Hyam is a likeable lad who will make a fine farmer someday. But he carries a burden few can fathom. As his mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall, where he spent five years as an apprentice. It was there that Hyam’s extraordinary capacity for mastering languages came to light–and soon cast him into the shadows of suspicion. How could any human learn the forbidden tongues with such ease? When Hyam dares to seek out the Mistress of the Sorceries, her revelation tears his world asunder.
He has no choice but to set out on the foreboding path–which beckons him to either his destiny or his doom. An encounter with an enchanting stranger reminds him that he is part hero and part captive. As Hyam struggles to interpret the omens and symbols, he is swept up by a great current of possibilities–and dangers.
With lyrical prose that unveils a richly imaginative world, Thomas Locke takes readers on a journey into the Realm. There he invites them to awaken their sense of wonder. This cracking adventure moves like a contemporary thriller but harkens back to the enduring genre of classic fantasy.
As you all know, I very much enjoy fantasy novels. But that doesn’t mean I’m not hesitant when trying a new author. My thoughts:
What I liked:
The World. Locke creates an entirely new world that has substance, history, language, and customs. And yet, I didn’t feel like the world was so complicated that I got lost.
The writing. It was very engaging and I was highly entertained. The novel has that sweeping feel that only fantasy novels can accomplish where you know the past matters and lines up with the future.
The characters. I’m so glad that the novel is only told from two people’s point of view, and when those people meet up, it merges into one person’s point of view. This way, as Hyam learned things about his world, we could learn things without juggling a lot of different story lines.
Hyam. He’s a great narrator. He’s a little bit older than most heroes who go on a journey like his, but it only serves him to make wiser decisions than a younger character. He’s very easily likeable and trustworthy.
Secondary characters. The novel has quite of few of these, but they all serve a purpose and not once did I feel like they were blending together. There is a romance, but it’s incredibly light. Like, I was super surprised by the characters’ feelings for each other even though I saw it coming. That said, this is one of those few books, where it was good without a romance. Had the romance been more prevalent, it would have only taken the novel higher.
Spiritually, I’ll be honest, I didn’t see any particular “christian” thing about this novel. In fact it has wizards, mages, and spells, which may or may not bother people (didn’t bother me).
What I didn’t like:
I think some people might find it slow in the beginning, but I thought it was fine.
Also, it did feel like a few things happened off screen that I wished I could have been a part of.
Romantic Scale: 5
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump and highly unmotivated to read lately, and this book was a nice read that had me excited and turning the pages quickly.
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**