This is a fantasy story of depth, filled with a mystical, sprawling world that holds different kingdoms, an area of neutrality, massive forests and all kinds of human-like creatures. The landscape is explained in detail, whether forest or sandy beaches, in a manner that allows the reader to feel present in the scenes. The characters are well developed to the point that the reader forms opinions on who is their favorite and who is the least.
This is an adventurous story of three relatives, two brothers and a cousin, that set out to find their riches in the east for they have heard tales of men who made their fortunes there. The three young men are farmers by birth and skill who have never been outside their homeland but the rumor of great Lords overtaking their family lands and killing or placing in servitude family members provides them with the motivation to leave on their journey.
From the very beginning of the book, the boys experience adventure after adventure, seeing all kinds of new sights, sounds and smells. They encounter a band of Gypsies that provide them with the next best thing to family; they come into contact with Ogres, Dwarfs and Gnomes. But through it all they begin to wonder if this journey is the right way to go or is their heart calling them elsewhere? Do they return home to the farm? Are the three to become wealthy heroes?
I really enjoyed this book and was not surprised at all to find it was the Readers Favorite Award Winner in Epic Fantasy. It is a terrific read that kept me on the edge of my seat.