The world of Eldraine is divided into two halves: the orderly and peaceful Realm, home to five courts of brave knights and calm villages, and the beautiful but chaotic Wilds, inhabited by capricious and unpredictable fairy tale creatures. Ruling over the Realm is the High King, Algenus Kenrith. But on the eve of the Grand Procession, when the High King tours the Realm and pays visit to each of the five courts, Algenus vanishes under mysterious circumstances.
With the five courts all suspecting each other, and the creatures the Wilds encroaching further and further into the Realm amidst the chaos, it falls to Algenus' children, the twin mage-knights Will and Rowan Kenrith, to undertake their very first quest: finding their father before their world is plunged into a bloody war.
But there's more going on Eldraine than the twins can suspect: who is the mysterious elf-like being who calls himself Oko, and the silent huntsman who follows him? What is the meaning behind Will's strange visions of places that neither twin has seen, and may not even be on Eldraine at all?
The Wildered Quest is a Magic: The Gathering Novel by Kate Elliot, known for writing The Spiritwalker Trilogy and the Crown of Stars series.
This book provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Oko is polite, incredibly charming, and eloquent. He's also an evil fae Planeswalker with a massive ego, and no compunctions about brainwashing Garruk.
- Back from the Dead: Algenus and Linden's swords, forged by the Questing Beast, are capable of this, but It Only Works Once each. Linden used hers to bring the twins back, after their mother killed them as infants, and Algenus's was used to resurrect him after Oko killed him during The Wild Hunt.
- Brainwashed: The very first chapter has Oko doing this to Garruk after the latter tries to kill him, taking away his memories, free will, and even his name.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Zig-Zagged. Elves used to rule over all of Eldraine, but according to Linden they allowed any kind of magic or magical being to run rampant, arguing that anyone who wasn't strong enough to defend themselves can simply become the servant of someone who is strong enough to protect them. It's a little unclear how accurate this is, though, since we only get the humans' side of the story. When we do see the elves, certainly there are some who live up to this trope, but they're implied to be only the young and Hot-Blooded, while Ayara and Aelra are Reasonable Authority Figures.
- Eldritch Location: The Wilds, especially the closer you get to the heartland. Bridges that cross the same river are by no means guaranteed to reach the same shore, the same road can spit you out in different places from your friends, even if they're right behind you, time does not apparently flow consistently, and it's inhabited by fairy tale creatures from the beautiful to the nightmare inducing. What's more, they used to cover all of Eldraine, until the humans started beating them back to create the Realm.
- Forced Transformation: Algenus and Elowen both end up transformed at Oko's hands, the former as a stag and the latter as an eagle.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: After their first meeting, Oko erases the twins' memories of himself and Garruk.
- Love Potion: Algenus fell under the effects of one for the better part of a year when he was undertaking the quest to become High King, until Linden tracked him down and snapped him out of it with True Love's Kiss. The witch who used it on him is the twins' biological mother.
- Order vs. Chaos: The Realms are order, and the Wilds are chaos.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The twins' biological mother wanted to use their blood as the ingredient in an eternal youth potion. She got a sword through her skull for her trouble.
- The Shapeshifter: Oko's specialty. He can even force other people to shapeshift with him, and then leave them in whatever form he took.
- Shock and Awe: Rowan uses lightning magic.
- Sure, Let's Go with That: Oko loves this one. When the twins first meet him, Rowan assumes he's a Locthwain knight, since he looks like an elf, and Locthwain is the only court with any elves still living in it. He goes along with it, and then manages to trick more information about Eldraine out of her by pretending to already know what she's talking about.
- True Love's Kiss: Elowen explicitly mentions this as one way to break a curse or hex. When they were young, Linden used this on Algenus to break a witch's Love Potion.