AUTHOR’S WEBSITE: https://eldonthompson.com/
PUBLISHED: August 28, 2018 (Self-published)
GENRE: Epic Fantasy, Heroic Fantasy
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.
Well, the entirety of this book is one wild expedition, fraught with horrors and peril at every. Single. Turn. A thrilling tale of adventure, treachery, and courage, The Ukinhan Wilds delivers us from the throes of a hungry sea, to shattered shores, to humid swamps, to labyrinthine caves, and more, in order to deliver a kidnapped princess back to her father. However, there’s a consistent feeling that nothing is as it seems, which unravels into a larger underlying plot line that awaits further discovery. Populated by a large cast of diverse characters – some you love, and some you hate – this story focuses quite a bit on character dynamics, most of which were interesting to watch unfold. Kylac, the main character, is overly-powered, yet conflicted, which I always find to be a fine balance. Solid writing, vividly painted landscapes, and truly terrifying baddies, this story was an unexpected and welcome treat.
While I enjoyed my precarious trek through the wilds, at times there was a bit of meandering that threatened to pull me from the story, finding myself growing weary and wishing for more monsters. Don’t get me wrong, there are monsters aplenty, and each more horrifying than the last. I also felt somewhat of a disconnect with Kylac, and later learned that the author dedicated another entire series to his adventures. There were a few aspects of his character that I found distracting or questionable, and maybe being acquainted with his history would’ve better equipped me for this. A shocking ending leaves this series open to a whole new set of nail-biting wanderings, and I’m looking forward to seeing what trouble Kylac finds himself in next.