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Category Archives: Christian Fantasy

A Cast of Stones

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has been in my to-read ebook file for almost 4 years. I think I dragged my feet on it because I knew it was the first of a series, and I never felt I had the time to devote to a series. Until now. And maybe I don’t really have the time now, we’ll see!

Mr. Carr did a good job of creating an alternate world within a world we all understand. I like that kind of fantasy. It’s sort of Piers Anthony without the slap-stick humor. The premise is – as is so often in fantasy novels because it works well – a run-of-mill village lad who turns out to be something else entirely, and the weight of the world falls on his shoulders. But the hero of this book is a little less than run-of-mill. It’s fun to read and watch as he develops into a character the reader can pull for, and speculate on just who he will turn out to be in the end. Which, of course, we don’t know as of the end of A Cast of Stones. One must continue the series with The Hero’s Lot to find the answer to that question. I’m looking forward to book two.

 

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The Golden Vial

The Golden Vial (Legends of the Realm #3)The Golden Vial by Thomas Locke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the third in a series. The first two are Emissary and Merchant of Alyss, both of which I enjoyed very much. The Golden Vial doesn’t quite reach their level. If you’ve read the first two, it’s worth reading this one to follow the progress of the characters, but it lacks the depth and complexity of the first two books. We’re left with the feeling that there will be more books in this series, so I hope they are more in keeping with the first two, and I will keep reading to find out.

 

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Merchant of Alyss

Merchant of Alyss (Legends of the Realm, #2)Merchant of Alyss by Thomas Locke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

 

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