Book Review: Wildlord

Title: Wildlord

Written by: Philip Womack

Cover by: Karen Vaughan

Published by: Little Island Books

Wildlord by Philip Womack

Philip Womack expertly weaves mystery and suspense into this YA time-slip fantasy escapade. When a letter is delivered by a furtive silver-haired, silver-eyed boy inviting sixteen-year-old orphan, Tom Swinton, to stay at the equally furtive Mundham Farm in Suffolk, home of an unknown Uncle James, Tom weighs up the pros and cons and decides anything has to be better than being stuck alone again for the Summer at his boarding school. This is a decision he is forced to regret as the intriguing narrative progresses.

Tom befriends the silver-haired Kit and Leana the lurcher and he is beguiled by the alluring Zita, whom Tom feels is out of sync with the farm. He quickly realises there is something ominous about Mundham Farm, after all you don’t get many farms surrounded by moats where you have to reset the defence wards every day and get shot at by arrows. Tom stumbles across some old diaries written by a local rector’s daughter, recalling her encounters with Rohenga, a member of a mystical race known as the Samdhya. As Tom starts to uncover the truth and finds his uncle is not what he seems he is confronted with a difficult choice: freedom or infinite power.

With hints of Alan Garner’s Stone Book quartet and the secrets of a supernatural relationship with the natural world, Wildlord, is a compelling read. The characters are vivid and memorable. Throughout you do not know who you can really trust as they set each other up against each other. There is a strong sense of place and I enjoyed the way Philip Womack skilfully mixes the faerie world with mundane everyday life. There is some well-crafted imagery lulling the reader into a false sense of security from the ‘confusing ramble of corridors’ and array of chiming clocks inside the house, to the ‘large, white-tipped waves that loomed from the darkening swell and crashed over the bow’ of the ship that lay claim to his parents, which sets the tone for the dramatic twists and turns of this fast-paced adventure.

Wildlord is a must-read for people who enjoy intricate fantasy quests.

I would like to thank Philip Womack for personally sending me a copy of Wildlord to review on my blog. Thank you.

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