book review, fantasy

The Spirit of Things by Ben McQueeney

The Spirit of Things stole my heart with talking animals.

Teenage Fulco is the only Hume living in a community of Elphen. He doesn’t let his physical disadvantages get him down, and uses his intelligence to invent things that improve the town.

After eating a poisonous fruit, he becomes aware of an ability to communicate with animals, which opens up his world to the brutal sport of Portare, and the meddling of the gods.

Can Fulco overcome prejudice to fulfill his destiny?

There is so much to love in this novel. McQueeney has created a fascinating fantasy world with great characters, creatures and history. Fulco is an engaging protagonist. The relationship with his family is wonderful, his differences to the Elphen are apparent, and his unquenchable curiosity is endearing.

The magic system is well introduced and explained, and I loved the history of the world and the role the gods play in it. The side characters that related to this were particularly intriguing.

Best of all were the animals. I couldn’t get enough of Fulco’s feisty horse, Inspr, and I would have loved to learn more about the three headed hydra lizards that are mutilated to be used as mounts in the sport of Portare.

Much as I loved spending time with the characters, I wish that the hints to a bigger story had led to more action, and I hope to see a stronger plot in the next book of the series. I would also have liked the female characters to be developed beyond mother, sister and lover.

I award The Spirit of Things

The Spirit of Things is available for $2.60 ebook and $9.99 print book on Amazon.

Click here to read my review of Ben McQueeney’s short story, set in the same fantasy world: The Fae of Darkwood.

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