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The Legend of Gentleman John by T.J. Nichols Release Day Review

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Book Info

Book Series
2018 Advent Calendar: Warmest Wishes
About the Author
TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ enjoys writing novellas and novels and has a series, Studies in Demonology, coming out with DSP Publications.
After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.
Publication Date
December 01, 2018
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Content Warning
 implied rape/assault, off-page violence, conversion/correction treatment of trans characters
Banyn, a fae, escorts the souls of children to Magh Meall, but one Christmas, he comes for a lad who isn’t quite dead, and he breaks a rule rather than wait while John fights a battle he’ll ultimately lose. So begins a long-running affair that crosses the border between life and death, the human and fae realms, and even oceans to strange countries with different gods and rules.

John Rourke renounced a religion that had no place for him and returned to the old ways. Convicted of theft, he is sentenced to transportation and suffers brutal punishment—until he escapes to live on his own terms as a bushranger. When vengeance against his tormentor consumes him and threatens his life, John finds he has only one holiday wish—to see his fae lover one last time.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes."

Editor review

1 review

 I'm a big fan of T.J. Nichols, ever since starting the Studies in Demonology series, and this short was no different. It was amazing.
 From the world building of an urban fantasy style – historically accurate about life in the 1800's, detailing the life of a child thief, a trans FTM person and all they endured during those days, as well as the realities of penal colonies, mixed with a fae world – to the historical detail, the characterisation, and the chemistry between the couple, there wasn't anything I didn't love.
 Gentleman John was a great character. As a trans man, locked in a world that didn't understand or accept him, he tried everything he could to be himself. His journey was long, sad, beautiful, and heartbreaking all at once. The way Banyn helped him endure it was beautiful. Their chemistry with each other was lovely, real, palpable and sweet.
 I really appreciated the very clear timeline, with each section marked by the date and location. This is a story that jumps about in time, quite a bit, mostly past then present, and it was great to be able to follow along without feeling out of time or place.
 The Legend of Gentleman John is a short story with heart, and meaning. It deals with some tough stuff (implied assault, beatings, “correcting” trans people) but it does so with sensitivity and an honesty that doesn't sugar-coat a terrible historical period or what it might have been like to be a trans-person in that era. Through characterisation, and John's relationship with Banyn, I got sucked into a beautiful story from page one, that didn't let up on the emotional heart-tugging until the very end. I cared, I hoped, I cried, and I ended this beautiful story with a heartwarming feeling that *finally*, in the end, everything had turned out as it was meant to.
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