by Philip Womack
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Pub Date 29 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 24 Oct 2022
A suspenseful teen fantasy about young love, dark mystery and magic.
16-year-old orphan Tom Swinton is not looking forward to spending the summer at his boarding school. So when he receives a strange message from his uncle James, inviting him to visit his Suffolk farm, he jumps at the chance.
However, Tom quickly realises that something is menacing Mundham Farm. But does it come from outside, or within? The mystery deepens when Tom finds old diaries describing a romance with a member of a supernatural race known as the Samdhya.
As the secrets of the farm begin to unravel, pressure mounts, and Tom finds his loyalties under threat. On one hand, he is offered infinite power. On the other, his freedom. Which will he choose?
Tom must now face up to his parents’ deaths, and
expose the truth about his uncle, and his relationship
with the Samdhya. Who are these extraordinary
creatures, and what has his uncle kept hidden for so
Praise for Wildlord
"Made me feel I was reading a classic from the shelves of my childhood."
"A gripping, morally complex fantasy by one of my favourite YA writers. Philip Womack deserves to be much more widely read."
"Womack's stylish prose makes this fantasy novel very much worth reading."
The Irish Times
"A richly atmospheric and beautifully written addition to literature about the fiercer kind of fairy."
Praise for other books by Philip Womack
"Engaging and funny and clever. Written with the verve of a novelist and the insights of a scholar."
Dr Harry Sidebottom, Oxford don and author of the bestselling Warrior of Rome series
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
This was a great suspenseful novel, it worked well as a teen novel and I think adults would enjoy this too. The characters were well written and I enjoyed getting to know them. I enjoyed the way Philip Womack writes but I had enjoyed another book of his The Arrow of Apollo, so I kinda expected this to be well done.
"Who knows?’ answered Zita. ‘Their ways are mysterious. As she says – they see everything at once. Jack had held the Captive already for two hundred years or so by this point – maybe Rohenga thought Margaret could help him release her."
I thought Wildlord was a fantastic YA story. It really hit all the marks for me, likable characters, interesting world-building, and an intriguing plot. As Thomas learns more and more about why his uncle Jack had sent for him it becomes clear that Jack is not at all what he seems. I really loved how the relationship grew between Kit, Thomas, and Zita. His struggles in choosing freedom versus power are well-written and thoughtful. The mysterious Samdhya turn out to be super interesting. While there were a few unanswered questions at the end, I thought overall it was great, and look forward to reading more by this author.
Tom is an orphan, looking bleakly towards another summer spent alone at his boarding school when he suddenly receives a very strange note from a boy that disappears into thin air. The note is an invitation to stay with an uncle Tom's not entirely sure exists, but his curiosity is peaked. Once he makes it to his uncle's manor, Tom must unravel a mystery full of magic that intertwines past and present.
I really loved Philip Womack's prose in Wildlord, it did an amazing job gently weaving a fascinating mystery! This book feels like it blends the lines between middle grade and young adult, but in a way that feels natural. The plot, too, was fascinating and felt very original. I'm not sure I've ever experienced a YA book that nails the gothic feeling Wildlord does.
One of the small things that bothered me in this manuscript was the formatting. I didn't notice any glaring errors except for the punctuation each time a character spoke, because it was only capped by a single quotation mark not a double quotation mark. I'm not sure if this was a stylistic intent or not but it did irritate me. It, however, wasn't enough to deter my overall love of reading this!
Since this was the first book I've read from this author, I'm excited to delve into more of his work to see if the rest delivers as much as this did.
Thank you to NetGalley and Little Island Books for providing me with a copy for an honest review.
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