cover image Foxen Bloom

Foxen Bloom

Parker Foye. Tenebrosity, $4.99 e-book (270p) ASIN B09688KP99

Foye’s bewitchingly folkloric but underdeveloped full-length debut (after the Love Has Claws novella series) centers on the developing romance between human Prior and a fox-faced, stag-horned forest god called Fenton as the pair adventure across a disappointingly generic fantasy world. The men meet when Prior heads into the forests to pray for help and Fenton answers this prayer. A magical blight is sweeping Prior’s home village, causing a lethal sleeping sickness, which has infected his sister, Sylvie. Enamored with Prior, Fenton agrees to temporarily lift the blight’s influence, but to stop the curse entirely, he and Prior must seek out a powerful mage’s advice. The mage they find, Nola, informs them that breaking the tainted magic’s hold entails a gory journey to rescue Fenton’s godly sibling, Lorcan, from an even more powerful mage and so destroy the blight’s source. Foye builds a lot of mystery in the early pages with fable-like prose that paints Fenton as eerily otherworldly. This feeling dissipates once the romance kicks off and the story settles into straightforward romantic fantasy with plenty of grisly misadventures, but few surprises. It’s uneven, but readers on the hunt for queer romantic fantasy will find it worth a look. (Self-published)