Harding’s writing reminds me of Beowulf, Tolkein or [to a lesser degree] Hickman and Weis’ secular Dragonlance Chronicles. The back cover promises that there will be no magic, no humanism and no evolution in this fantasy adventure and Harding keeps those promises without sacrificing a good story. He peppers his character’s speech with allusions to the Book of Job and the Psalms and heroic rhetoric praising the God of Noah and the merits of honor and battle. The allusions to Beowulf are quite on purpose; Harding’s book explores the possibility that Beowulf’s exploits reflect actual historical events in a post-Flood world still plagued by dinosaurs, reptilian sea monsters, and lyftfloga [flying pterosaurs]. The characters face numerous foes, both human and otherwise, relying on God’s strength and provenance.
The characters of Foundlings are probably its strongest attribute. The Quixotic Lord McDougal the Friendly, the Just, the Dead; his loyal but emotionally constipated shield-bearer Fergus Leatherhead; the dwarf Gimcrack; the giant Oded the Bear; the intrepid young Ranger Thiery; the brave Susie and her bear Griz; Igi Forkbeard; and all the rest are well-sketched and draw you into the tale very quickly.
Readers should keep in mind that Foundlings is something of an introductory adventure in the spirit of The Fellowship of the Ring. In fact, my only complaint is that the story follows two strong protagonists whose storylines intermingle but never quite meet. I would’ve preferred a stronger antagonist as well. Perhaps in the next book…
I recommend Foundlings especially for young boys and teen readers with a taste for adventure. I look forward to reading book 2 of the series.
You can find out more about the Peleg Chronicles at http://MatthewChristianHarding.com.
-Rev Tony Breeden
From the Bookwyrm’s Lair
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”