“And none of those who take the Alyss road has returned,” Hyman reminds his co-travelers in Thomas Locke’s novel, Merchant of Alyss.
~ What ~
Second in the Legends of the Realm series, this three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those who enjoy fictional fantasy involving magical lands of dragons, wizards, ancient scrolls, and eye baubles. With no profanity, topics of casting spells, war, illness, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. Beginning with a drawn map of the realm, the book concludes with the author’s biography and advertisements.
In this sequel that vaguely backtracks to the prior book, Hyam has lost his magical powers, but he is the only who sees the ominous writing on the Milantian scrolls recently uncovered. As his wife, Joelle, and he travel with others to Emporis, he has disturbing dreams about dragons as they encounter behemoths, golems, warriors, witches, and war. With some of the characters from the prior story, he befriends a possible heir to the throne. It is when Joelle approaches death that he must make the ultimate decision between power and love.
~ Why ~
With a lot of spells, sorcery, and magic, the book will engage any lover of fantasy as it shows the struggle between wanting power at any cost versus showing love via personal sacrifice. I found Shona’s role the most captivating as she is on a quest to self-revelation. Locke’s expressive creative writing is par with his other books, showing the humanity of preservation and fortitude.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like science fiction that involves sorcery, magic, and wizardry set in a medieval era will pass on this read. Some may feel the book is tedious with its plethora of players. Although I am a big fan of the writer, I prefer his non-sci-fi stories.
~ Who ~
Thomas Locke is also known as the award-winning author, Davis Bunn, who has had his works published in twenty countries. He has received honors for the Best Book of the Year, four Christy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
~ Wish ~
Since I do not care for this genre but wanted to read the sequel, it was hard for me to keep track of all the people even though I have read both books. A list of characters would be helpful at the beginning of the novel.
~ Want ~
If you thought Hyam’s passion and magic had diminished at the end of the first book, this one concentrates on his love and loyalty of his wife while continuing to save the Realm as he realizes circumstances change over time. There is plenty of room for another sequel with more characters introduced and Hyam having to make difficult choices.
Thanks to Baker Publishing for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.