Wildlord by Philip Womack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is the second novel I've read this month that seems to have been written in the tradition of the early Alan Garner, which is what I was hoping it would be after reading about it on Twitter. The first was Wildwood by Helen Scott Taylor, with the review immediately preceding this one
In this story Tom Swinton, an orphan, is invited by his uncle to spend his holidays on his farm in Suffolk, and he is keen to go, because the alternative is to spend the holidays alone at the empty school, even though he has never met the uncle. When he arrives, he is met by a strange taciturn boy who seems to be his own age, and a somewhat more talkative but equally strange girl. His uncle, and the house are more strange still, and seems almost paranoid about setting up magical barriers to keep some fairy-like creatures at bay.
The more he learns about the place and his uncle, the less Tom likes it, and Tom wonders whether it might not be better to spend his holiday at school, but then there are obstacles to his leaving. His uncle seems to have invited Tom there for a sinister purpose, though it is difficult to find out what that purpose is, but Tom also discovers that he had magical powers of his own, which seem to run in the family. The only think that seems normal abut the place is the dog, which helps to keep Tom sane, and he also receives some support from a human girl who had joined the fairy-like Samdhya people.
I had to order this book specially, because the local bookshop did not stock it, but I learnt of it through a favourable mention on Twitter. Those who enjoyed the Harry Potter stories and early Alan Garner stories might also enjoy itmight also like it. It's a good and exciting read, though I thought some of the scenes at the climax were a bit over the top, and debated whether to give it four or five stars, but in then end thought it deserved five.
I might have made more comments on the story, the plot and the characters, but I see that there have been very few other reviews, and so I'll save that kind of discussion for when more people have read it.
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