443,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Let me start by saying, for those who are of the "TLDR" persuasion, that I think that J.M. Frey's The Untold Tale is the most important work of fantasy written in 2015. It may be the most important work of fantasy written this decade, but I'll have to get back to you on that in 2020.

I was excited when I first received an electronic copy of J.M. Frey's The Untold Tale, as I loved both Triptych, her breakout novel and one of the best time-travel tales I've ever read, and Dark Side of the Glass, her funny and smart metafictional response to Twilight. When I learned that The Untold Tale was going to be fantasy, I felt like it could be her literary hat trick in speculative fiction - science fiction, horror, and fantasy.

I'd also heard this was another work of metafiction, but given what Frey had done with Dark Side of the Glass, I was curious to see what she'd do with a secondary world of wizards and warriors, swords and sorcery, dungeons and dragons. It turned out to be very intriguing: The Untold Tale begins with an unlikely hero, Forsyth Turn, a stuttering, intellectual lordling who moonlights as a fantasy Zorro/Batman in the employ of the King. He's not Conan or Aragorn or even Elric. He's a nice guy. His servants and subjects really like him. But he lives in the shadow of his awesome brother, who is more cock-sure than Conan and more arrogant than Aragorn (and I mean Tolkien's Aragorn, who's pretty arrogant when compared with Viggo's Aragorn) without even a smattering of Elric. He's a young version of Zemeckis' Beowulf. Add the mystery of a woman who's been exquisitely tortured turning up on Turn's doorstep, and our story is off to an engaging start.

I expected metafictional commentary on fantasy, and I got it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This whole book was a roller coaster for me. At times I didn't enjoy but then something would happen and it was like J.M. Frey was forcing me to like her book, which she was successful. For me this book was definitely a character driven book. The plot and setting were just a backdrop to follow the growth of the main characters. That's not to say that J.M. Frey's world was lacking, it was anything but. All it took was one sentence for me to be transported back into her secondary world. It sorta reminded me of a sexist Camelot.

Now for the characters and beware there will be spoilers. My reactions to the main characters, Forsyth Turn and Lucy Piper (Pip), can be divided into 3 parts: the first quarter of the book, before they embark on their journey, the middle of the book when their on their journey, and the ending.

The first quarter of the book, it was heartbreaking to read Forsyth's inner monologue. He was so self-critical and depressed. This is the section that I loved Pip the most. Through her words of kindness and encouragement towards Forsyth, I as a reader got to experience Forsyth's transformation to being more confident and ultimately a hero alongside him.

During the middle portion of the book, my fondness of Pip took a significant fall. In between being sad about not getting to be her own hero and being very sexually active, Pip was MOODY. She would spontaneously be happy, then cry, then be happy again. I wanted to google her symptoms to determine what personality disorder she had, but then BOOM, J.M. Frey you got me there. She was being controlled by Viceroy and isn't really herself. This revelation made me revaluate everything (bad) I thought about Pip and I had to mentally apologize to her for judging her so harshly.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Fantasy is easily my favorite genre and this book is a breath of fresh air. The Untold Tale is a completely unique take on the genre, blending both fantasy and reality into one epic story.

Forsyth Turn is lordling of Turn Hall and younger brother to Kintyre Turn, the most heroic and loved legend in the lands. While Forsyth has his own set of strengths as a swordsman and a scholar, he fails to see himself in a positive light whilst constantly comparing himself to Kintyre.

When Forsyth's men rescue a damsel in distress, Pip, from the dreadful Viceroy, Forsyth takes the opportunity to learn more about the girl while nursing her back to good health.

Turns out this damsel is not so distressed.

The more he learns about Pip, the more his world is turned upside down. Pip is a reader, pulled unwillingly into the story by the Viceroy who holds a grudge against the Great Writer for making him always lose in their story. To get Pip home, Forsyth must accept the role of hero on a quest he'd never dreamed he'd take.

There is so much that I love about this story. Frey writes so eloquently. The language in this book really pulled me along through the story, and there are so many beautiful metaphors. The characters feel so lifelike and I became attached immediately. Forsyth is the underdog in all of us and you can't help but cheer him on. Pip is this incredibly strong young woman who tries to bring some feminism to this misogynistic world that the writer has built. She is constantly proving that she is not a woman who needs to be rescued or coddled. She is a complete badass all on her own.

"'I'm not a thing to be kept,' she scolds, but it is soft, and sad, and kind."

This novel also holds an incredible romance.
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