The Untold Tale Paperback – Dec 8 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Recently, I had the pleasure of reading J.M Frey's The Untold Tale. Now, full disclosure here, J.M. and I are friends and fellow writers, so I have my biases, and you should take... Read morePublished 3 months ago by James Bow
This book came highly recommended to me and it did not disappoint.
The first-person story telling drew me in with natural and exciting language. Read more
A very different kettle of fish from Frey's earlier novel "Triptych" (a really challenging and thought-provoking work in its own right, and definitely worth a read), this... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I purchased it at a recent convention from the author and I enjoyed every second of it. The "hero" Forsyth is awkward, and intellectual, and the "damsel in... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lynsey D.
Wow... where do I begin? I suppose the first thing that caught my attention was the honesty with which Frey wrote the protagonist, Forsyth Turn. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shannon J
The Untold Tale by J.M Frey is an incredibly intelligent and lively iteration of modern fantasy writing. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Melissa Bidniak
Have you ever wanted to be in a magic world that you have only been able to read on the page?
Well that's exactly what happens when Lucy piper finds herself in the amazing... Read more
I found this novel absolutely beautiful. The emotion throughout the novel was so raw and honest that I found myself going the same frustration, pain and love that the characters... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jillian Jackson