In Wilder Lands: The Fall of Eldvar by Jim Galford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Tell me I am not a slave, but put a leash on me and I will call you a liar.”
Estin just wants be left alone, in a world where his kind are hated and thought of as slaves. Haunted by memories of his mother’s capture and his father’s beating, Estin struggles to survive and keep from being captured.
Until the day he meets Feanne.
Estin finds himself doing things he never imagined his kind of wildling to do: fighting and protecting rather than running and hiding. Feanne touches Estin like no other, and he breaks through her hardened heart, showing her that there is more to life than fighting.
While the war rages around them, Estin and Feanne, along with the rest of the wildlings, face difficult challenges of their own. Estin’s relationship with Feanne changes vastly throughout the book, though his drive to protect her and her kits only grows stronger. Estin puts himself into several heartbreaking situations, breaking himself nearly to the limit, and somehow overcomes these challenges and becomes who he’s never known he wanted to be.
There is no lack of humor, love, or confrontation; they are all blended into the story effortlessly to create a very real picture of who these characters are and what they struggle with. While the story is very character-driven, the attention to details within the world itself are not forgotten, giving the reader a vivid look at the world of Eldvar.
Galford’s writing is beautiful. His descriptions of the characters, the surroundings, the internal struggles, and the world itself are magical, transporting the reader into the story to walk beside these characters. Anyone looking for an epic fantasy should not pass this book by.
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