Book Review: The Companion’s Tale by Astrid VJ

Reviewed: August 12th, 2021
Released: July 9th, 2021
Genre: Fantasy

Elaine is thrown in the deep end and her life unravels before her eyes when the princess she serves dies in a tragic accident. All of a sudden, Elaine doesn’t have a purpose. Alone and drifting, she realises the princess’ death may not have been an accident at all, and things spiral even further into chaos.

Can Elaine find herself in the midst of it all, or will she let the stream tug her into yet another life not of her choosing? And what of Raymond Dart, the king’s chief investigator with a reputation for being the hardest, most intimidating man in the kingdom? Is the kindness he shows Elaine real or is he acting to get her to confess to a crime she did not commit? Elaine doesn’t know what to believe and her life could be on the line if she misses a step.

The Companion’s Tale is one of The Wordmage’s Tales, accompanying The Apprentice Storyteller. The apprentice has learned from master storyteller, Viola Alerion, and now he performs these classic tales from the Haldrian Empire in his own right.

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

A wonderful short story set in the world of the Haldrian Empire and here we meet Jo about to perform before an important audience.

He has been practicing for weeks, and now he is ready. The tale he tells about Elaine the princess’ companion is a lovely tale about how how easy it is to lose yourself amongst all the lies and platitudes other spin to keep you in your place.

Elaine’s purpose has only ever been to support the princess, to be a companion, to be invisible. When the Princess dies, she has to figure out who she really is, and how she wants to live her life. Throw in the possibility of murder and Elaine being suspected as part of the betrayal and you have an engrossing tale.

Astrid packs so much in these short few pages, and manages to gain your sympathies for both the main characters of the tale. In fact you forget Jo is telling a story, and become sucked into the lives of these imaginary people. A true storyteller at work.

About the Author:

Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling Author, Astrid V.J. was born in South Africa. She is a trained social anthropologist and certified transformational life coach. She currently resides in Sweden with her husband and their two children. In early childhood, she showed an interest in reading and languages—interests which her family encouraged. Astrid started writing her first novel at age 12 and now writes fantasy in a variety of genres, exploring her passion for cultures and languages. When she isn’t writing, Astrid likes to read, take walks in nature, play silly games with her children, do embroidery, and play music.

Astrid writes transformation fiction: incorporating transformation principles in novels, rather than writing another self-help book. She loves exploring the human capacity for transformation and potential to achieve success in the face of adversity. Astrid is interested in minority group questions, considerations on social standards of beauty and the negative consequences these have, and would like to make the fantasy genre accessible to people of non-white, non-Christian backgrounds. Astrid feels the fantasy genre has become too restrictive with limited representations of race, ethnicity and culture. She seeks to explore other paths on this writing journey, incorporating her background in anthropology and psychology to create engaging experiences, which also provide food for thought on the diverse topics she finds most important. These include: racism, minority rights, cultural diversity, culture change, intolerance, humanity’s environmental impact, the representation of people on the autism spectrum in among the general populace, the human capacity for transformation, and much more.

You can find Astrid on:


The Companion’s Tale is availble for free on Amazon.

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook

If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook or paperback: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice (Preorder). Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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