The tale again is one of discovery—of how the world works, of how civilization is of course just as brutal and competitive as nature— as Finbarl must raise the money to pay mercenaries to get them back, with the help of possibly duplicitous cityfolk, and his new companion Maddy, one of the mute “Ferral” humans of the wild that Finbarl and company were raised to fear and hate. Maddy’s an inspired creation, the embodiment of Wrey’s wide-ranging empathy: the Ferrals are complex and human, like everyone in this series, even the princeling whose house now owns Karlmon—and who upends reader expectations.
Wrey plots smart surprises and some winning set pieces, such as a brutal horse race or the unexpected method that Finbarl hits on to raise cash. Better still are the consequences of Finbarl’s choice, especially for Maddy: if Finbarl is seen as a rural rube, she’s straight-up uncivilized—an easy scapegoat when city life proves as brutal as the wilds. The novel’s long, and it feels like a middle volume, with much setting up of the cultures, politics, and relationships, at times at the cost of narrative momentum. But its people, ideas, and themes are smartly developed, updating the themes of Edgar Rice Burroughs for an age of dystopian visions and inclusive imagining.
Takeaway: Post-apocalyptic epic pits refugees against the corruptions of civilization.
Comparable Titles: M.R. Carey’s The Book of Koli, David Gemmell’s Jerusalem Man.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
“I absolutely LOVED this book. I enjoyed the first one so much, I was extremely excited for the opportunity to read an ARC for Where Liberty Lies. It did not disappoint. In fact I think it was even better than the first one (which was amazing). The writing style was even more fluid and descriptive. The characters were amazing, both the ones from the first book and all of the new characters too. They are so vibrant and the character development creates such an attachment, that the reader feels all the ups and downs. The story itself is riveting and you become as lost within Parodis as Finbarl. I both wanted to read as quickly as possible to find out what happened next AND as slow as possible to stay in the world Nathaniel created. I could go on and on but instead I HIGHLY recommend this series to everyone who loves a good adventure/dystopian story with incredibly well written characters and an intriguing plot.” Emmeline - GoodReads 5 Star Review
“Nathaniel M Wrey has done a fantastic job of making this sequel novel both contextually rich and relevant to the first tale and detailed and gripping enough to stand on its own as an entirely different tale. I got plenty of backstory on Finbarl and the tragedy of his past, which endeared me to him as he set out on a new quest and still managed to find a lot of trouble on the way. There’s something poignant about the search for freedom and harmony in this futuristic world. That sense of emotional realism keeps the tale grounded, along with intelligent references to society's long past, old philosophies, and clever twists. Overall, Where Liberty Lies is a stellar novel that will please fans of thought-provoking dystopian fiction everywhere.”
“Highly enjoyable. Some of the descriptions are graphic, but important to the tension and realism of the story. With such wonderful writing we are actually able to feel the air of the wilderness, the fear of the family and the degradation as their new masters attempt to bend them to their will.” Gold Badge Award