Sixteen year old Elaine loves life in her sleepy village, helping her father make bread for his customers, tormenting her little brother, and dreams of marrying her best friend.
When strange things start happening to her, and the king’s knights decide she is no longer a friend of the crown, Elaine runs into the woods with a talking fox.
And so her adventure begins.
I loved this first book in the Valiant series. With obvious ties to fairytales and the classic hero’s journey, the author has still managed to make the story original. Elaine is a wonderful character, easy to empathize with as she steps upon the hard path of growing up.
Leigh has a wonderful voice that enchants and soothes, describing a fairytale in a way that is more complex than the traditional form, and showing the darkness and difficulties of life without being anyway depressing.
Renard, the talking fox who befriends Elaine, is a wonderful character. I knew I’d love him as soon as I saw him on the front cover. I look forward to reading more about him as the series progresses.
Despite being first in a series, this is a complete book in itself. Elaine has interesting character growth and, while lots is teased about the story going forward, I was very satisfied by how A Tale of Two ended.
The only downside to this book was that I found some of the scene changes a little abrupt. It didn’t detract from the plot or characters, but made the reading experience less smooth than I would have liked.
I award A Tale of Two…
A Tale of Two is available for free, along with 32 other fantasy and science fiction novels and novellas, until the end of the month.