Greenleaf’s Blessing by M. King – Romance>Fantasy
In a world where the old ways walk uneasily alongside the new, orphan Rhynn is apprenticed to old Master Wemmick, his village’s Herb Mage. He is tasked with learning the potent craft that blends herb lore and magic, but which also marks him as a pariah. After an unexpected encounter drives away the one person Rhynn considered a friend, he flees into the ancient heart of the forest… only to meet the wood’s guardian spirit, who awakens the dormant power within him.
NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed.
Review: Gentle fantasy with doses of nature magic and longing with a sprig of young love.
Set in a fantasy setting, Rhynn is on the outside looking in.
He is not a part of the town and yet he is. He’s not like at the other young men his age, he’s different. He likes men and desires one in particular, his friend Vareth. Vareth is everything Rhynn isn’t – strong, big, part of the town and not gay.
The teen orphan apprentices to the town’s herb mage. The herb mage is a sort of nature apothecary that follows ways of old. Religion and new ways of worship is slowly taking over the town. The herb mage is shunned and ridiculed…unless there is an ailment.. Then the town will expect help and shun in the next breath.
Rhynn is used to this life. He’s not happy with the town’s treatment but his Master is kind to him and it’s better to the alternative. Sent on a small quest for herbs, he stumbles on the object of his affection and makes a huge mistake and stumbles on some things that changes his life.
I like the tone of this story This story isn’t for a reader who needs to have all the answers given in detail or explicitly. I think the ending is open for interpretation. To me, it’s a tentative HFN with room to grow. This is told from Rhynn’s POV, he’s around 18 years old, his emotions are deep. My favorite part was reading his feeling of otherness compared to other boys his age. He knows he is different and can’t speak about it to anyone for fear of being castigated or worse. The imagery was vivid especially when Rhynn traveled in the forest. I could almost smell the leaves along with Rhynn.
I liked meeting Old Greenleaf and his magic. I was iffy on how the magic was passed to Rhynn but I was more intrigued than anything. The mystery adds to the tone the story was going for. I liked the touch of romance, the unspoken emotions and weighted words between friends. I think the story ended at a great spot but if there was a follow up or sequel, I’d definitely read it.