Tristan is an honorable knight in Leadon. His father was a loyal and well respected knight as well, and Tristan carries on in the same manner. Tristan grew up with Clayne, who became his best friend, and then his lover. Clayne is poor and the assistant to the local blacksmith. He is hard working and content in life, especially since he has the love of his own brave knight, Tristan. Their love for each other runs deep, but their relationship is made up of stolen moments as they are not of the same stations in life and they are both men.
Chaos infringes on their happiness when the king informs Tristan that he has arranged a marriage for him to the princess of another kingdom. When Tristan declines the offer, the king threatens Clayne’s life. Tristan must now choose between saving the man he loves and marrying another, or following a risky plan set forth by his elders that will truly challenge their belief in each other.
Tender is the Knight is set in the world of knights and kingdoms and honor. The writing is accessible and it is easy to just join into Tristan and Clayne’s world. The men have already been an established couple for years and they have a true friendship and a sweet love for each other. Tristan’s father was killed many years ago and after the king orders him to marry, he finds that everything he has believed in has been steeped in lies. The setting, while enjoyable, is not overly detailed and somewhat harder to picture. The story has an even pace to it, but the middle of the story did drag on a bit with a lot of set up. The core of the story that revolves around how Tristan will get out of having to marry the princess and stay with his true love Clayne, offers a touch of magic, wizardry, and a plan that needs to be acted upon quickly. The request that the king makes of Tristan left me with a few unanswered questions as to what the king was actually looking to accomplish with the whole plan and there is not an in depth explanation. There is not much new going on here and overall the story is predictable. It is somewhat too predictable in that there is never a doubt what the outcome will be. There are no twists or turns here, but a story of how true love will prevail. The momentum of the story is how Tristan and Clayne will be able to hold on to their true love, and the ending is very abrupt and had a definite unfinished feel. The ending lends itself over to another matter at hand and I would have liked to see Tristan and Clayne enjoy some time as the couple they fought so hard to become.
Overall, this is pleasant to read, but will not be a story that will linger with me. If you like a fantasy setting, with little conflict, and two sweet lovers, Tender is the Knight would then be one to look at.