Wloch’s debut epic fantasy features a reincarnated hero, lost civilizations and peoples, and a quest for truth.
Uanadain, known as “Dan” to his friends, is dismissed from his military service and sent home with a message. A nearby village has been burned to the ground, and this fact may or may not be related to some strange ruins discovered nearby. The ruins belong to the Forerunners, a race of beings who long ago mastered many arts of building and magic. Unfortunately, many of their secrets have been lost to time. Some legends remain, however, like that of Kato, the greatest of heroes, who’s said to have long ago faced down a dark, evil god and his ghoulish servants. Today, ghouls remain a very real threat—and if they exist, perhaps their dark god does as well. Dan may find out as he, along with wise, old Illius and the telepathic eagle Silverwing, search for truths past and present in an adventure full of danger, prophecy, and desperate hope for the future. Overall, this is a hefty tale, packed with action, adventure, magic, and lost societies. The characters’ attempts to understand the present by examining the past really stand out; those sections of the narrative are almost archaeological in nature, as the players examine ruins, ancient documents, and other elements. This adds a fantastic, fresh aspect to an otherwise fairly standard narrative about a secondary world and a chosen one. Dan’s journey of discovery also benefits from this narrative choice—particularly in his dream memories. Although telepathic animals are a staple of fantasy literature, Silverwing brings more personality to the trope than usual, as the most distinct of a number of distinct, enjoyable character voices.
A solid effort whose fresh ideas and entertaining characters more than make up for an occasional lack of polish.