For eighteen years, Wren has lived isolation with his guardians, Grum and Krulch, in the heart of a deep, peaceful forest. His life is tranquil except for the doubts that torment him: why does he look so different from his parents, and how did two male ogres manage to birth a small, pale creature like Wren?
Everything changes when he accidentally wanders too far from home and comes upon an entire village of people who look like him. One in particular, a scribe’s apprentice named Valerus, is simply the most beautiful being Wren has ever seen.
His elation soon turns to fear when the people of the village tell Wren he is one of their own and must remain with them—abandoning the ogres who raised him. Though he would love to stay with Valerus and build a new life, he doesn’t want to do it at the expense of the life that made him. But if he wants to enjoy a promising future, he’ll have to find a way to unravel his mysterious past.
Every child grows up eventually. As the adopted child of ogres, Wren is no exception to this rule. His transition has simply been little more complicated than most.
It took me a while to figure Wren out, but once I did I grew to like him quite a bit. He’s not the kind of character who reveals everything right away. What he did share with the audience in the first few paragraphs was consistent with his personality overall. It gave me a glimpse of what kind of person he was, and I enjoyed getting to know him even better as I learned more about him.
This short story contained a few different plot holes. I had assumed that they’d be explained by the final scene, so it was distracting not to have any answers for them. The questions they raised about the characters and setting were intriguing. I would have been able to give this book a much higher rating if the narrator had shared some kind of explanation for what was going on in those scenes.
The food descriptions in this tale weren’t like anything I’ve ever heard of before. Imagine cheerfully sipping a cup of mudroot tea! I grinned when I read that section because I was so curious to know what it would be like to try it. Including these kinds of details made it really easy for me to fantasize about visiting an Ogre’s house because it involved so many different senses: sight, smell, and taste. This was a good decision on the author’s part.
I’d recommend The Long Journey Home to anyone who likes the fantasy genre.