Book Review: The Lightning-Struck Heart


The Lightning-Struck Heart by TJ Klune

Title: The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales From Verania Book 1)
Author: T.J. Klune
Genre(s): M/M Sword and Sorcery Fantasy
Page Count: 451 pages
Buy link:
Blurb: Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.

Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the king’s wizard, Morgan of Shadows.

When Sam’s 14, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.

At 15, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle – Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.

Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the king sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.

Or, so he thinks.




TJ Klune’s The Lightning-Struck Heart is a LGBT+ sword and sorcery fantasy novel. It is a light-hearted romance that explores the characters and their individual relationships.


The Book Review:

After a short period of joining a book club, I wanted to share my first impression by posting a review. My first introduction to TJ Klune was Wolfsong, a bisexual werewolf romance novel. The Lightning-Struck Heart is Book One of the Tales from Verania series. I found it to be a light book that one can finish at their own pace.  If you are looking for a book to read when you’re on the go or waiting between appointments, I recommend giving this a try.

This novel is a light-hearted read that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The chapters were shorter than I expected and is over 400 pages. At the time of reading this novel, this book is available in both paperback and eBook. The writing is in first person point-of-view which may be a hit of miss for some. While I prefer third-person point-of-view, the story’s writing style still kept me entertained.

The Lightning-Struck Heart is a story of unrequited love in an age of swords and sorcery. It is a fantasy world but the world-building is far from the traditional sense. This novel is a good introduction to low fantasy fiction. Especially for those who are looking to dip their feet in the fantasy genre. There are modern pop-culture references spread throughout the novel. In fact, many adult readers may find the sexual innuendos and jokes very relatable.

A story of love, longing, loss, and hope; the Lightning-Struck Heart is a romance story at its core. I applaud how the plot doesn’t cast aside character growth. The main character is a 20-year-old wizard apprentice known throughout the land as Sam of Wilds. Between the adventurous quests of Sam are scenes of longing and heartbreak. The novel explores the value of true relationships, not just the romantic ones. Regardless of the light-hearted tone, each character has their own endearing qualities.

The Lightning-Struck Heart has a unique brand of sass and humor. The characters’ dialogue is witty from the first page to the very last. From Gary the gay unicorn to Knight Commander Sir Ryan Foxheart, I could relate to, love, or dislike each one to a degree. Their personalities are far from the cookie-cutter tropes often used in fantasy worlds. For those whom are avid fans of fantasy stories, may consider this refreshing.



Sometimes I found the Lightning-Struck Heart to be campy. Other times, the silliness was over the top that you couldn’t help but laugh aloud. Despite the sex puns littered around every page, there is only one sex scene. There are no lust-filled romps between the sheets sprinkled throughout the chapters. I will not give any spoilers to where the sex scene is but many TJ Klune fans can already guess where the scene could be. I will say that the scene is enough to leave you satisfied with overall story arc.

If you are looking for explicit sex scenes written throughout the story, then this novel is not for you. If you want a light-hearted romance, then I recommend picking up this book. I know you’ll enjoy The Lightning-Struck Heart as much as I did.

If you’re like me and love LGBT+ Fantasy, then consider grabbing my latest book In The Moonlight. You won’t be sorry.

Writing Progress

Vicious Circles Book 1
Phase:Writing Phase 2
Due:3 months ago
Phase:Second Draft Writing