Book Review: Emissary by Thomas Locke

Title: Emissary
Author: Thomas Locke (pseudonym for Davis Bunn)
Series: Legends of the Realm, Book 1
Publisher: Revell
Genre(s): Epic Fantasy
Published: January 2015

Fans of epic fantasy in the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia would be well advised to find the nearest bookstore (or device capable of downloading ebooks) posthaste.  You will not want to miss the start of the new Legends of the Realm series by Thomas Locke (aka Davis Bunn).

The parallels with classic fantasy literature found in lead character Hyam’s heroic journey are quite apparent, but the story is told in a style appealing to the modern sensibilities of readers in today’s instant download age of entertainment.  What I mean by that is Emissary is a real page turner.  The writing style reminds me of a contemporary suspense novel with its short chapters and the sort of clear and easy to follow sentence structures that make a story flow effortlessly on the reader’s part.

I quickly grew to know and like the main characters and their down to earth ways and to see the need for them to accept the challenges presented and accomplish the seemingly impossible.  The Realm itself came into crystal clear focus, not through long meandering passages of descriptive detail, but through instant immersion, with important facts dropped in as they were needed.  The plot advanced quickly from point to point as Hyam mastered necessary skills, faced obstacles, and gathered the support and allies needed on his quest.  And it all led up to a thrilling life-or-death climax that I’d love to see rendered on the big screen.

Honestly, I think this novel is one with wide appeal.  It’s a story of good versus evil and of finding one’s place in the world.  It comes from a well-known (by another name) author of Christian fiction and from a Christian publishing house, but is as subtle in its Christian influences as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

I enjoyed reading Emissary well enough I’ll definitely be on the lookout for the next in the series, especially after reading the first two chapters included in this one as a teaser.  Let’s just say, Book 2 can’t come out soon enough!  And for the record, I’ve already informed my husband (a blacksmith) that if he comes across any Milantian steel, I want him to forge me a sword just like the one Joelle carries.  😉

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of Emissary as part of the Revell Reads blog tour program in exchange for my honest review.

To learn more about this book, check out the book’s description on the publisher’s Web site or view the book trailer on Youtube.  There are also some interesting Q&A posts on the author’s blog and Goodreads page.

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