The following is a book review for World of Myth I: Beyond the Plains by Travis Bughi.
“Beyond the Plains” is a story about Emily Stout, a young farmer girl growing up in a world full of fantastical creatures and people, all of them just beyond her backyard. She is stuck on her family’s farm on the plains, and though she loves her home and family dearly, she dreams of so much more. The question is, will she be so happy if her dream comes true?
I was a bit wary at first of the combination of so many disparate fantasy creatures in one setting, but the author does a marvelous job of making it all work. You can tell he put a lot of thought into not only the backstory of each race, but how they fit into the overall setting. This means that despite its unrealistic elements, the world in which the story is set is very believable. Most of all I like how original the world feels, despite reuse of classic myths. I love a good swords-and-sorcery or dragon book as much as the next fantasy nerd, but I like that this story takes some lesser known and lesser used myths to build upon, altering them here and there to mesh into this new world.
The story itself is a tale of discovery. The reader joins the main character as she discovers more about her family, her world, and even herself. There is some well-paced action along the way, and the story takes unexpected turns. Occasionally the exposition can get a bit much, but for the most part it is handled well as part of Emily’s discoveries. The characters themselves are described well, and the main character’s sense of adventure helps propel the story while her feelings still seem realistic and relatable. I do wish we got more to show us the family’s relationships than just being told them, but considering it is not a huge bulk of the story it doesn’t really affect the novel overall.
Overall, a good fantasy novel with great worldbuilding and plot, with decent writing and good characters.