Unicorns don’t exist, and dragons aren’t real, but the Fae are. And they are to be feared.
Or so the tales say.
As the sole sorceress within the Lion King’s court and kingdom Isolde is valued for her power, provided she fulfills the king’s commands.
Her task? Deal with a child who has emerged from a forest no one has returned from in over one hundred years.As Isolde works to fulfill her order, accompanied by her nameless guardian, she’ll encounter a creature she’s only heard of through myth and legend…
When he kidnaps her.
I am usually not a huge fan of romance in my fantasy books. So when the author approached me about their book, I was kind of apprehensive. What sold me was the fact that it’s a Tristan and Isolde retelling. I knew nothing about it, I looked up the story and it seemed promising. I agreed to read the book and I’m glad I did! This book stole my breath away and left me wanting for more!
The story opens with our female main character Sparrow, travelling to a town on the outskirts of the kingdom, with a mercenary companion. Something came out of the forest adjacent to the town and she has been sent to take care of it. Things go wrong quickly and Sparrow finds herself lost in the forest with a creature she has only encountered in stories.
What immediately grabbed my attention was how good the writing was and the amount of dread and suspense it created in the first chapter. I was not very familiar with the story of Tristan and Isolde and that proved to be a good thing. The suspense quickly gave way to a classic enemies to lovers dynamic with some light horror elements. The writing flowed really well and quickly adapted to the tone shift in the book.
The characters were not revolutionary but were easy to connect with and root for. Sparrow is a sorceress who has never had to face much challenge in life. Sure, she has had to navigate courtly life that is brimming with politics and backstabbing but she has never been to battle or used her magic to kill someone. All she knows is duty and the conflict between choosing happiness and choosing duty is really well done in my opinion. Oak on the other hand does not believe in or understand duty. He falls for Sparrow almost immediately and does not understand why Sparrow would want to go back to court.
The real surprise of this book is the mercenary companion, Bear. Bear tracks down Sparrow and accompanies them throughout the book. He is protective of Sparrow, suspicious of Oak and would do everything in his power to make sure Oak doesn’t harm Sparrow. That led to some moments of levity that was very incorporated into the story.
The romance is kind of insta lovey but what gave it more depth was the yearning. Bear’s presence made sure that Oak had to keep his distance from Sparrow and that led to some oh-so-sweet yearning. The stolen looks, the accidental touches, the burning passion will leave you breathless dear reader!
Which brings us to the smut. I don’t know how to describe it other than saying it’s good. This is my first romance review so cut me some slack! I’m not much of a smut reader but it was tastefully down in my opinion.
The ending of this book is explosive (pun intended) and you will be left to figure out what truly happened. And then the last page reveals what happened and you will be screaming for more! The last line gave me chills and I’m not the same after finishing this book.
The Sparrow and The Oak Tree is a story about yearning and finding your place in the world. It’s a story about doing the right thing whether out of duty or something else. But most importantly, it’s a story about love. In a world full of Beauty and the Beast retellings, this Tristan and Isolde story is a breath of fresh air. I highly recommend giving this a shot.
I received a review copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.