Title: The Rue Stone
Author: Janet Stock
Publisher: Independently Published
Publication Date: Sept 27th 2020
Comment: I agreed to review this book in exchange for a free copy thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources. All views are my own. Please see the link below for a chance to win a copy of this sweet fairy-tale.
The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, so Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life changed forever, she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again. Only time and the rue stone have the answer.
This is a delightful novella written in the style of a fairy-tale. Janna is a barmaid at the local inn who grew up on stories of the enigmatic and compelling Rue- a breed of creatures, not quite human, whose soulmate is the only one able to quell their wandering need. When one visits her inn, Janna is unable to deny the desire she feels for him.
But after their one night together, the Rue vanishes and, as bad weather sets in, Janna begins to wonder if she imagined their encounter or if she is the one who can tame the Rue.
A woman waiting for her true love to come back is a little patriarchal for these days but it did harken back to old time fairy-tales which can be nostalgic. I would have preferred for Janna to have taken over the inn and not have had to wait for the Rue to return or for her father’s permission. I think that would have added a nice feminist twist to it; like she was happy to be in love but not pining for it.
That said it had all the hallmarks of a traditional fairy-tale and I could easily see it slipping into a Grimms storybook.
Janna was nice and well rounded, quite innocent but eager to learn. I loved her grandmother and even the inn-keeper and his daughter had quite good narrative flows.
Sadly, other than his ability at sex we didn’t learn much about the Rue so I can’t comment on his characterisation. He seemed to be a very Aragorn-ish creature to me so in my head he was Viggo Mortensen.
I think this book had a lot of potential for greater things. I didn’t realise that it was a novella at first until I looked down and realised that I was more than half-way through.
It felt a bit like that moment in the movie version of Pride and Prejudice where Elizabeth is swinging on the swing and the seasons pass in a moment. I knew that there were other tales that could be told but we were stagnated, waiting at the inn for news- a bit like Janna.
In that way the atmosphere of the book was exactly like a fairy-tale and it was beautifully written. The narrator was warm and had a very lyrical way of speaking which you could imagine being spoken out loud by the fire.
I loved the little inn in the woods, the customers and barmaids and the description of the different seasons. The idea of the Rue was interesting, a shape-shifter who settles on their true form once they are bonded is such a fairy-tale type love interest.
All in all a sweet little story that well worth taking a few hours out of your day to read. If you like fairy-tales and want an uncomplicated love story then you could do worse than this.
Author Bio –
Having written all of my life, I decided to self-publish my writing when I turned 50. I have published four books since then. Two are collections of short stories; Dark & Fluffy; Dark & Fluffy II and 500 Words, which is flash fiction. My latest book The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella.
My passion is medieval fiction, and I am working on my first novel The Little Servant – The Wait’s Son, set in the 12th century, in Lincoln, where I live.
All four books are available on Amazon.
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