I recieved a free copy of Wise Phuul from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not change my opinion of the book.
Teltö Phuul is a humble necromancer and library clerk, living the peaceful life, when he finds himself caught up in a political intrigue he could never imagine. Stranded far from home and his family, he must navigate the treacherous political climate as well as the physical distance to get himself back home in one piece.
Let’s start here with the world building, because it really was top-notch. The only problem for me was that I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a world that I didn’t truly understand. It was so well realized and complex, that I felt like I needed some sort of primer so that I could understand what was going on. It took me the better part of the book to feel like I sort of had a handle on things. Even then, I would have still liked to understand more of the history of the Viiminian empire.
Then there is the character of Teltö. I struggled with him. Sometimes he was clever, but mostly he just seemed lucky and he seemed to spend a great deal of time being concerned with getting laid, even in the most unlikely of circumstances. In the end, I suppose his flaws make him more human, but I still cannot say that I liked him. Ultimately, in a fantasy book I’m looking for a seemingly normal character to emerge from their situation as a hero, and I don’t feel like that really happened here. I understand there is to be at least one more book in the series, so there is more time for character development, but I’m having trouble seeing much at this point.
Overall, it was a reasonably enjoyable book and certainly not bad for a debut novel. If you are looking for a fantasy with a richly imagined world, you will not be disappointed. I will be very interested to see where Daniel Stride goes from here.