The Wanderer’s Last Journey

In The Wanderer’s Last Journey, the fourth volume of the young adult Orfeo Saga, Murray Lee Eiland, Jr., delivers an exciting, fast-paced historical fantasy that will no doubt please devoted fans of the series.

The Wanderer’s Last Journey opens with a burst of action. Traders from a foreign land have arrived Linnaeus’s kingdom, where Orfeo and Clarice are currently residing. Soon a scuffle ensues, during which Orfeo is taken captive. In order to get Orfeo back, Clarice has no choice but to send for Daryush, the Kassite. She and Semria, Daryush’s wife, join Daryush on the quest when he arrives at court. Soon, Zurga joins the search as well. He first looks for clues first at home and then travels to Egypt. There, he learns that foreigners from across the sea have kidnapped Orfeo; he soon enlists a crew to go and rescue Orfeo.

Meanwhile, on the ship, Orfeo is treated respectfully, yet he still has no idea why he has been taken. After thirty-four days at sea, he arrives to what appears to be the New World, and is treated as a god; yet that does not stop him from planning his escape. But that too quickly turns out to be a ruse: Orfeo has been taken by the King of Ixtlan.

The ships that sought out to find Orfeo-Zurga’s and Daryush’s-each endure rough seas, little information, and mutinous crews to find the much beloved and sorely missed Orfeo. They meet in the kingdom of Nastase, and immediately set out to find Orfeo. Yet reaching the temple where Orfeo is being kept, they turn to find that someone has set their ship on fire.

With Orfeo reunited with his beloved Clarice, as well as her companions, the group begins to plan their escape. Alternating chapters reveal that the Kings of Nastase and Ixtlan are working together to recapture Orfeo. But their internal strife brews over into a civil war, and thus allows Orfeo, Clarice, and their companions to escape the confines of the castle and board nearby ships. Unfortunately Zurga, fighting valiantly and heroically, is killed in the process.

After a somewhat hostile journey, the group returns home safely, and is greeted by King Linneaus and Orfeo’s elderly mother, Hermia. They bury Zurga in great solemnity and honor.

With Orfeo and Clarice safely home, Daryush and Semira travel back to their homeland where they encounter adventures of their own. After deposing a mad King, the pair assumes their rightful seats of power.

The scene then shifts back to Orfeo and Clarice at Pylos. As in all adventure stories, peace and tranquility have been short-lived, and a minor war with neighboring Sparta soon erupts. But the heroes defend Pylos with strength and bravery, and the Spartans are forced to retreat. But while all seems well, an ominous cliffhanger leaves the reader anxiously awaiting the next volume in the series.