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Book Review for The Ukinhan Wilds by Eldon Thompson

Book Review for The Ukinhan Wilds by Eldon ThompsonThe Ukinhan Wilds by Eldon Thompson
Series: Warder #1
on August 28th, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 346

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Assassin. Rogue. Demon’s bane. Dragon-slayer. Kylac Kronus has been called many names, and earned every one of them. Months shy of his seventeenth spring, he is already the deadliest man alive. Nothing—be it man or beast—has been able to prove otherwise.

Uncomfortable with his newfound fame following the War of the Demon Queen, Kylac seeks fresh adventure overseas, recruited by a band of outlanders under royal commission to escort a kidnapped princess back to her father, King Kendarrion, ruler of the Sundered Isle. They warn him that, to do so, he will brave tempest seas full of raging leviathans while seeking to evade those responsible for the princess’s abduction—including a terrifying mutant left over from the days of the Mage Wars.

Kylac readily agrees.

But when the mutant proves as cunning as it is savage, the perilous voyage gives way to an even deadlier trek across a poisoned wilderness once home to the ancient Gorrethrehn—“Breeders”—a sect of magi known for their foul creation practices. Stalked by bestial denizens, treacherous companions, and horrors that his blades cannot touch, Kylac finds himself embattled as never before. For the mutant is relentless in its hunt, the island’s terrors do not rest, and not even the deadliest man alive can hope to emerge unscathed.

For those who don’t follow it, this is a book in the Self-published Fantasy Blog-off competition #5 hosted by the wonderful Mark Lawrence. This book is in the same group as my book, so I thought I’d give it a looksie.

Kylac is looking for adventure, and he finds it by way of escorting a runaway princess home. This book follows Kylac’s journey which is fraught with peril. The plot is that simple. Toward the last few chapters of the book, we learn that indeed Kylac’s mission is far more complicated. However, we discover this very late, so one should not expect an intricate woven web of intrigue and worldbuilding.

I didn’t realize this was a series following another series that probably provided the detailed worldbuilding and character development that we generally look for in books. Kylac, I assume, was flushed out in those other books. While I agree that you don’t need to read the other series, I regret not doing so because I’m a character reader, and though there were mentions here and there of Kylac’s past, none of it was explored, which left me thirsting for more information and feeling slightly cheated. Now that I know about the other series, this was not the fault of the author but was mine for not researching the series. I’m sure for fans of the other series, hearing all that history repeated would be a tad annoying. If you just want an adventure, danger around every corner, and a break from intrigue, this will be up your alley. Despite my desire for more history on Kylac, I still found it an enjoyable ride through dangerous landscapes painted vividly by Thompson.

About Eldon Thompson

Weaned on the likes of The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, Eldon took to writing fantasy adventure, it seems, almost as soon as he learned to read. By the time he hit grade school, he was writing 30-page stories in lieu of the two or three pages expected of all students on a monthly basis. When at age nine he read Terry Brooks’s The Elfstones of Shannara, his goal of becoming a fantasy novelist went from child’s ambition to hopeless obsession.

Yet writing was to be a hobby. Even his parents stressed the importance of a “safe” career path. So when the time came, Eldon accepted a scholarship and went off to college, where among his English, writing, and mythology courses, he studied computers, the health sciences, and worked hard to play football. What he really wanted to be was a quarterback. The NFL off-season, he thought, was long enough in which to write books.

However, after knee surgery, a dislocated throwing shoulder (literally dozens of times), and years of daily chiropractic care, he found himself on the outside looking in. Upon graduation from college, he finally accepted that his chances of entering dental school were far greater than those of ever being invited to an NFL combine.

Only, he didn’t really want to do that, either. Other than play football, the only thing he’d ever really wanted to do was write—and he had several thousand pages of unpublished work to prove it. Still, it was unpublished for a reason. He hadn’t tried, but he had no doubt as to what the result would have been if he had . . .

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