Eragon meets Game of Thrones and Redwall in this fun epic fantasy.
For many, this book is a furry re-hashing of fantasy tropes: we start out with a farmboy in a rural place barely part of the map in the world Lyssia. Trouble strikes when the boy’s true nature (the ability or curse of shifting into a wolf) comes out. After accidentally killing his mother and escaping his enraged father through the Dyrewood, Drew begins a journey to discover that his real father, much like Eragon’s, was actually a man of power, in this case, one of the shapeshifting kings, a Werelord. Drew struggles to understand his shapeshifting power as well as its place in this world he is only beginning to explore. Amid assassins, torture, and his own fleas, Drew discovers the true beast inside.
While the plot is fun and certainly action-packed from cover to cover, the text is lacking many elements as far as quality. To begin, the style and audience do not mix very well. With a middle-grade vocabulary and style (as well as the “young adult” marketing), one would naturally assume this is for children in middle school. However, the Games of Thrones torture, gore, and violence make you question that quite a bit. It is constantly disorienting and jarring as we have this very naive protagonist in a very simple world with simple politics and one-dimensional characters all around, and suddenly, knives are raked across the protagonist’s ribs, and he’s being whipped repeatedly, leaking lots of blood. You get the point.
The writing is lacking in other areas as well. The rare commas make some sentences almost unreadable; logical fallacies prevail; and redundant phrases abound.
I tend to ignore small writing issues when writing reviews, but when they completely distract the reader from the story, that warrants the critique. Overall, I left this story with just the broadest sense of confusion: what readers were meant to read this? Who were the editors of this project?
On the plus side, this was a fun addition of a fantasy novel into the copia of werewolf literature, and the cover art and book formatting were stellar. Would recommend this book to anyone interested in Game of Thrones.