Tag Team Review: The Wanderer (Chronicles of the Riftlands #1) by Rowan McAllister

After centuries of traveling the continent of Kita and fighting the extradimensional monsters known as Riftspawn, mage Lyuc is tired and ready to back away from the concerns of humanity.

But the world isn’t done with him yet.

While traveling with a merchant caravan, Lyuc encounters Yan, an Unnamed, the lowest caste in society. Though Yan has nothing but his determination and spirit, he reminds Lyuc what passion and desire feel like. While wild magic, a snarky, shapeshifting, genderfluid companion, and the plots of men and monsters seem determined to keep Lyuc from laying down his burden, only Yan’s inimitable spirit tempts him to hang on for another lifetime or so.

All Yan wants is to earn the sponsorship of a guild so he can rise above his station, claim a place in society, and build the family he never had.

After hundreds of years of self-imposed penance, all Lyuc wants is Yan.

If they can survive prejudice, bandits, mercenaries, monsters, and nature itself, they might both get their wish… and maybe even their happily ever after.

4.125 Hearts average!

R *A Reader Obsessed* - 4 Hearts

A really intriguing start to a new fantasy series, I quite enjoyed myself with McAlister’s latest creation.

Lyuc is the legendary Wanderer, a 1000+ year old wizard trying to atone for a past mistake that potentially threatened the world’s existence. He and his trusty sidekick Bryn, have been roaming the lands dispatching dangerous beings known as the Riftspawn for centuries and it seems finally, that things are quieting down. Lyuc somewhat apathetically contemplates “retirement” thinking his self appointed obligations are coming to a close, and he goes about his responsibilities incognito and half heartedly. However, on a rote trip to the King’s city amongst a traveling contingent, not only does Lyuc find someone who piques his interest for the first time in many many decades, the threat he thought was basically gone resurfaces, indicating that there’s a new evil brewing.

Touching on magic, monsters, different realms, and stark class struggles to keep things interesting, this also excels at romance as Lyuc feels an inexplicable pull towards the unnamed Yan, a non magical member of society who’s basically the lowest member of an unfair ingrained social hierarchy. What starts out as Lyuc standing up for the beleaguered young man on their shared travels, turns into a lovely hurt comfort as he and Yan get to know each other better and better.

Like with all fantasy that I enjoy, there is a bit of not fully understanding what’s what. There’s an air of mystery, not all is revealed and obviously, that’s to keep you coming back for more. What I can tell you is that the legend surrounding Lyuc is definitely a great set up, and the new challenge he and Bryn face will surely test their future plans and resolve. This kept me on my toes, had a lovely burgeoning romance, as well as some nice smexy smex to make it that much better.

Apparently I liked this, and I more than look forward to seeing how McAlister furthers the adventures and dynamic of this newly formed trio!

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Adam - 4.25 Hearts

Considered me hooked!

In this series debut, readers are introduced to a fantasy world of magic, monsters, and romance. I love a good fantasy book, and ‘The Wanderer’ definitely delivered.

The author builds the world slowly, with bits and pieces revealed as the story progresses. Even by the end of the book, it was clear that there was still a lot more to discover about the continent of Kita and the people who live there. I’m hoping we get a clearer picture in the next book!


Lyuc is a tired mage who travels across the continent battling “Riftspawn,” otherworldly monsters that escape their dimension to threaten humanity. Lyuc, and his shapeshifting companion Bryn, like to keep low profiles and interact as little as possible with others.

But it becomes difficult to stay aloof when they meet Yan while traveling with a merchant caravan. For the first time in centuries, Lyuc feels a connection to another human.

I was rooting for Yan from the moment he appeared in the book. A member of society’s lowest caste, the Unnamed, Yan hasn’t had the easiest life. But he was so determined to rise above his circumstances, and so pure in heart, that it would be hard not to cheer him on.

Yan feels as drawn to Lyuc as Lyuc is to him. He can’t quite put his finger on it, but he knows there something special about the older man.

The two men meet under less-than-perfect circumstances, and a relationship between defies social mores due to caste differences, but the connection is undeniable. Neither can resist each other for long.

I was swooning at every sweet moment the men shared together. Both had been alone for so long - Lyuc because a self-imposed exile, and Yan because of his station in society. But when they were together, they felt happy and at home.

For Lyuc, Yan becomes a reason to look forward to life again. And for Yan, Lyuc becomes the family he’d always been searching for.


The mystery/action plotline isn’t particularly grand, but it kept me entertained. While there isn’t a cliffhanger, there are some unanswered questions which I assume are setting the stage for the rest of the series.

Overall, I really liked the beginning of what could be an epic fantasy series. The focus of book 1 was on the characters, and I fell in love with them both. I can’t wait to see where Yan and Lyuc, and Bryn, go next!

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