The Golden Vial / by Thomas Locke. (Legends of the Realm, 3) 9.17.2018

Revell     ISBN 9780800723873

Adult (YA)     Rating: 4

Award-winning author Thomas Locke continues his fantasy series for adults featuring elves, wizards, magic, and an orphan with special abilities.

In The Golden Vial, Hyam suffers from a strange wasting illness. Lady Shona leads her band of loyal followers to Hyam’s hometown to find answers, even if it means they must build new alliances and face deadly enemies.

Meanwhile, an orphaned servant girl named Dally, who lives in Hyam’s hometown, has kept her unique abilities a secret. But she may be the key to winning the final battle against an ancient evil threatening them. Will Dally step forward and embrace her role, and at what cost?

Locke builds a credible world (the Realm), a world in which no one is an innocent bystander in the eternal fight between good and evil. People can choose to ignore the evil around them and hope it goes away, or choose to fight it, using all their resources in trying to push back the darkness. Like most epic fantasies, this book includes sorcerers, elves, unusual creatures, dragons, and magic. Some would argue a Christian book shouldn’t have these elements, but they are essential to the overall plot. The Golden Vial is more engaging than the previous two books, Emissary and Merchant of Alyss. Surprisingly, Hyam plays a very minor role in this book after playing a major role in the earlier books. Readers are encouraged to read the other two books first to better understand the Realm and its story.

Recommended for adult collections in public libraries, and for fans of epic fantasy books by Patrick Carr and Jill Williamson.

Carol R. Gehringer,

Earlier Series Titles Reviewed by CLJEmissary (Nov/Dec 2015); Merchant of Alyss (Jan/Feb/Mar 2018).