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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
Books that mix different genres may appear chaotic or incomplete. The difficulty is that every element must be balanced so as not to overwhelm the others. Of course, this result is possible with a fine author, and David Fitz-Gerald has worked wonders in his amazing book Wanders Far: An Unlikely Hero's Journey. This novel blends historical, spiritual, and adventurous elements. It tells the story of a young Native American, Wanders Far, who lived several centuries before the colonists arrived. A wanderer since an early age, Wanders Far’s wish is to become a runner and carry messages for his people. However, he has visions that make him different from the others. After a shaman helps him understand his gift, Wanders Far will fulfill his destiny.
Wanders Far is a praiseworthy book from many viewpoints. The first is that it benefits from exquisite storytelling. Fitz-Gerald’s descriptions of people and places are mesmerizing. The characters are well carved, and it is quite surprising to think that they are fictional. Some of them, like Wanders Far and his mother, Bear Fat, are fully-rounded, and in the end, I had the impression that I had personally met them. The ease with which Fitz-Gerald blends reality and spiritual, almost supernatural elements reveals his superior writing skills. Wanders Far: An Unlikely Hero's Journey is one of those books that creates the illusion that everything you read is real. I think that the characters will accompany every reader for a long time. I am glad this is the first installment of a series, and I am looking forward to the next books.