This is the second book in the “Legends of the Realm” series by Thomas Locke. The first one – “The Emissary” – came out over a year ago. I wish I had re-read that book before reading this one. As is the case with all good fantasy stories, the world created by the author is distinct and special. And well defined in the first book. It took me 3 or 4 chapters to get back into that world in this book.
Hyam is back with his wife, Joelle, and many of the cast from the first book. In “Merchant of Alyss” we meet several new characters – including a dragon! – as Hyam continues his quest. Hyam is now more seasoned, slightly more comfortable in his role as hero, and wonderfully devoted to Joelle. I like the relationship between those two. No spoilers here, so you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next. I just hope book 3 comes out sooner than another year, because the ending is … begging for answers.
Recommended for readers from teens on up. There are dangers with ensuing violence, but then, what would a quest be without that? Good moral undertones here about loyalty and service to others. Good stuff for teens to read anyway.