By: Kyle McCurry
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: June 2021
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
After diving into the first Drifters’ Road book, The Fleeing Company, I was beyond happy that I had the second book right here on hand. The reason? I got so into the first one – and fell for the characters so completely – that I did not want to wait to see what happened next. Adroegen was the main character in the first book. This young man who was good at heart and who fought to keep his home safe, was someone the reader was able to stand by as he traveled into all types of mystical locations, where everything from dragons to an evil lord named Vyroun seemed to be waiting around every corner.
Well...as Part Two begins, the horrible goblin chief we met up with in the first book (Vyroun’s second-in-command, so to speak) has been killed. Although there should be some kind of peace after this, unfortunately that’s not the case. The goblins have regrouped and seem to be stronger than ever. As Adroegen is lost over the side of a cliff, his group of friends end up getting separated after being surrounded by a pack of horrible goblins. Being outnumbered, not only do they lose Adroegen, but Caitren is captured to be taken before the malevolent Vyroun who has not given up his plan to become the ruler of all. His next steps are to wage war upon the northern kingdoms.
Edelbir and Kattalin end up going on the hunt to find Adroegen, as well as perhaps unearth a secret kingdom of dwarves to bring them to their side. After all, they need larger numbers in order to win, and the dwarves could very well solve that problem. Gleowan and Vaenn take it upon themselves to rescue the tough-as-nails Caitren from what may be her ultimate demise. Trekking into the Silver Mountains, where the dwarves are said to reside, the readers are once again brought into this fantasy world that is beyond beautiful. The search for the jewels (Galesir) that were once stars hanging in the dark sky still persists. The tree owning the roots that actually hold the Earth together and whose branches are responsible for supporting everything from the sun to the moon (Elunbelan) is also still a major factor. And the dwarven kingdom is a sight you will never be able to forget. Caitren’s resilience brings even more fire to the story and shows her as a true heroine; and the Fornwood, which is the never-ending Woodland owning the Fairywater, still holds everything from nymphs to trolls.
This follow-up has the characters facing their own internal struggles, while some deal with the past and become even more powerful because of what they find stored in their own souls. This is a narrative with depth, which is the strongest ‘thumbs-up’ I could possibly give. The author’s intelligence, creativity, and love he has for his own characters shines through on every page. Will the “missing in action” Adroegen be found? Will the dwarves help them? Even separated this group shows the type of power you can have if you keep your focus on the need to protect and preserve the world and each other.
With the enemy still just as sinister, the goblins just as frightening, and the end game just as exhilarating, the author has once again conjured a book that’s strong all by itself, and one that has also lived up to the greatness of the first book by increasing the intensity of the entire series.
Quill says: If there’s a flaw to be found in this series, I dare you to find it. Intriguing, breathtaking characters that will stand the test of time...this has it all! 5-stars.
For more information on The Tempter's Bane (The Drifters' Road, Part Two), please visit the author's website at: kylemccurryauthor.com