Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | September 25, 2012

A New Hero

M.R. Mathias has given his readers a new hero, Vanx Malic, in his book, Through the Wildwood (The Legend of Vanx Malic). Along with the protagonist, he introduces a supporting cast of fully-developed, engaging characters.

Vanx Malic, when we first meet him, is in chains. He is to be sold as a slave because he allowed himself to be seduced by the Dutchess of Highlake. The Duke, her husband, learns of the couple’s trysts and—although he’s not allowed to execute Vanx outright—plans to have him sold as a slave.

The humans, in the caravan with Vanx, are hunted and attacked by other humans as well as gigantic, bloodthirsty ogres. Unusual allies, Kobalts (read to find out who these are), wizards and royalty join in the battles.

I’ve read Mathias’ Dragoneer books and reveled in his world-building imagination. In the Vanx Malic book, he has created a new world, populated with a fresh set of  believable characters, both friendly and evil.

At the beginning of each chapter the reader sees a short poem. Some are ominous; some are bawdy; others are just fun. They are attributed to various inhabitants of Vanx Malic’s world and add a flavor of greater reality to the landscape Mathias has created.

When you get to the end of Through the Wildwood (The Legend of Vanx Malic), you’ll want more—don’t despair, Mathias has a free, five-chapter sample of the sequel. Have fun!


  1. Thanks Thomas for sharing a compelling review of a compelling new fantasy story!

  2. This is a great review. I might want to read this because I love the idea of the poem at the beginning of each chapter too!

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