Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Pilgrims Pilgrims
by Will Elliott
Harper Voyager

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Pilgrims is volume one of a fantasy trilogy set in a magical world with dragons and an evil overlord. I wasn’t inspired by that extremely brief summation either so it was with much trepidation that I started reading said work. To say I was surprised is an understatement of considerable proportion.

Pilgrims is one of the most original fantasies I have read in a very long time – and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Pilgrims is set in a world that is dominated by a paranoid, and possibly delusional, overlord; whose chief underling is working against him; where the "heroes" have worked out there are no good or bad guys, but they (the heroes) just have to survive; and where the non-human cast aren’t elves and dwarfs from central casting but a fresh-faced crew that have their own script.

Author Will Elliott with Pilgrims has made use of a story trope little used in fantasy: the hero(es) who have no idea what’s going on. In Pilgrims the heroes not only have no idea what is going on, they have no special abilities, they are not the subject of some gnostic prophesy, they are just caught in the crossfire. I almost wept for joy when I discovered that plot device being used. Imagine that: a hero who is everyman; and another who’s an alcoholic – don’t see many of them in modern fantasy.

All these factors made this a wonderful book to read as I had no idea what would happen next. I am so much looking forward to the next volume that I might buy a hard cover edition – and that’s almost unheard of for me.

Read Pilgrims you’ll be more than satisfied you did.

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