Title: Heart of Water and Stone by E.E. Ottoman
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Published August 22nd 2012 by Less Than Three Press LLC
Length: 71 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
Girin is a troll, content with his simple, quiet life in the forest—a life thrown into chaos when he stumbles across an unconscious human on one of the mountain paths. The human is not an ordinary one either, but a witch—tortured, branded, and mere steps from death when Girin finds him. Unable to leave him there to die alone, Girin takes the human home to nurse him back to health. But he quickly learns that keeping one stubborn human alive is a far more difficult task than he first surmised …
Purchase Link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=92&products_id=343
This is a sweet, familiar story set in a fantasy world. Girin, a half-troll, is lonely on his mountain and scorned by both humans and trolls. He finds a human injured on his mountain and as a healer, he is unwilling to leave him to his death. Ronan, the human, is anxious to leave because he still has a mission to accomplish. By that time, Girin is used to his company and wants Ronan to stay.
Girin is a mountain troll and uses earth magic. Ronan is an untrained witch that uses water magic. In their time together, Girin gets company that he misses since his mother died and Ronan learns true kindness since he escaped from a life of slavery. Girin and Ronan are supposedly in love but the romance is unconvincing. I cannot see them with beyond a caretaker relationship and friendship. However, they both benefit a lot by being together and they are very sweet towards each other.
The story gets more interesting when they leave to go save Ronan's sister from his former masters. Ronan has people hunting for casting a curse on his former masters' land. These evil people are holding Ronan's sister hostage until Ronan removes the curse. Unfortunately, Ronan does not have a way to break the curse and curses are not meant to be reversible. They have to attempt to steal Ronan's sister from the town. This is a very heroic part for Girin and it's interesting to see how he uses magic and weapons meant for pure-blood trolls.
I love the worldbuilding in this story. Girin also tells a creation story about the Eater of the Sun, who is the main character in The Kraken Lord and the Eater of the Sun. The domain and different types of magic these people control are fascinating. There is also a land far away that is more advanced in magic and uses books. The fact that Girin has a book is a rarity in this land. I would love to read the next book set in the land where magic is more advanced.
I really enjoyed reading this book and overall, this is a sweet story with romance first times set in a fascinating fantasy world.
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