Hardcover: 352 pages
Elwood Pitch is only thirteen years old when he is carried away to the land of Winnitok, in the otherworld of Ehm. Desperate to find a way back home to his family, Elwood’s one hope is Granashon, the land’s immortal protector. But Granashon is missing, and her power that protects Winnitok is fading fast. When Elwood dreams of the Eye of Ogin, a legendary object with the power to see Granashon wherever she might be, he vows to find it. With his dog Slukee and two newfound companions, Drallah Wehr of Winnitok and her talking raven Booj, Elwood sets out on an epic quest.
Legend states that the Eye was lost in the Great Swamp of Migdowsh, a land of nightmare ruled by a horrible frog demon known as the Otguk. The Great Swamp is far to the west, and a vast wilderness lies between the companions and their goal. Many dangers threaten them along the way—hungry nahrwucks, cruel green yugs and their Graycloak masters, a despotic girl queen and the powerful witch who counsels her—but by their wits and courage, as well as an unseen hand that seems to guide and protect them, the companions reach the Great Swamp at last. And then their troubles really begin…
Will they find the Eye and Granashon? Will Elwood find a way home? And how will he live with the terrible truth the Great Swamp reveals to him? Patrick Doud brings memorable characters, poetic language, and a driving narrative to this timeless tale that recalls classic epic adventure stories. (Source)
I don't typically read young adventure books, but the synopsis of this book stepped me out of my comfort zone and made me want to be a part of this new adventure series. I was pleasantly surprised with Book One of 'The Winnitok Tales'. In comparison to the 'Harry Potter Series', we are thrust into a whole new world (literally) with new races and journeys. The main character Elwood meets Drallah and they set off to try and get him back home, but this is proven more difficult than expected.
The aspect of this novel that I enjoyed was the new world that Doud created for the reader. The visuals that he created were breathtaking and utterly creative. Everything from the different races of creatures to the language itself was refreshing and new. I appreciated the thought and care that he took with his characters and the epic journey that they molded around their goal of getting Elwood home.
This was a great fantasy book that kept a small part 'human' with a large part imagination. The mystery of the Eye that Elwood and Drallah were searching for, in an effort to save her land and send him home, kept the pages turning at a quick pace. I really loved the ending and how that played out and I am anticipating the next book in the series to keep the story alive.