“Book Review: The Fleeing Company”
Reviewed by Robyn-Lee Samuels
A lyrical epic fantasy in a fascinating world
The Fleeing Company is the first book in Kyle McCurry’s debut Young Adult Fantasy series, The Drifters’ Road. The story starts when Adroegen, a young drifter, visits his friends who live in a hidden village. Unbeknownst to him, Adroegen is followed by the Goblin Chief and his pack, the same Goblin Chief who killed his family when he was a boy.
The goblins destroy the village and everyone in it save for Adroegen and his five friends, who, like Adroegen, are all orphaned or abandoned by their families. The Goblin Chief and his cohorts are hunting Adroegen because he possesses the Night’s Jewel—a magical gem that can summon all the dark powers under the bearer’s control—and the evil lord Vyroun wants it back.
Kyle McCurry has built a world filled with perils, monsters, and magical creatures, making it difficult for our heroes on their quest of the Night’s Jewel and to avenge Adroegen’s parents. While the Company encounters dragons, wizards, and more, they use their wit and the power of their friendship to vanquish and escape their foes.
The author cleverly explores a number of powerful themes in this book, including those related to a gracious deity, Enilundar, who watches over Adroegen and his friends. It also furthers conversations on grief, revenge, purpose, and found families in the face of the characters’ loss of their home. Although there are parallels to the Judeo-Christian worldview, readers won’t recognize them unless they’re looking for them. At most, readers might find the meta-exploration of the deity intriguing and recognizable.
While a difficult feat to pull off, The Fleeing Company skillfully infuses the second person into its narration, as the unknown narrator addresses the reader directly on occasion. It’s used minimally and with such care that it brings an added bonus to the novel’s already lyrical sweeping language. McCurry’s prose resembles those early stylists of Victorian English literature with its hints of humor and flourishing style.
The narrative is always propelling forward at an even pace and has enough action sequences to keep us engaged. Adroegen is an intriguing and worthy lead who only does what the crises demand. When faced with dangerous situations, he weighs his options and moves forward in the best way he knows how. For a while, that means he’s running away, but as he continues, the suspense builds and the action lurks quietly around the corner.
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
Print Length: 254 pages
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