'Writing for me is not about speeling, grammar or punctuation – that’s why we have editors.... No, writing for me is the ability to capture a story and put it in words.' - Fantasy Muse

Monday 28 October 2013

The Forest Bull

Next up on Fantasy Muse is The Forest Bull by Terry Maggert.

Front Cover


Three lovers who stalk and kill the immortals that drift through South Florida (tourists are a moveable feast, after all) are living a simple life of leisure- until one of them is nearly killed by woman who is a new kind of lethal. When Ring Hardigan isn't making sandwiches for, and with, his two partners, Waleska and Risa (they're cool like that), he's got a busy schedule doing the dirty work of sending immortals to the ever after. Wally and Risa provide linguistics, logistics, and finding the right place for him and his knife-- together, they're a well-oiled machine, and they've settled into a rhythm that bodes ill for the Undying. Warlocks, vampires, succubae and the odd ghoul have all fallen to their teamwork. Life is tough, but they soldier on killing the undead, liberating their worldly goods for charity, and generally achieving very little. 

-Until Ring wakes up after nearly dying at the hands of a woman who may or may not be the daughter of Satan. Ring's a tough character, for a boat bum (killing immortals sort of rubs off on you that way), but twelve days of comatose healing are enough to bring out the ugly side of his temper. When a letter arrives asking for their help finding a large collection of stolen heirloom jewelry, they form an uneasy friendship with the last Baron of a family hiding in a primal European forest. Cazimir, the Baron, has two skills: Jeweler and preserver of the last herd of forest bulls. It's an odd occupation, but then, Ring, Risa and Wally aren't your everyday career folks, and Cazimir's lodge might be sitting on something that looks a lot like hell, which, according to a 2400 year old succubus hooker named Delphine, is currently on the market to the strongest immortal. The Baron's impassioned plea to find the jewelry comes with some conditions-- he doesn't want the collection back as much as he does the thief, Elizabeth, who happens to be his daughter-- and the woman who nearly sent Ring to his grave. In a tapestry of lies, it's up to Ring, Wally and Risa to find out what is evil, who is human, and who really wants to reign over hell.

My Opinion

The Forest Bull is a contemporary/urban fantasy, and is based on three hunters - Ring, Wally and Risa - who prey on the supernatural or Immortals as they are labelled in the story.
As opening chapters go, I’m scratching my head trying to recall a more interesting one. It got straight to the point and set the scene of what the book was all about - killing monsters.

The book involves succubi, vampires and ghouls, but not in the conventional sense. Nowadays, supernatural beings are portrayed as almost human, with feelings and emotion, but Maggert erodes all that and paints a stark contrast. There is no grey here. They’re evil and need to be put down. It’s as simple as that. And so it was refreshing to read a paranormal book like that.

The blurb describes a relationship between Ring and his two lovers Risa and Wally. One of the main reasons why I was eager to read the book was to see how Terry Maggert portrayed such an incongruous union (I don't know if it's every mans dream or worst nightmare). I’m glad to say it wasn’t tasteless and their relationship was mature.

The pace of the book flowed nicely, moving from one scene to the other without lingering like a bad smell. The chapters were short and crisp, which resulted in the story progressing nicely. There were also some clever twists in the storyline that I enjoyed reading. 

I was really impressed by Maggert writing. He has an almost elegant way of painting words together and some passages of text felt like I was reading poetry, however, sometimes a sentence here or there were just a bit too flowery for me and made it feel a bit disjointed whilst reading it. Also, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I felt that some words were just a bit too frilly, and more simpler words would have done. I admit that I hit that auto dictionary quite a few times on my kindle.

This is a self published book and does suffer from the occasional typo, like a missing comma, full stop in between sentences, etc. But all-in-all those errors were scarce and most of the book was edited well.

Ok, some of the other bad:

The first part of the book focused too much on description. Every character or setting was, at times, painstakingly described. I understand that the author was trying to set the foundation for the book, but I think he over stepped that fine line into disinterest. I didn’t really need to know about the extensive history of a restaurant.

Another discord I had was that there wasn't enough dialogue. I would have liked, in particular, to have seen more interaction between Ring, Wally and Risa. I wanted to understand their relationship and get a feel of their personality and I only got that halfway in.


This isn't a casual read that you can just pick up and read, and it demanded my concentration more so than most other books I've read recently. Which is a good thing. I think.

Despite my gripes, I did enjoy reading the book and the storyline was compelling. I’d definitely recommend the book to fans of TV shows Supernatural and Haven. 

Out of 10 Stars: 

7 Stars

Buy it here:

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