Title: The Golden Vial
Author: Thomas Locke
“Was this to be her destiny? To use a gift of such immense potential only to have it nibble at the very core of her being?” Dally questions in Thomas Locke’s novel, The Golden Vial.
~ What ~
Third in the Legends of the Realm series, this three-hundred-and-four-page paperback targets those who enjoy fictional fantasy involving magical lands of mages, acolytes, healers, dragons, wizards, and orbs. 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 books, a young orphan servant girl who is almost eighteen years old realizes she has the special gift of far-seeing. With her wolfhounds and unusual ability to cast spells, she is called upon by Queen Shona and others in Three Valleys to search for the Golden Vial that holds the tears of Hyam’s deceased wife so that he and others can be healed. While villages are attacked, treaties are revoked, and friendships are formed to work together to get rid of the evil enemy.
~ Why ~
With a lot of spells, sorcery, and magic, the book will engage any lover of fantasy as it shows the inner torment of trying to find one’s potential and place in the world while building unity among a divergent of peoples. I found the inner turmoil of Dally’s emotional being engaging as she learns how to become an acolyte, even though she is sometimes opposed to the idea. Locke’s expressive and detailed writing lays out of the land of magic while expounding on spellcraft.
~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like fantasy 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. Others may not realize the book focuses on a young girl’s awakening to her inner powers while briefly trying to save Hyam.
~ Wish ~
Having a sister who once professed Christ and is now a teaching “white witch,” I do not think it is edifying promoting fantasy that deals with the occult, wizardry, and casting spells, especially if it may stimulate the interest of a young adult. A list of characters would be helpful at the beginning of the novel.
~ Want ~
If you like a book series about witchcraft, sorcery, and telepathy while trying to save the Realm, this may interest young adults, but after reading all three books by one of my favorite authors, I found it involved too much of the occult. Although this is the last in the trilogy, there is plenty of room for another sequel with more characters introduced.
Thanks to Baker Publishing for this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.
This book can be purchased at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-golden-vial-thomas-locke/1126332863