Title: Tender Is the Knight
Author: K-lee Klein
Publisher: Amber Allure
Pages/Word Count: 93 Pages
At a Glance: While different for having such a tender-hearted knight as the lead, the story didn’t have enough risk to be believable.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb:Tristan is a skilled knight, sworn to defend the Kingdom of Leadon. He’s devoted his life to being the best he can be, and he’s as steadfast and loyal as his knighted father was before him. But when the king of Leadon informs Tristan he’s arranged a marriage for him in order to unite Leadon with a neighboring kingdom, Tristan, for the first time, balks at an order. He cannot and will not marry the princess because his heart already belongs to another.
Clayne is the poor assistant to the village blacksmith, and content with his station in life. Especially since he has the love and support of a very special man…his very own tender knight. He and Tristan grew up together, forging a bond first of friendship, and then of love, and even when Tristan became a knight of the kingdom, nothing could shake them apart. But the king’s command that Tristan marry a princess just might.
When the king threatens Clayne’s life to get his way, Tristan is forced to choose between following the dictate to save the man he loves, or a riskier plan that will endanger them both and challenge everything in which they believe…
Review: The story of Tristan and Clayne is intriguing because of their unique relationship. Not that they’re gay in a time where this is not accepted, but because usually knights are depicted as strong, tough characters. Tristant is much softer than standard knights, however, and Clayne appears to be the stronger of the two in their relationship. I thought that was interesting, and it’s what drew me to the story. And while I did like Tristan and Clayne, and cared about their safety, I had issues with the rest of the story.
There are many plot devices thrown into this story left either unresolved or answered in too neat a fashion, and the villains of the story were over the top and then backed off way too fast. Why exactly does the king want Tristan, of all people, to marry Princess Tessa? What will he gain from that? Why not someone else who is more game to following him? None of this is explained. Granted it is intended to be a short story, but even at the climax I felt no sense of urgency, and too many questions are left unanswered.
My first issue is with the king. He’s supposed to be this terrible guy, but Tristan doesn’t seem to do anything about him even after all is revealed about his father. He just backs off and lets what happens to him…happen. He kind of wants others to solve the problem for him. Don’t get me wrong, he does fight and argue and try to find a way out of the situation, but it didn’t feel real. And just when I’m thinking he’s not going to get the situation resolved, in walks Princess Tessa and Alfred with a plan to save the day. It was just too perfect. And then Clayne’s father’s identity…
In the end, the king let things go too easily. I expected more. I expected trouble to get in the way. This was, sadly, not the case. No one challenged Alfred as he left the city. For a king who was so set on Tristan following his plans, that entire scene was just anti-climactic for me.
I did, however, like the references to Camelot. I wish more of that had been explored, even if I didn’t care for Mr. Thomas and his explanations. They, like the rest, just seemed too perfectly fitting to make everything neat and tidy in the end.
You can buy Tender Is the Knight here: