In Isaak’s sleepy town, monsters live next door.
Most of the townsfolk prefer to avoid the dark, eerie woods, but Isaak enjoys spending his days there. Armed with his grandmother’s stories, he chops wood and plants trees, and keeps the peace between men and monsters.
Then he meets the Leshy, the god who guards the forest and all who dwell in it. He is also known for abducting travelers — or tickling them to death. But the god he meets is nothing like the stories he was told, and the more time they spend together the more Isaak hates to leave him.
But the Leshy isn’t the only thing lurking in the woods…
Genre: LGBT Fantasy, Romance
Title: The Leshy and the Lumberjack
Author: Ginger Streusel
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
The Leshy and the Lumberjack is a soft, growing crescendo of magical notes that weaves a tale not many may know of: the monsters in the forest. The leshy guard the trees and its inhabitants, and so long as the humans respect them, food and warmth is allowed. Isaak, a human woodcutter and one of the very few in his family with the gift of helping safeguard the forest, keeps the peace by giving offerings of sweets and planting trees when they cut some away. He’s responsible for ensuring that the people in his village maintain the same respect that his family has for the forest, but of course, there’s always that one bad egg… only, in this case, it just may be the very reason for his eventual happiness.
I really liked this. It started out with a very favorite tone of mine; I love the old fantasy feels, the stories that make you feel like you’re sitting next to a fire on a shaggy carpet while your grandmother tells you those nightly stories of fairytales and dragons. Isaak was a very mild-mannered man, usually quiet but sincerely sweet when it came to the forest. He lived on his grandmother’s stories of He of the forest and all of His subjects, and the forest gives him a kind of peace he can’t find anywhere else. He’s gay, but hides it from everyone, often meeting up with strangers passing through. And then he (finally) meets Les when dealing with the bad egg I mentioned above, and it’s a sweet tale from then on. It was kinda hot, I’ll admit, but mostly sweet. He’s finally finding his own personal happiness, you know? Danger and suspense appear here and there until the climax, and I thought it added to the sweetness and drama. For me personally, I’m amazed that this read like a well-rounded book despite only being less than 150 pages. I don’t always get that with books, so this is sincerely appreciated.
It’s a definite recommend if you like fantasy reads with myths who don’t get enough of the spotlight. It’s also sweet with a pretty well-developed friendship/relationship that’s set in a semi-fast paced tempo. The details are far from few but that’s part of the appeal for me. I love that he loves his family, that he learns a few things about himself and the people he cares or is responsible for, and overall, it’s just something to make you smile. So check it out.