3 out of 4 stars
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The Talisman of Faerie by Jason N. Beil is the first book in The Talisman War series. The book encapsulates all the necessary ingredients of a classic epic fantasy novel.
The book begins in a small town where the townsfolk, in their ignorance, do not believe in magic or faeries, which (of course) exist. An evil sorcerer tries to strike a deal to buy a magically influential artifact from Alec, the main character and hero. When the sorcerer does not get his wish, the story quickly becomes a page-turner with numerous twists and turns. A team of explorers quickly band together to go on a quest to fight evil.
The author does a nice job of depicting the shift of the characters from an initial reluctance to go on a quest, to resolute determination to overcome evil in the end. A hero who simply wishes to return to his prior life once his mission is complete, ogres, wizards, a touch of romance, magical artifacts; this story has it all. The author is clearly a talented storyteller who is able to skillfully weave together multiple plot lines smoothly into the story. The novel is fast-paced, action-oriented and suspenseful while at the same time not excluding important elements, such as the bonding of the main characters, wonderfully imaginative descriptions of scenery, a bit of romance, and coming of age issues in the main character. The book ends nicely with a twist that keeps the reader craving more (luckily, this book is the first in the series).
Depiction of the main characters is very well done. The author nicely balances description of the main characters, revealing their behavior and thought patterns and their interactions with each other. The book does not go into much detail on some characters, which leads me to speculate that perhaps details will be supplied in later books in the series.
The themes the author presents in the book are common themes found in the genre. Good battling evil, issues of transitioning from adolescence to young adulthood, loss, one controlling magic versus magic controlling oneself, the world hanging in the balance between the battle of good versus evil.
This book is well suited for individuals who enjoy epic fantasy novels. This book is long, so may not be suited for individuals who prefer quicker reads. This book may not be appropriate for young teens because of some of the romantic content.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars and would recommend this book to those who enjoy epic fantasy novels. The book had numerous instances where incorrect words were used, such as passed when it should have been past, or though instead of thought. The number of errors was high enough to be distracting and detract from the novel, which is why I gave it a lower rating. With some thorough editing, this could easily be corrected. Also, a map would have been handy to reference while reading to note progress of the quest. Overall this is a great read!
The Talisman of Faerie
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