Review: Lovelorn by April-Jane Rowan

This here is an author to watch!


Lovelorn by April-Jane Rowan

Released August 2021

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  

In Victorian England, within the sprawling countryside, a small village borders Lovelorn, a crystal kingdom inhabited by the Fair Folk that masquerades as a dense wood. Two unsuspecting mortals stray into the depths of this hidden world.

Harry, a disgraced jockey, stumbles upon a Kelpie and seeks to bind him, intending to use him to regain his former glory at horse racing. He is dancing a dangerous waltz however as Kelpies are a sly and deadly folk, his actions bringing him steadily closer to a grave at the bottom of a lake.

Mabel, a grieving wife abandoned by her husband, searches for her young son, Peter, who was stolen by the Fair Folk, simply wanting to bring her family together again. She makes a bargain with a knight from Lovelorn, entrusting her quest to him, all the while fearful that his word cannot be trusted.

Unbeknownst to them, their paths run parallel. They struggle to navigate the unbalanced and crumbling kingdom, while being opposed by creatures they thought resided only in fables. Can they play by the strange rules of the Fair Folk and win their freedom, or are they fated to lose themselves within the trees?  


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I will scream about April-Jane Rowan’s novella BENEATH A BETHEL forevermore. It was one of those stories that hit all the dark emotional notes exactly right and LOVELORN is another extremely dark read, this time following two characters into a magical forest filled with mayhem, atrocities, and adventure. If you’re into the darkest of character-driven fantasies this author is one you’ll want to check out.

The story begins one stormy night when a broken young man jumps on his horse for an invigorating ride. Feeling free and rebellious, Harry jumps a fence loaded with charms to ward off the fae and in that dark and ominous forest he is thrown from his horse and left to find his way in a place he absolutely should not be . . .

Mabel is the other outsider who enters the forest. She is crushed by the loss of her husband who may be dead or may have abandoned them. It doesn’t matter really, he’s gone and the grief is destroying her. In a moment of careless whimsy, she follows her young son into the same forest that swallowed up Harry. The rest of the book follows their separate misadventures in the magical, dying land called Lovelorn as they meet dangerous creatures, face and embrace their own faults and maybe come out the other side even more damaged but feeling just fine about it and that’s all I am saying about that.

I’m not the hugest fan of fantasy adventure stories but I’m always willing to make exceptions for a dark, grueling read like McKinley’s DEERSKIN or a haunting film like Pan's Labyrinth. The darker the better and this one succeeds in setting that mood perfectly. But an adventure story will lose me quickly if the characterization doesn’t grab me relatively fast. Many of the characters in this story have such terrible faults, they make bad choices, they do horrible things (prepare yourself!) but I could not stop reading to see how on earth this would all end. Never in a million years would I have guessed some of the grisly turns this book takes! There’s also a very painful portrayal of grief that’ll smack you in the heart time and again. I love getting my heart broken and having it pieced back together, sometimes I’m even ok with a writer leaving it shattered on the floor. This story may do both things to you.

This book isn’t screwing around and hiding from its horrors both physical and emotional and there are even some moments of humor and that’s what I love the most about Rowan’s writing. It’s filled with pain and beauty and has a darkly romantic thread running through it and I can’t wait to read more. Highly recommended to anyone who finds this type of dark world endlessly fascinating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and 1/2 Stars

“Come mortal, take my hand, lie with me in my watery bed.” 👀

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2



About Author April-Jane Rowan



April-Jane Rowan was born with a morbid fascination that she turned into writing so she could explain away her strangeness. Luckily for her, she found she rather liked it, so for many years, she has been creating bizarre, dark tales. When not writing, she can be found lurking in graveyards, libraries and museums. She lives in Sweden with her two partners and their pack of beasties.

Catch up with April-Jane Rowan here:  https://www.instagram.com/theliterarychamber/



Comments

  1. "I love getting my heart broken and having it pieced back together, sometimes I’m even ok with a writer leaving it shattered on the floor. This story may do both things to you." SIGN ME UP!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to read it because I think you'll really enjoy it!

      Delete
  2. Oh yeah this sounds pretty awesome! I'm always up for an excursion into the fae realm and this sounds awesomely creepy

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