This is post number 18.
This is the first novel of a fantasy-romance series by Jessica Aspen
Plot: Logan the huntsman is on a quest by the dark queen to kill the last of the MacElvy witches. The only thing in his way is Trina MacElvy, a powerful witch. Together they have to figure out why the queen wants the MacElvys dead.
“Glimmers of power limned her naked body and the silver blade of the athame that gleamed between her breasts. Her legs were spread slightly apart, tensed for battle. Long black hair crackled and lifted with static. Her expressive face was poised on the edge of dilemma, her body caught between the need to hold the spell and the need for action. He paused to let the feel of power and woman roll through him”
Spoilers/Opinion: I’ll admit that one of my favorite guilty pleasure genres is the “dark fairy tale”, especially those that revolve more on the world of fairies rather than Grimm tales. Right off the bat I had some hope that the lore would have some depth, and that I would get to see some cool powers. Unfortunately, I did not see either.
The male protagonist is huntsman, which mean his tracking abilities, strength, and speed are heightened. These abilities are used sparingly, and with little impact. Trina is not much better; she used her plant magic once in the beginning against a successfully and a couple times unsuccessfully. Most of the magic comes from the objects they use, and I feel like that is a waste of potential.
Speaking of waste of potential, we catch glimpses of the dark queen and her court, but everyone there seems to either be scared, evil, or both. The lands that Logan hails from only has two uncles and some forests. That’s it. Honestly, the most developed world is when Logan and Trina cross back into the human realm, but that is almost cheating. The creatures lack variety with only elves/fairies, pucas, and trolls mentioned.
In terms of romance, the main characters sleep together early and often with a few too many sex scenes. I’m no prude, but when there are more than three sexual encounters in a novel between the same characters it gets tedious. The most affection that we see between the two usually revolves around Trina being in danger, and Logan coming to save the day. Now damsel in distress is fine, but in this novel the exact same situation of Trina being magically forced to wear/consume an evil object and being put under a spell happens twice. With less than a quarter of the book between the two incidents. That’s just stupid.
As a fantasy romance, I give The Dark Huntsman the following scores:
Explanation of Powers: 2/10
Romantic Development: 4/10
Overall, I give this novel a 3.5/10. There is nothing special about this novel when the potential for world building, powers, and plot was ruined by a romance without affection.
Aspen, Jessica. The Dark Huntsman. Published 2013. Accessed 01/31/2017. Abracadabra Publishing. Kindle Edition