On Halloween eve, a frightening encounter with mysterious creatures transports twenty-year old Thomas McCadden to an unknown and ancient world—7th century Britain. How did he get there? What does he do now? The answers to these questions change his life forever, revealing secrets that have long been hidden, and a truth that he would rather not know. As he tries to survive this long-ago time, Thomas encounters the unknown and the otherworldly; an exiled warrior, holy men, tribal kings, and something far more sinister shadowing them all.
Is he a tool for the dark forces of this land? Or the liberator sent to save them all? His strange journey forces these and even more important questions: Can he make it back home? Does he even want to return?
Wilding is the first book of The Traveller’s Path, a meticulously researched historical fantasy series set in Northumbria, AD 642. It introduces a long-ago world, and a young man whose choices could have disastrous ramifications for it—and ours.
Book 1 of the The Traveller’s Path series.
Thomas, reeling from his mother’s death and feeling so alone, had little reason to be fond of the world. But when he stumbled out of his world and into ancient Europe on Halloween night, all he could think of was returning home. But that’s not easy, even for the Fey. In Wilding, L. A. Smith combines fantasy, historical fiction, and just a touch of biblical fiction. Seventh-century England is convincingly realized though largely unexamined in this novel. Its historical milieu is infused with rich veins of magic and legend, shaded slightly by the Bible’s oldest stories. Unfortunately, the hero is rarely proactive in his desires, and the plot meanders between loosely connected events. All the same, Wilding offers a lively journey through the foreign world of ancient Europe and the wild world of the Fey.
Best for: Young-adult audiences; fans of fantasy and historical fiction.
Discern: A serial killer murders an entire family off-screen, and his handiwork is briefly seen; a number of small-scale fights; a husband strikes his wife and a master beats a slave; animals are gruesomely butchered and the corpses left as threats; some language, mostly mild.