Review: The Reluctant Companion (13 Kingdoms #1) by H.L. Day

Rating: 4.5🌈

The Reluctant Companion is exactly what I was hoping to read when I saw the words whimsical fantasy adventure! The first in the 13 Kingdoms series by H.L. Day, it just encapsulated all those things that have made me love this type of book since adolescence . It’s got a glorious, technicolor cover, complete with fabulous looking being with Fire leaning against a huge lion! Yep!

Then immediately inside there’s hand drawn maps of the places our characters go charging off to, ala Tolkien or many a other great fantasy series. Be still my heart when I saw those tiny little mountains, complete with nonsensical names.

You got to have those in a whimsical fantasy.

And then? It’s quest time! A farm boy sets out to find his sister who’s left his village, only to find himself (and his quest) being immediately led astray by a magical monkey only he can see!

The farm boy isn’t your typical naive wide eyed sweet thing. Oh no. He’s a deliciously stubborn, temperamental person who also happens to be a excellent hunter with a dry sense of humor and strong sense of justice.

A interesting choice when it comes to wanting a companion for a mission and adventure. Especially if the other person’s morals are a tad on the shaky side. As is his identity. But he’s gorgeous, a bit vain. And mysterious. And hard to say no to. Even as a reader. *shakes head at Sebastian *

Jack needs to find his sister and Sebastian says he needs to rescue a Prince. In between those two quests lies, well, a ton of fantastical fun, a bunch of not quite lies, amazing amounts of fabulous characters, including orcs who may not have been cheated, cheating pirates who aren’t nice to their fathers, and sassy, spoiled princes.

And some magic. And not that they’d let on, but perhaps some heartfelt romance.

It’s a wonderfully lighthearted story that allows for the characters to show growth of personality as well as real changes of heart as their journey progresses. It’s surprisingly deep for a whimsical tale of adventure, wild quests, and personal growth.

And maybe finding a companion who loves you too.

The ending is just terrific. One element of the plot had been left open. So of course, a new mission opens up for Jack and Sebastian with the potential to tie up that loose storyline. The Stubborn Accomplice (13 Kingdoms #2) is due out on September 30, 2022.

I will there immediately to grab it up.

Love fantasy? In need of something lighthearted? But with great characters and enough depth and charm that it will stay with you after you are done?

Check out The Reluctant Companion (13 Kingdoms #1) by H.L. Day! And don’t forget to look at the maps!

I’m highly recommending this!

13 Kingdoms:

✓ The Reluctant Companion #1

◦ The Stubborn Accomplice #2- Sept., 30, 2022 › showThe Reluctant Companion (13 Kingdoms #1) by H.L. Day | Goodreads


Sebastian might have the power to summon animals, but winning Jack over? Far more difficult.

As first encounters go, Jack and Sebastian’s isn’t ideal, leaving Jack nursing a grudge he’s not about to let go of in a hurry. Yet, if Jack is to find his missing sister, and Sebastian is to rescue his captured prince, they’ll need to set their differences aside and work as a team.

Jack is stubborn and somewhat volatile. Sebastian is vain and clearly in love with himself. But as the unlikely companions face all manner of dangers together, they grow closer. Rescuing the prince should be easy. Rescuing him from an impenetrable tower guarded by dragon-shifting knights? Okay, that part is harder.

But once the adventure is over, letting Sebastian go might be the hardest thing Jack has ever had to do.

The Reluctant Companion is an 85k MM enemies to lover’s story featuring murderous orcs, deadly creatures, and marauding bandits. Opposites attract in this light-hearted fantasy romance which mixes humor with action and adventure. Meet a whole cast of colorful characters in the first book of the 13 kingdoms series.


Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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