A Wish Upon the Stars, by T.J. Klune
Series: Tales from Verania, Book 4
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Nearly a year ago, blinded by grief and betrayal, Sam of Wilds made a desperate decision to follow the Great White into the Dark Woods. Now, he emerges to a world changed.
The City of Lockes is a prison. The King has been locked away in the dungeons. The Kingdom of Verania has fallen, and the Dark wizard Myrin sits on the throne.
But soon after his return, Sam learns of a resistance fighting in his name led by a courageous knight, a defiant prince, a pissed-off unicorn, and a half-giant who wants to smash everything in sight. If he has any hope of defeating the villains who have taken their home, Sam must face the consequences of his choices—and the friends he left behind.
Kings and Princes
Hear ye, Hear ye! Come one, come all! Come and listen to the tale of an adventure that’s one for the ages! Huzzah!
THIS… This is what I was thinking about last night when I was lying awake, thinking about this book, wondering… how the heck do I review this thing? And you know, all I could think of was this. I could see a little dude running through cobblestone streets, trying to get to the front of the crowd. He was pushing and being pushed, but in the end, he was there. He’s right in front of the stage. A stage with this crazy ass sponsor who started to talk about tonics and all kinds of crazy shit, selling all kinds of ridiculous things. But then he’s finished and Zal the Magnificent is there and he first sings us a song called Cheesy Dicks and Candlesticks, you know, to warm up the crowd. And then he moves on to tell the story about a boy from the slums…
A Story About Sam of Wilds. A story about Sam of …. Well, you’ll just have to see won’t you? I can tell you it’s a crazy tale of dragons, wizards, unicorns, half-giants, knights, princes and kings. It’s a story about family and friends, arch enemies and wishes. A story about wishes that have come true! It’s a story about life and love and strength and courage, and loss and sacrifice. It’s the culmination of a story that, according to the author’s note started as “overtly immature take on a common fairy tale trope”. And sure, I guess it is to an extent. But it’s also not. Because it’s so so so much more than that. This is Destiny Fuck Yeah! And this is a tale that will live in my heart until the end of time.
Why, you might ask? Let me tell you… in the middle of all the craziness and silliness is a group of friends and family that are fighting for the greater good. They really would sacrifice their lives for each other. It’s a beautiful thing to see, the fierce love they all have for each other. But there were other things, too. Things like all the revenge I wanted to happen… well, some of that happened exactly how I wished. And then some didn’t, much to my disappointment. There was the comedy that was evenly placed and not exactly too much, even though at times I might have thought that. Okay, maybe just a smidge… There was the monologuing. OMG THE MONOLOGUING. Just thinking about it makes me laugh. But there was also those moments where growth in everyone was evident. Like the growth in Justin, as a man, as Prince, and as the future King of Verania. There are times when Sam and Randall had a moment where they are open and honest and so forgiving and kind to one another. Moments when Ryan was fierce in his anger, and still able to stand by Sam’s side. The moments when Tiggy would wave frantically with his face allight in happiness because he was with his friends and he loved them so completely. (Tiggy will forever be my favorite character, just sayin’.) And then there were the Gary moments… Gary. What can I say except whoa. Add in Gary with Kevin, and it’s over the top and so utterly stupid at times I laughed my ass off, while at other times they said exactly the right thing at the right time.
And there were dragons. I love those dragons so very much. So strong. By Sam’s side. Never faltering.
I can’t tell you anything speficic about this book because it is an experience. I can just blather on about how I felt. And this is it. It’s all encompassing love. Love Love Love. It’s a story for the ages, folks. It’s a tale that could be handed down generation after generation because in the end, it’s a story about love and family. About courage. It’s about Destiny and how if you have one, it’s not written in stone because, as they say, stone crumbles and sometimes shatters. And you can control it. You can.
I think it goes without saying, this series is special. The ending to this series, the most special of all. There are many wishes that come true, and one wish, even more special and beautiful and true than the rest. I can’t wait for everyone to read this. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s beautiful. It’s Epic. It’s Awesome. It’s everything I wished for. And just to say… I can’t wait for all the talented people out there to start doing fanart for this one. It’s going to be Epic because Epic shit happens.
Oh, and that little boy from my nighttime insomnia? He sat and listened to this tale. He listened in wonder and later, he wished upon the stars and his wish came true.
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder. But that’s okay, because he’s recently become a full-time writer, and can give them the time they deserve.
Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.
And one of those things isn’t true.
(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.