Rainbow Reading is our weekly series focusing on book recommendations with a geeky/sci-fi/fantasy/supernatural flair with LGBTQ characters. Today I discuss “The Lightning Struck Heart” by TJ Klune.
This book is handfuls of glitter and fantastical glamor. One simple example, it has a hornless gay unicorn named Gary. “The Lightning Struck Heart” is about a wizard’s apprentice, a unicorn and a half giant and their friendship. That isn’t exactly true - there is also a dragon, knight, king, prince and unrequited love thrown into the book for good measure.
This book is fantasy, but don’t count on huge amounts of world building. There are magical creatures and people, but lots of references to current pop culture. It doesn’t take away from the book at all IMO.
The premise of the story is that Sam was pulled out of the slums as a kid after accidentally turning some bullies into stone. He was noticed by the King’s wizard, Morgan of Shadows, and became the wizard’s apprentice. Sam and his parents were moved into the castle so Sam could be mentored by Morgan. On Sam’s first big test given to him by Morgan Sam had to go into the dark woods and bring back something unexpected. Sam brought back Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and Tiggy, the half giant. As Sam said in the book,
“I went into the wilds alone, and I returned with friends. I’ve never had a friend on my own before. And now I have two. Unexpectedly.”
To me this is what this book is mostly about - the friendship between Gary, Tiggy and Sam. It is the type of friendship everyone wants - friends that have your back, call you on your idiocy, offer to smash people for you, are there to make you laugh and cuddle with you when you are at your lowest and there to celebrate with you when you are on top of the world. Gary is fabulous, he is a kinky gay unicorn that when he rages he spews glitter!!! Tiggy is the protector and cuddler of the group - he will hug you and smash your worst enemy with equal fervor.
The unrequited love in this story is between Sam and Knight Delicious Face, aka Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart. Knight Delicious Face becomes engaged to Prince Justin. Prince Justin will be King Justin one day, and Sam will be King Justin’s Wizard. See the deliciousness of the mess of humanity that TJ Klune has brought to this book? It is like a Spanish soap opera in all of its wonderness.
A fantasy book must have adventure - it can't all be unicorns and sass. Prince Justin ends up getting kidnapped by a Dragon named Kevin. Sam, Gary, Tiggy and Knight Delicious Face set out on a journey to save him. Word vomit, hugs, heartbreaking honesty, dark elves, cults and smashing ensue throughout the adventure.
I’m recommending this book as a read, so you know we ultimately get the happily ever after but not without a lot of laughter, angst and tears. If you are looking for a crazy fun book to read, I recommend picking up “The Lightning Struck Heart” by TJ Klune.
Let me leave you with this from Kevin, the dragon in our story
“You know what they say, once you go dragon, all the rest is just laggin.”