I knew nothing about this book going in besides people saying it was a good series on r/fantasy. I read it via audiobook and I was a bit hesitant when I saw it was read by the author himself, before this book Ive never enjoyed books that were read by the authors because they didn’t have the voice acting ability to match the number of characters in their stories. I was pleasantly surprised that Will Wight really did a great job with this, I wouldn’t have known it wasn’t voiced by a professional narrator.
This is a coming of age story, and it starts off the way many coming of age stories do, with a tragedy that jump starts the protagonists story line.
Simon was 8 when his father was killed by “Travellors” when they were taking shelter in a forest, his father was killed, and his mother was also attacked and left in a state of psychosis, leaving Simon virtually alone since he now had to be a care taker at a very young age.
Simon lives in a very basic village with stick and mud huts with sand bottoms in a very medieval like existance.
Trouble comes when Travellors come to his village and demand a sacrifice of 9 people with orders coming from an Overlord.
Travellors are magic users that can access alternate universes of sorts. The alternate universes are called “Territories” and each provide a Travellor with unique forms of magic. The magic works by forming portals to each of those Territories and summoning things like monsters from those realms to be used in combat. Since each Territory is unique, so are the abilities each Travellor can use.
I liked the world building and magic use in this book, it’s been a while since Ive read portal fantasy and I liked how it was used in this book.
With the villagers taken captive, Simon sets out to find out how to be a Traveller so he can get his friends back before they are sacrificed.
He encounters one of the more unique characters I’ve read in a while, named Kai. (All of these spellings will be guesses since I audiobooked) Kai is extremely excentric and it’s hard to know why he does what he does. Kai is the one responsible for Simons training and exploring his territory is pretty cool, it’s like a house of horrors where even in your bedroom you can be attacked by mysterious entitites. Nothing is safe, not even your bathtub.
This is a multi POV book with Simon being the main character,but several side characters. Allen is from the same village that Simon is from, and he’s supposedly a chosen one who’s been prophecised to save everyone. Leah is also from the same village, but she’s not what she appears to be.
Simon and Allen use different Territories, so you get to explore more than one through the book which is nice, I hope through the trilogy we explore more of the Territories.
Overall the tone is one of action and adventure, it’s not light hearted per se, but it’s not doom and gloom either.
I believe this is a finished trilogy so I’ll be doing another review of the full series when I finish. If you’re looking for works that are complete because you don’t want to wait around for the next book this series may interest you.
Audience: People who like coming of age stories, who enjoy multi POV, lots of magic use, and shorter books compared to doorstopping tomes.