Fabulous: "The Golden Vial" (Legends of the Realm Book 3) by Thomas Locke

Cover Art

about the book....

When a hidden evil threatens to destroy the realm, a young orphan, untested and untrained, could mean the difference between victory and total defeat.

Vulnerable and weakened by grief after a terrible loss, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that threatens to claim his life. Seeking to help Hyam and restore the realm, Queen Shona travels to Hyam's remote hometown to find answers and offer aid.

Dally has always had abilities far beyond those of a normal human--far-seeing and magic come naturally to her. Before the arrival of Shona and her army, Dally had always kept her abilities secret. But with an ancient evil bearing down on her village and the fate of the realm hanging in the balance, the orphaned servant girl steps forward to do what no one else can. Will the battle claim more than Dally is willing to give?

my review....

I picked up "The Golden Vial" planning to read just a chapter or two to get a foretaste of what was to come, but hours later found myself unmoved from my position on the couch, unable to step away from the tale of Dally and her amazing abilities. Locke's writing is spot-on, immersing you in a world both similar and foreign to our own. Although the characters' magical abilities may only exist in the realm of fantasy, their struggles and doubts and trials will awaken your sympathies as you relate to elements of the difficult path they are walking upon. I love the clear call for the inhabitants of the realm to unite and stand against evil, a call that we can all heed. I'm always amazed when a story that is not overtly Christian nevertheless points readers to the power of love and sacrifice, to unity and oneness, the very nature of God.

All in all, the plot is simply fabulous, the characters utterly intriguing with their unique magical abilities,  My only complaint about this story is that it ends too soon, as I simply wasn't ready to step away from Dally's world. I can only hope that this book isn't the end of the road for these characters, that there is a fourth book planned that will see the return of Hyam to the forefront of the story. Locke has succeeded at creating a world so amazing, us readers are left longing for more!

I give this book a high rating of 5 out of 5 stars, and I must insist that anyone who has not yet given Thomas Locke's books a try rush out and buy the whole "Legends of the Realm" series thus far, including this entertaining third installment. You will be glad you did!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Thomas Locke
Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, an award-winning novelist with worldwide sales of seven million copies in twenty languages. Davis divides his time between Oxford and Florida and holds a lifelong passion for speculative stories. He is the author of Emissary and Merchant of Alyss in the Legends of the Realm series, as well as Trial Run and Flash Point in the Fault Lines series. Learn more at www.tlocke.com.

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