ARC Review: River Tale – Jau N

River Tale
Book cover: A small fairy flies above a log on a river in a forest.

Bakwa’s uncle is king. He is also under the curse of a wizard and to save him, Bakwa must venture deep into a magical forest to locate the rare flower that can save him. When she is set a series of tasks by the guardians fairies of the forest, a river spirit offers to help her complete them—for a price.

I received an ARC of River Tale through NetGalley. I chose to request this book because I was looking for a cute romance, and I liked the idea of a magical forest.

I liked the idea of this story, but there were several things that resulted in it not being my story.

First of all, it’s very short. I feel like it should have been a lot longer, 3-4 times as long at least, as there was very little character development and we didn’t get to know the characters that well. This would also have allowed for a more detailed plot with more explanations.

Secondly, I’m not a fan of bargains where people are asked for kisses. The problem with the first deal is that Bakwa doesn’t really have a choice, because she’s told about the price after doing. After the first deal, she is given a real choice, and is also able to choose from a few possibilities. However, as the first kiss was not a real choice, I wasn’t quite happy with the fact that the reason for the first kiss was erased.

However, the descriptions were really pretty. The ending is very romantic, even though it was sudden and I felt like we missed critical events in the main character’s development. It was something that I certainly wasn’t expecting and I absolutely loved it. The symbolism was lovely.

All in all, I feel like it was an interesting idea but I wish that it had been in more detail and that the moral implications of such bargains would have been analysed. The idea of the story isn’t suited to the length of the final book.

2 stars

Have you read River Tale?

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