Author: Hollis Shiloh
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 70 Pages
At a Glance: A sweet and slightly angsty fantasy of young love and destiny.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: He lost his magic. How?
Returning to the bookstore by the sea, Daniel worries about how to tell his father that the money he saved to send his gifted son to magic school was a waste.
Daniel buries his secret under the pretense of coming home for a vacation. Then he meets Leaf Springfield, a beautiful young man who’s been systematically beaten down by his uncle.
Irresistibly drawn to one another, they learn they share more than a love for raw fish and the ocean—both have lost a mother, and their ties to the ocean may be more fantastic than they can imagine.
Passion explodes between the two. It terrifies Daniel how quickly his feelings for Leaf grow. There may be more here than meets the eye—about both of them
Review: I enjoyed this sweet and slightly angsty story of young love between Leaf and Daniel.
Daniel returns from school feeling like a disgrace and disappointment because he seemed to have lost the magic that had him leaving home to learn and train. He does, however, feel much better once he is home and close to the ocean again. The taste of raw fish and the comfort of the ocean smell and breeze and sound bring him comfort, even though he is ashamed to tell his father that he is home for good. Daniel’s father is happy to see him and have him home, and doesn’t press him about school.
Daniel meets Leaf at the fishmonger’s and then discovers his father has hired the boy. They hit it off right away and are drawn to each other and the sea. Leaf’s uncle beats him, and Daniel is bereft when Leaf leaves at night – something he doesn’t really understand. He manages to get Leaf back, but not without doing something that will bring them trouble.
Leaf moves in with Daniel and his father, and both of them go to work – Daniel with his father at the bookstore and Leaf with a fisherman. They spend all their free time together and can’t seem to bear being apart. But, of course their happy idyll is broken by the arrival of the authorities, who accuse Daniel of misusing his power. That might be the end of everything for Daniel and Leaf, and the wizards are confounded by what they find out. The stress of the situation pushes Daniel to say things he regrets, and Leaf takes matters into his own hands. Luckily, Daniel’s father is a very smart man, and he keeps Daniel on track and they are able to make things work together.
There are a lot of sweet and romantic moments in this story with just a small dose of fantasy elements to make things interesting. Leaf and Daniel are two young men who in many ways are quite sheltered and so their instant and nearly overwhelming attraction is shocking to them. How they deal with that very fast bonding and the reality of their situation makes for an engaging tale.
You can buy The Sea Calls My Name here: