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eye of ogin book coverReviewed by Erin Nass

Once upon a time in the world of Ehm there were a group of immortals called the Noharn, or Sky People, who were wise, mighty, and altruistic. One of their race, Granashon, favored the people in the lands of Winnitok (home of the race Winharn) and leant her magic, or Dread, to the lands as a form of protection against invasion from those who were evil.

This protection lasted for many generations and the Winharn prospered in peace.  Then, one day, the Dread suddenly disappeared. Many sought Granashon to find out why her protection was failing only to discover that Winnitok’s patron was missing as well.

Once upon a time in Boston, Massachusetts, there was a young boy named Elwood Pitch who was very unhappy with his lot in life. He had been uprooted from his home in the farmlands out west and deposited in an odd city surrounded by a family who had become strange to him since the move.  His only solace was to take a walk in a wooded park with his faithful companion, his dog Slukee.

During one of these walks Elwood and Slukee find themselves swept up into an unfamiliar land and charged with the quest to find a relic that will return the protective powers of this strange land.  Elwood, Slukee, and his new friends, Drallah and Booj, must enter the evil lands to find the Eye of Ogin so that the Dread of Granashon can be restored to Winnitok.

Patrick Doud is a seasoned poet and editor whose love of the fantasy genre has given rise to his first non-poetry novel, The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin. The world he created is engaging and the characters are captivating. The “Winnitok Tales” has the potential to reach the same literary acclaim as the works by Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling.

Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Interview with Patrick Doud

Who are your influences in the fantasy literature genre?
Patrick: My favorite fantasists are George MacDonald, Ursula K. Le Guin, L. Frank Baum, and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Why did you choose to write juvenile fiction as opposed to writing adult fantasy/adventure?
Patrick: It wasn’t really a conscious decision. The story that came to me began with Elwood, a teenage boy. It grew naturally into something that, because categorization is considered necessary in book publishing, made sense to label juvenile fiction.

Is the protagonist, Elwood Pitch, based on your own childhood?  And, if so, did you originally grow up in a small town “out west” before coming to Massachusetts?
Patrick: Although there are some parallels between my childhood and Elwood’s, he isn’t based on me. Like Elwood I was born in central New York State, but my family moved west to the Buffalo area when I was eight. Unlike Elwood I was delighted to go and didn’t have any regrets until later. I didn’t come to live in Massachusetts until I “grew up.”

Many fantasy writers base various species and human groups on races and nationalities familiar to the reader. Who are the Ringish based on? Who are the Lindilish based on?  Who are the Yugs based on? The two truan races?  
Patrick: I do see similarities between the people of Ringune and various Western European countries at the time they first came to North America. The Lindilish are a lot less like the colonial powers of that time in history, because they aren’t interested in exclusive possession of the lands across the Sea. I don’t want to make too much of whatever historical parallels there may be because they’re not at all consistent. For example, unlike the Europeans, the Ringish and Lindilish didn’t bring over any decimating diseases.

Yugs are the product of a warping of nature; I’d say no, they have no basis in any people of our world.

You could think of truans in part as highly evolved versions of the creatures they resemble. So, Tornonk and his kind are based on actual foxes, and Jum and the Brawbwarb are based on actual frogs. In the world of Ehm, it isn’t only the primates who got a leg up the evolutionary ladder.

The concept of truans is very curious.  Are there other truan races in these lands besides the fox and frog?  They seem almost “Lewis”-like, did his literary series influence in any way?  
Patrick: Yes, every four-legged creature of Ehm has its truan counterpart. Your allusion to Lewis’s “talking animals” is very interesting! I’d all but forgotten about them (I haven’t read the Narnia books for many, many years), and hadn’t thought of the similarity until you brought it up. However, if I recall, there was a strong implication in Lewis’ books that non-talking animals do not have what he would call “souls,” which doesn’t make any sense to me.

It is never quite stated, but just how old is Elwood in the story?  How old is Drallah?  
Patrick: Elwood is thirteen, Drallah is seventeen.

Do all animals have the ability to talk like Booj in this world?  If not, why can Booj talk?  
Patrick: So far as I know right now, only ravens and certain other members of the corvid family have the ability to speak humanoid languages. They’re able to do this because a) they’re very intelligent, and b) they have the equipment to produce something like the sound of human speech.

The front of the book says, “The Winnitok Tales.” Does this mean you plan to write sequels?  Will these sequels include any of the adventures of Elwood in Boston? 
Patrick: I’m deep into work on the second book about Elwood, Drallah, Slukee, and Booj. It’s called The Mornith War, and it begins three years after the conclusion of The Hunt for the Eye of Ogin. As for Boston, perhaps!

Thanks for the great questions!
All the Best,
Patrick

This book was provided free of any obligation by North Atlantic Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.