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Outpost (The Fylking Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"The tone is excellent, reminiscent of some of the earliest examples of grim Norse fantasy." - G.R. Matthews, Fantasy Faction
"I found this a very enjoyable read with likeable characters living in a well imagined world and I would definitely continue to read more inthis series." - Lynn at Lynn's Book Blog
"McKinstry's excellent description is both fluid and elegantly simple, and it paints an effective picture of settings, events, and characters. All in all, McKinstry's book proves to be one of the best independently published fantasy novels of the past year. Tense, gritty, exciting, and romantic, Outpost is a tale avid fantasy readers won't want to miss." - Self-Publishing Review
"Rich in detail and beautifully written, the book features incredible world-building, taking place in a fantasy setting that breaks the bounds of expectations. The cultures and concepts and creatures portrayed in this novel are also brought to life so vividly that they practically leap off the pages." - Mogsy, Bibliosanctum
"This is a novel that will get your heart racing and make you bite your nails. The tension was palpable, the dialogues were crisp and the characters were real, despite having powers. They had human flaws that made them approachable and understanding." - Rabia Tanveer, Readers' Favorite
"Outpost is a richly described fantasy world that I could immediately envision. McKinstry does an excellent job of describing the characters and the landscape with such detail that I felt as if I was immersed in the world. I was amazed at the skill needed to keep the characters' stories separate and unique. I enjoyed this story thoroughly." - Anna Smith, Readers' Favorite
"Outpost (The Fylking Book 1) by F.T. McKinstry is an entertaining epic fantasy novel with a unique and distinctly new world sure to entertain anyone who is a fan of the genre. Great story, I really enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series." Ryan Jordan, Readers' Favorite
- Publication date : November 1, 2015
- File size : 2617 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 446 pages
- ASIN : B0138V5YE4
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1516998626
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #766,035 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have to start by saying if I had a map, I might have loved this a bit more. My problem is that our group travels to, or talks about, lots of places. Because I’m visual, I had one hell of a time imagining where they were at any given time, which hindered my understanding of certain timelines and events. To make matters worse, there’s a lot of terms thrown out very early on in this book, and if you don’t pay attention you’ll be lost. If I had felt more grounded in the story, I could have <em>easily</em> loved this book. As it was, I found myself lost one too many times.
Normally those negatives would end up lowering my rating farther, but I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the world. There’s ghouls and Fylking and elves and goblins and so many other things that I can’t remember them all. The world has as much going on as the story; tons of nuances and a wide range of creatures. There’s gates that lead to other worlds and, if broken, allow in a variety of creatures. Wardens protect them, along with their Fylking guardians. Those creatures were very interesting indeed.
As for characters, I liked them all, which is rare for me. Millie was a free-spirited woman living in a village where one of the gateways I mentioned earlier exists. She’s got a power we don’t initially understand, but it was delightful and frightening to see it grow. Archmael was my favorite character, probably because the poor guy kept getting pushed into a direction he didn’t want to go, no matter how much he fought it. Forced to a life as a warden, it was easy for me to relate to his battle between his love of solitude and his need for companionship. Othin was a ranger; your typical good looking, womanizing hero. He does have a love who owns his heart, regardless of his frivolous sex life. I think the reason I liked him was because his scenes had the most action.
Pacing was okay in this book. I’d have liked some of the explanations to be spread out, delivered at more pertinent times. A few info dumps had me glazing over, which probably explains why it took effort for me to grasp all that was happening. There was a lot of imagery in this book, and sometimes it slowed things down for me. Regardless, I did enjoy the writing.
Overall, I’d say anyone who likes a plethora of creatures should definitely pick this up. I highly suggest paying attention in the beginning—no matter how arduous it is to you—so the rest of the book makes sense. I certainly wish I had taken my time with it.
EDIT: I just looked at the author's website and there is a map available. Rather beautiful too. I really wish it would have been in the book. Here’s the link: [...]
The only thing I could say negative which, probably has to do with me as a person who has trouble imagining what an author is trying to paint in a scene sometimes, was some of the scene descriptions. Like for instance near the end I couldn't imagine or wrap my head around the major, unfolding scene and it took me a few retreads to get a partial idea of it. The unraveling mechanic for me felt a little hard to grasp but like I said it's probably me.
Regardless of that though I am so in love with the first story and can't wait to dive into the sequel!
This book falls (I think, but I’m really bad at genre identification) into the epic fantasy category, with drawn-out quests, interdimensional beings and huge amounts of possibly world-ending problems. The Fylking are a group of highly-powerful beings from another dimension and world. They gathered a group of Wardens, the only ones who could see them, to protect their gateway—a weapon to be used in a war against a terrible enemy who also happens to be, you know, highly-powerful beings from another dimension and world. Because normal people aren’t tiny enough beings as it is.
Those poor, unfortunate normal beings upon which this book focuses are Othin, a ranger and lawkeeper who travels around a set territory to preserve the law set down by the rulers in a distant city; Melisande, Othin’s lover who lives in one of the northern villages on his route, is a knitter with strange abilities; and Arcmael, a warden with guardian Fylking meant to help and protect him in his duties. These characters’ lives intertwine in many different ways and yet they never seem to actually cross paths until things are going very, very badly. Othin and Melisande’s relationship was one of my favourite parts of this novel, because they manage to be something much more than a romantic sub-plot and, as it turns out, their relationship is really quite important. Arcmael did manage to frustrate me at the beginning quite a bit. He wasn’t annoying, per se, but he did do some really stupid things for rather silly reasons which had me grumbling. He managed to win me over in the end, so all’s well I suppose. These characters’ interaction-by-lack-of-interaction was a fascinating detail that made the book all the more interesting to me. How does one create a relationship between characters when they are so very far apart? The way that this is managed is really quite well done and I like it. A lot.
The writing itself has many details that are described in such a way as to make this world feel quite real. The idea of Norse and Scandinavian deities, for one, adds a level of reality to the mystery of the Fylking. The details of Melisande’s knitting, the daily troubles of Othin’s work, and even Arcmael’s… well, everything, really. His conversations, his convictions, his mental state, all described very well. Take note of the details, dear reader. They are, actually, quite important. I won’t tell you which ones, though, because that ruins the fun.
After the richness of the details and the torture that is the characters’ reality, we come to the end. Spoilers, Othin and Melisande actually manage to interact with one another. Arcmael turns out to have a very important role to play. But then… aaaaaggghhhhh. It’s all quite dramatic, I assure you. The author has a very good purpose in doing things the way that she has, but my goodness. Okay, okay, I know. Book one is always going to end in a flurry of drama and excitement. But really! You could give a reader a break! (Actually, the ending is really well done and as a writer I wish I could have done something quite so, well, stunning.)
Honestly, I don’t really have much in the way of critique here. The Fylking were perhaps my least favourite part of the novel simply because their crypticness could have easily caused more problems than otherwise. I think that was rather the point, though. The characters were well done, they had lovely developmental arcs, the worldbuilding was thorough and pulled me in right from the beginning. Yes, the plot and characters did drive me a bit crazy at points. Yes, the ending was a cliffhanger that had me startling the cat. But those things are what make a lovely book. I suppose my main issue with the book is that there are so many questions left unanswered. But that is what book two is for, no?
On the whole, The Outpost is a really good read that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in epic fantasy with characters that just about jump out of the book. On to book two!