Title: The Fleeing Company
Author: Kyle McCurry
Adroegen has always been a lone ranger. A wanderer. Some may even go as far as vagabond. Having participated in the great battle ten years past which prevented the demon Vyroun from overtaking the northern kingdom, he has seen his fair share of evil and played his part in stopping it.
The infamous goblin chief, a key player in Vyroun’s army, killed off all of Adroegen’s kin during the war. Adroegen has since made friends with the residents of a small village, hidden behind a waterfall at the Southern borders of the kingdom. Having no direct kin of their own, he feels a deep connection to his friends, Edelbir, Kattalin, Gleoman, Vaenn, and Caitren. But disaster strikes when the goblin chief, seeking to punish Adroegen for stealing a powerful, dark gem during the war, burns down his friends’ village. The six heroes are forced to run, seeking shelter and aid from friends across the kingdom, ending in a confrontation ten years in the making.
The Fleeing Company is the first in Kyle McCurry’s The Drifters’ Road fantasy series. Using the first and second person in reference to the narrator and the reader respectively, there is a unique narration style that immerses the reader within the story. The Fleeing Company is well-suited to a young adult audience, with easy-to-understand characters and a simplistic, yet engaging, plot. The main character, Adroegen, carries most of the important themes within the book. Though Adroegen experiences more loss than any one person should, he struggles to balance his thirst for vengeance with his obligation to keep his friends safe. Although he is warned many times, and by many different characters, his desire for vengeance continuously gets the better of him. He is a perfectly flawed hero, a must-have for any good fantasy.
The pace of the novel was consistent, never falling flat or rushing through action scenes. Despite the creativity of the story, the writing style did not leave much to the imagination. Too often the narrator would repeat a piece of information multiple times over, or provide a blatant hint about what was to come. This prevented readers from drawing their own conclusions and dampened the anticipation. Additionally, there were several images provided in the book, including a map at the beginning, that were hand-drawn in pen. These images could have been more professionally done and detracted from the immersive quality of the story.
The author provides a map of the kingdom at the beginning of the book that will serve readers well in tracking the heroes as they escape from numerous foes. Based on the size of the map and the locations yet to be discovered, there is clearly much more adventure to be had before evil can be vanquished for good, leading well into the next book in the series. Readers who enjoy the fantasy genre will appreciate this world created by the author where anything is possible.
The Fleeing Company will take readers on a page-turning adventure where good bands together to defeat evil. Fantasy readers will enjoy this exciting, magical tale of heroism. Readers will find themselves captivated by a world of heroes and wizards, goblins and dragons, giant spiders, and majestic owls, as the characters fight not just for their own lives, but for the lives of the friends they now call family.
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