Book Review: Emissary

6 Jan

723859Hyam 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.

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thomas-lockeThomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.

His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.

Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University. He holds a lifelong passion for epic fantasy, science fiction and techno-thriller stories.

Thomas’s screenplay adaption of Emissary is under development as a feature film with a British production company.

My Impressions:

Thomas Locke is a new voice in epic fantasy with the first book in a new series, Legends of The Realm. Written from a Christian worldview, Emissary is not your typical Christian novel, yet it embodies the themes of justice, mercy and compassion. Unlikely and ordinary characters achieve the extraordinary through shear will and determination. If you like classic fantasy, then you need to check out this novel.

Following the death of his mother, Hyam must travel to give the news to the father that left him long ago. Memories of abuse by the community of wizards his father belonged to feeds the grief and resentment in his heart. But Hyam finds out that all he once thought true has been a lie and his past is shrouded in a secret held for a thousand years. As he struggles to understand the powers he possesses, he finds he must fight the darkness that has begun to grow in the land. Along with another outcast and a former mage, Hyam gathers other outcasts to fight for what is right and true.

Part quest, part coming of age story, part suspense novel, Emissary is filled with beautiful images of a medieval world nothing like our own. Hidden kingdoms, Elves and other fantastical people, power emanating from colorful orbs, and 1000 year old secrets all make this new world unique to the reader’s experience. The main characters of Hyam and Joelle are complex and very relatable. Their responses to injustice are sometimes noble and sometimes vengeful, providing the reader with a lot to ponder about what his/her own reactions would have been. As stated earlier, there is not an overt Christian message, but the struggle between good and evil mirrors a Christian worldview. I especially liked that the forces the characters draw their powers from are influenced by motives and the desires of the heart. In Hyam we find a character that draws joy from his connection with the power — something that all Christians have when truly connected to God. For those who like action in their books, you are in luck. There are plenty of fights, close scrapes and escapes to keep you turning the pages.

Emissary is just book 1. While a lot is resolved in this book, the danger is not yet gone and Hyam, Joelle, Trace and other characters will face more uncertainty and fear with the rise of another dark force. More adventure, more suspense, more fantasy — perfect for lovers of this genre.

Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

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