Review: THE MERCHANT OF ALYSS / by Thomas Locke

Merchant of Alyss / by Thomas Locke. (Legends of the Realm, 2)
Revell     ISBN 9780800723866
Adult (HS)     Rating: 3

Award-winning author Davis Bunn (writing under the name of Thomas Locke) continues his fantasy series for adults featuring a hero who uses his special abilities in the fight against evil.

In Merchant of Alyss, Hyam returns to the Falmouth Port, thinking he will now enjoy peaceful days with his wife Joelle at his side. But life is bittersweet, for Hyam lost his powers in the most recent battle, and Joelle falls under a sorcerer’s spell. After a shipment of Milantian scrolls arrives, Hyam is haunted by dreams. One of those scrolls promises new powers but comes with a strong warning about a threat. Hyam leaves on another journey, leaving behind his wife and community behind to find the answers he seeks, unaware that the merchant of Alyss is looking for him. Will he succeed in his quest to save his community and his wife?

Locke creates a fantasy world where good and evil face off, and unusual creatures fill the landscape along the way. Like most epic fantasies, the story features a reluctant, orphaned hero who faces his inner demons to undertake a dangerous quest. In Hyam’s case, he discovers that he has magical powers he must learn to control and use for the good.

Although Locke excels in its plot development and world-building, there is not a lot of evidence of a Christian theme in the book, except in the eternal fight between good and evil. Elves, wizards, sorcerers’ magic, and strange creatures abound, making it more fantasy than Christian allegory.

Recommended for adult collections in public libraries, and for fantasy fans of Patrick Carr and Jill Williamson. Look for The Golden Vial (book 3), in March 2018. Book 1, Emissary, was reviewed earlier.

Carol R. Gehringer

Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

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