Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review: Emissary by Thomas Locke

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.

Received for review.

I enjoy fantasy novels but they do seem to suffer from their authors needing to show off just how intelligent they are by using virtually impenetrable language that is just not enjoyable to read and makes for slow and rather boring progress.  Unfortunately, this was one of those.  While the story itself was good the writing was just so incredibly dense I may as well have been reading Tolkien - without all the incomprehensible names or any of the deep emotion.  I seriously found myself nodding off every time I opened this.  As a soporific it worked wonderfully but that was presumably not the author's intent.

In any case, once I did force myself awake long enough to read this it really was a solid and genuinely interesting story.  While a bit predictable (elves, a coming storm, magic, etc.) it was still woven together nicely with reasonably likable characters.  Hyam, Gimmit, and Joelle were are all well designed characters but I didn't really feel much emotional connection to them so I never really became invested in their stories which was a bit disappointing.

If you enjoy fantasy then this will be a quality read for you.  I certainly recommend it and I look forward to future books in the series.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It

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