Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{June 4, 2013}   {Review} In Wilder Lands by Jim Galford

12475032From Goodreads: The wilding Estin just wanted to be left alone, find shelter and food, and live to a nice old age. With war escalating around him, these may be beyond his reach. Instead, survival becomes his only goal as he flees civilization to pursue the chance at a better life by following a fox wildling into the mountains, far from the war’s conflicts.

The war might still be raging elsewhere, but Estin will find the mountains are far from safe. Estin must decide what he is willing to do and become, as well as who to trust if he is to survive, no matter where he lives.


This is a very well written fantasy novel, complete with world building, magic, wildings, gypsies, orcs, dwarves, war, and the undead. It’s an epic journey, transcending many years, trials, and tribulations for Estin as he struggles not only in the city of man, orphaned and alone, evading slavery, but also in the in the woods, meeting Feanne and her clan, learning healing magic and patrolling against the undead.

The entire premise of the novel is absolutely amazing, and I love that the main characters are anthropomorphic, having extreme human qualities and the ability to speak and walk upright, but still being animalistic in features.  The closest I’ve come to a novel like this is Watership Down, but to be quite honest, I think In Wilder Lands beats out that classic ten-fold due to its epic nature and the absorption of so many fantastical elements. 

The characterization of the many characters was absolutely superb, fleshing them out to the point that I actually felt that I knew them on a personal level, and as the story unfolds over the course of many years, readers learn their entire histories and make a deeper connection with them than many shorter novels allow.  Truthfully, it’s an absolutely amazing read, but also an extremely long one. I’ve been spoiled by shorter novels and, while I truly enjoyed this novel, I do think it could have been a bit shorter, or split up into two novels. But that’s just a personal preference.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.


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