Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, the 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. He divides his time between Oxford and Florida and holds a lifelong passion for speculative stories. Davis's screenplay adaptation of Emissary is currently under development as a feature film with a British production company. Learn more at www.tlocke.com.
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By Thomas Locke
RevellCopyright © 2015 T. Davis Bunn
All rights reserved.
Most people were given a new world for their twenty-first birthday. Coming of age meant celebration and beginnings and vast horizons. Any man or woman could join with the partner of their choosing, claim a profession, leave their apprenticeship, or even take a different name. Hyam was given one choice, which of course was no choice at all. He was invited to walk away from everything he had ever known.
His mother had been ill for almost a year, and the village healer could do little save bar pain's specter from her chamber. Which was an immense boon, Hyam knew, because the agony his mother did not feel was etched deep into her features. The hurt might be banished, but the wasting still ate at her.
Two nights before her son's adulthood began, the lady breathed her last. There was a palpable sense of relief in the village, for his mother had been much loved and the ending had been too long in coming. Hyam's first act as an adult was to help lower his mother into the ground. He said the proper words, he allowed the village women to embrace him and weep, and he heard anew his mother's final request. Her softly whispered entreaty had carried such a sense of repulsion he almost refused. But in the end Hyam packed the six meals he would require for the journey, as he was not allowed to hunt upon this trail, and took the lonely route east, rimming the forest, over the knob, along the forbidden ridgeline, and into the wizard's vale.
The journey proved an immense gift, for Hyam had always been private with his thoughts and his emotions. He wept over his loss. He stamped and fought the trail, and bemoaned his lonely fate, and worried over what would become of him. He was free to shout his rage. None heard him. The trail only led to one place and was busy just during the festival seasons. Hyam was safe, he was isolated, and by the time he reached his destination, he was almost comfortable with the burden of grief.
The region's Long Hall was larger than his village. All such places bore the same name, right the world around. For centuries all magic save the healing arts had been banned from the realm. Only within communities known as Long Halls was magery still taught and practiced.
From a safe distance, the hamlet was beautiful but austere. The stone dwellings were precisely laid out, the surrounding walls rising and falling with the hills. The community overlooked the same stonewashed river as his village. As far as Hyam was concerned, that was the only thing they shared.
He pulled the leather cord, and the bell by the community's only portal rang a lonely note. He shivered against the onslaught of memories. When the small barred gate opened, he said to the old man, "I am here to see a wizard of the Long Hall."
"How is this one known?"
"There is none here by that name."
"I don't understand. Shard is my father. I was here as an acolyte myself for five years."
"How are you called?"
The portal clicked shut. Hyam did not ever recall having seen that face before. But most of the community was barred from the acolytes. He turned his back to the door and resisted the urge to simply walk away. Perhaps the elders received a second name at some point. His father had been renamed when he became a mage, signifying one who was only complete as part of a greater whole. Such naming was part of the Long Hall tradition, all of which Hyam roundly despised.
The portal's lock rattled, and the door creaked open. A white-haired woman stood before him. "One who is expelled from these walls may not enter again."
Hyam did not need to see the blue band rimming the woman's cowl and sleeves to know he stood once more before the Mistress. He might despise the place and the secrets they jealously guarded, but there was no future in riling one so powerful.
He bowed low. "I came at my mother's request. She wished for me to tell her husband—"
"There are no husbands here. Nor wives. Nor children. Nor vows recognized by the outer world. We are our own realm."
Hyam recognized the words as part of the lessons he had been forced to endure. The memories returned with a rush of old regret. "I should not have come."
The woman caught his bitterness. "You hated it here so much?"
Hyam saw no need to respond.
She seemed to find the answer she sought in his silence, for she stepped through the portal and led him to a stone bench overlooking the river. "Sit with me."
Hyam hesitated, wanting only to be away. But there was nothing to be gained from rudeness. He sat.
"I remember you. Your task was languages, was it not?"
Acolytes were only permitted to study tiny hints of the arcane arts. Their time not spent performing chores was given over to lessons in one specific area, which the senior mages saw as the avenue they might follow the rest of their lives.
"For my first year, I watered the fields and fed the animals and carried stones from the quarry. Languages came after."
"What did you study?"
"Ashanta. Milantian." He found it hard to utter the third name. "Elven."
"A worthy task."
He turned and inspected the seamed face. Acolytes were not permitted to look directly at any elder save their teachers. "To force a child to learn a language dead for over a thousand years and beat him until he bled when he erred—I would not call this worthy."
She might have shrugged. "You were also a hunter."
"Arrow and knife." His one outlet, his one chance to escape. For brief periods.
"You learned the forest ways."
"Some of them." From a taciturn man who smelled like a goat and spoke less than his father.
"And then you were passed over."
He smiled at the recollection. "My finest hour."
She was untouched by his satisfaction. "Did you ever wonder why you were not invited to join with us?"
"No, Mistress. I was too glad to leave you behind."
"And yet it is strange, is it not? You were an excellent pupil. You were adept at all your lessons. Your ability with the languages was astonishing."
"I do not recall my teachers ever using that word to describe me."
"Astonishing," she repeated. "Even with Milantian, which some claim can only be truly used by one of that race."
"I have returned because it was my mother's last request. Please tell the one called Shard that his former wife is no more. I thank you for seeing me and bid you—"
"Shard passed away four years ago."
Hyam settled back onto the bench and absorbed the news. And felt nothing. "So I am an orphan."
She looked at him then, with eyes of smoky brilliance. "You have been that for far longer than these few days."
"I don't understand."
"Shard did not sire you, the woman who raised you did not birth you." The leader of Long Hall spoke with a calm firmness. "You know who we are. You know I do not lie."
He met her gaze and recalled more of the reasons he loathed this place. "You and your kind already stole five years of my life. You will not take my birthright as well."
She watched him rise and asked, "Your mother's dying bequest means so little?"
"You just said she was not that."
"I said she did not birth you. The love she gave, the home, the nurturing, what does that make her if not your true parent?" She patted the stone bench. "Sit. Please."
When he remained standing, she said, "You were brought to your parents by a Traveler."
Hyam laughed out loud. "Why not a wolf? Carried in his great fangs and deposited—"
"A Traveler," she repeated.
"That is a legend more dead than the Elves."
"They live, they are, and this happened."
"A wandering wizard dropped a baby boy on my parents' doorstep." Despite himself, he was drawn back down to the bench. "And what, they just happened to think it would be a nice idea to raise me?"
"Your father was against it. Your mother insisted. The argument lasted for the first six months of your life. Then the mages' ability woke within him and he came here." She showed him a vague smile. "Many who join us bring such tales of loss and woe."
"She never told me why he left."
"Why should she?"
"I drove my father away."
"You served him well, as he would have told you, were he still with us." She hesitated, then added, "There is something you should know. Perhaps it is the real reason you were drawn here this day. So that I might inform you that you are not human."
The wind sighed through the trees on the narrow valley's other side. An emerald slope descended to the sparkling river below. Wildflowers shivered and danced in the cool breeze. Overhead ships of froth and mist drifted in a blue realm.
"What are you saying?"
"We think Milantian. But we cannot be certain. There is a powerful veil cast over your heritage. To have your blood tested would have meant alerting o"cials of the realm. And you know what they do to Milantians."
The world and the day no longer seemed capable of holding him. Beyond the forest, his village was busy with the spring planting. New homes were being raised to hold the families that would soon grow and claim their place among their clan. There would be the season's first feast. There would be music and laughter and a sense of belonging. Maidens would weave flowers into their hair and laugh over which man might claim the dance, the kiss, the night. And here he sat. Learning that there was indeed a reason for why he had never belonged. "Milantians are killed on sight."
"Throughout the realm," she agreed. "They are safe from no one. They are the scattered people. Only a few remnants survive of the mighty warrior clan who once brought havoc and woe to our land."
"But you don't know for certain I'm—" He arched back so far he would have toppled to the earth save for his frantic grip on the stone. "The language."
"No one save a Milantian can learn their tongue."
"That is only a saying."
"None of our scholars can speak more than a few words, even after studying it for years. And yet you gobbled it up. You learned all the elders had to teach in weeks, and you raced through all our books and scrolls in a single winter."
"Then you took that from me as well."
"We could not risk word slipping out that we harbored an adept. Because that is what you most certainly were. A child gifted in the forbidden tongue. None could ever recall such a feat. So we hid you the only way possible. We forbade you to ever speak it again."
Old anger formed a cold fist in his gut. "And forced me to learn Elven."
"We did. Yes."
"The Milantians destroyed the Elves."
"So our history says."
"I don't understand. What's more, I don't want to understand."
Once again she showed him a gaze of crystal smoke. Her eyes held no guile and less remorse. It was the gaze of a woman who could consign a child to the misery of useless lessons and beat him until he succeeded, without a moment's hesitation or regret. "Some say Milantian is not so much a language as a means of drawing power from beyond. Which is precisely how the ancient texts describe Elven. Our elders (Unpublished manuscript—copyright protected Baker Publishing Group) hoped one tongue might eventually balance out the other in you. Or grant you the wise usage of both."
The logic assailed him, as did the wizard's utter absence of concern over the distress Hyam had known. "No one ever told me any of this."
"You were a child. You did as you were ordered. It is a child's place to obey without question."
"What happens now?"
"Milantians are said to come into their powers in their twenty-first year. If this is indeed your blood, you will know soon enough. If you need to know more, there is a scholar at our community in Havering. A historian named Trace. Tell him I sent you." She rose and gathered her hands within the folds of her grey robe. "If your horizons are to grow beyond the safety of this valley, you should know that war is coming. Your new powers will challenge you in ways you cannot fathom and most certainly will not find either comfortable or pleasant. Nonetheless, it is time for all who cherish peace or truth to prepare."
She left him without either farewell or backward glance. The door clicked shut, sealing him out. He remained where he was, trying to rejoin with the wind and the sunlight and the world beyond the forbidden portal. Only when he hefted his pack and started back down the trail did he realize that he had neglected to ask her name so he could tell this Trace who had sent him. Then Hyam decided that it did not matter. He had no intention of speaking with another member of any Long Hall. For as long as he lived.
Excerpted from Emissary by Thomas Locke. Copyright © 2015 T. Davis Bunn. Excerpted by permission of Revell.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really wanted to like this book. Although I read a lot of romance I don’t tie myself to one genre, I really like to read from many categories. I have enjoyed fantasy before and knowing Thomas Locke (Davis Bunn) is an excellent author I was excited to read this book. Unfortunately, I could not get into it. I felt so disconnected from Hyam and that things just happened without any reason. I didn’t really feel Hyam’s motivation to do what he was doing, he just did it. I wanted to understand why he did it. There were times that I would feel myself getting pulled into the story but then a bunch of narration would come up and my mind would wander and I would feel myself checking out and then not really caring about the characters. This is young adult novel so maybe someone younger who enjoys Lord of the Rings and those types of books will enjoy this more than I did. As always this is my opinion only. This book is getting great reviews. So if it sounds interesting to you then maybe you should give is a read :) A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
A story of fantasy that will take you out of this world .
An incredible good versus evil fantasy novel! Joelle and Hyam are misfits. They don’t know where they fit in or who their ancestors are. As such they are very confused and struggling to figure out where they belong and what they should be doing with their lives. They are very well written and their confusion is almost palpable. As bits and pieces are revealed more questions arise with the new information. I was drawn into the story from very early on. I wanted to find out what Hyam’s destiny was as well as his heritage. I couldn’t put the book down until the very end. I admit that I usually don’t care for magic or wizardry in my books. This book is very clearly a story of good versus evil and that is the only way that these aspects are included. This became very evident very early on in the story and I needed to see how it turned out.
Fast paced, magic, elves, and dark creatures! This thrilling story jumps you to a world at the crux of change!
It was a good book don't get me wrong but I feel like it was a summery book of a longer epic fantasy book, the book felt like it was talking about some legend that accomplished a great task but where was the peril the misery, I feel like I don't even know the characters the book didn't talk about there hopes or dreams or feelings, I just feel like it fell way short of an epic fantasy.
Thomas Locke in his new book, “Emissary” Book One in the Legends of the Realm series published by Revell takes us into the life of Hyam. From the Back Cover: With his twenty-first birthday, Hyam begins a journey that will lead him to his destiny–or his doom. Hyam has always shown a remarkable ability to master languages, even those left unspoken for a thousand years. But now the shadow of suspicion that was cast upon him as a child prodigy at Long Hall is lengthening, and he must keep his identity hidden–or face annihilation. As Hyam’s mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall before he settles down to farm his land. This journey born from duty becomes an impassioned quest for the truth. War is coming swiftly, and Hyam must rely upon his newfound powers and the friends he meets along the way in order to unravel the puzzling past and ensure that he–and the realm–will have a future. The journey is on. Any time there is a journey involved bells go off that this is going to be a good story. And in the hands of a master craftsman like Thomas Locke, A.K.A. Davis Bunn, we are in for a great story. The journey has been a part of literature since forever and Mr. Locke takes it and runs with it to new heights. Hyam has to take the journey because it was the last wish of his dying mother even though he really does not want to. Along the way he is going to meet new friends, all kinds of adventure and begin to find a way to save everything he knows. This book will keep turning pages while leaving chores unattended and it is so worth it. Mr. Locke is an excellent writer and makes all his characters believable and you care deeply for them as he deftly unfolds the plot before us. I am so glad that this is just the beginning of her new series and that there will be more stories soon. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Deb’s Dozen: 12-Word Summaries – Dying mother’s last request sends orphaned farm boy on a quest – Emissary! Fantasy has always been one of my favorite genres, although, until recently, I’d not read much of note. The Emissary, by Thomas Locke, has shot to the top of my list of favorites. Clean, crisp writing paired with descriptions that pull you into the environment make this a very enjoyable novel. Hyam’s dying mother had one last request—tell your father that I am gone. Hyam’s father had left them years ago to reside in the Three Valley’s Long Hall, residence of what remained of wizardry and magic. Hyam himself had spent five long years there and had no fond memory of the experience. But obey his mother’s wish as he had promised, he would do—Hyam was honorable if nothing else. When he arrives, he’s told his father’s been dead for four years—and wasn’t his father, nor his mother his mother. The Mistress of the Hall sends him to another hall to seek the mage, Trace. And so begins Hyam’s epic journey of danger and disbelief and destiny. The story so enthralled me that I dreamt about Hyam’s adventures and woke myself up—only to read to the wee hours until I had finished. As I loved Hyam and Trace and Joelle, I am delighted to tell you this is merely the start of the adventures. The Emissary stands by itself, though, with a beginning and a conclusion—unlike many series that leave you hanging. I f you love a rollicking adventure, with romance and danger involved, you’ll love The Emissary as I do. Although a fantasy story, Locke writes with such assurance that you’ll almost believe in a new reality. Five stars – be sure to pick up a copy and enjoy!
The start of this book is deceptive. Slow, but descriptive, a picture of the characters and setting is gradually developed. However, once the dialogue starts, you are suddenly immersed in a new world. The fantasy elements of the story seem so believable. The struggles and emotions of the characters are so real, you're surprised when you set the book down for a moment, and life is still. Bits and pieces of the puzzle are dispersed from close characters, or strangers along the way. I could not put this book down. I finished it in two days, stealing moments to devour a little more of the story. The book finishes well, wrapping up the major conflict. It does leave many questions unanswered, making you wish book two was already released. The author's writing style is superb. The way the characters interacted, the flow of the dialogue, and the descriptive details all come together to create a fascinating story. I give this book five stars on storyline/conflict, character development, and setting. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
This book was really really hard to read. Slow slow story. There are things and scenes that make no sense to the storyline. There are things that happen there's no reason. Or at least doesn't seem to be and isn't explained. I love fantasy storys but this was just a bad one.
The cover art on this is lovely. The content leaves more to be desired. I have read 178 of 303 pages. I am not sure if I'll bother finishing it or not. The problem with the story is that the author did not take the time to fully develop the characters or work through their motivations to the point that they're believable to the reader. They are too two-dimensional. There are also not enough true challenges and failures, particularly for the main character Hyam. He finds out upon his mother's death that she wasn't really his mother and that he was a member of a near-extinct (and possibly evil) race who come into magical powers at their 21st year. He's warned that the powers may be hard to deal with. But, when they come, they're easy. He is like a god. Whatever he tries, magic-wise, works beyond his wildest dreams. In a world where mages study for years for even modest powers, he is master of his god-like powers almost from the moment they arise. Everything just falls into his lap as he walks effortlessly through the plot. He can shoot a bow better than the king's finest bowmen. He can break open the wizard's keep (the long hall) single-handed with the magic orb he conveniently found. The girl he rescues is beautiful and worthy and a mage in her own right and offers herself to him the first or second night they're together (though he nobly refuses her). Another mysterious race, enemy to his secret ancestors, appoint him their emissary on a whim for no sufficiently well-explained reason. The job just drops in his lap. What can't be explained by his innate, inherited magical skill is explained by unlikely coincidences (the apparently lowly farm-boy spent 5 years training in a wizard's hall as a child before being kicked out and sent back to the farm) or conveniently placed wise men who can explain what's going on. It reads like a draft of a story that could be quite good, but needs flushing out for it to flow well and be believable. I'm disappointed because it had potential. And a lovely cover.
Hyam, an only child, reluctantly knew he must honor his mother's dying wish. Even before he began this dreaded journey, strange and frightening situations begin to occur. Devastatingly, lifelong "friends" turned against him. He, alone, must succeed in his plight. Thomas Locke's new fantasy series relates to a time of our own Earth's medieval period of history. It is a series filled with the adventures, and intrigue of mythical times and characters, and more! The characters are very real and the mythical places easily envisioned. The story mostly continues to build as the pages are turned. The last page, leaves the reader anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. It will soon become a favorite of many! *This book was sent to me in exchange for and HONEST Review, of which I have given.
Emissary, the first book in the new Legends of the Realm series from Thomas Locke, tells the tale of good vs. evil in a fresh and interesting way. The Realm is being threatened by a dark and mysterious force. Young man Hyam, who has just turned 21, is attempting to learn about his heritage after his mother's passing. When he is attacked, he finds that he is able to respond in a very unusual way. As magic has been banned from the Realm for ages, Hyam is at first taken aback by his newfound powers, but then realizes that the threat to his world is real - and he must respond. Thomas Locke has created an interesting cast of characters as well as an intricate world with his Realm. I would have especially enjoyed for the author to include a map of the Realm to assist in sorting out their travels. Regardless, I enjoyed this book - I found it both creative and interesting. I am looking forward to the next one! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Fantasy that will draw you in... Emissary Legends of the Realm By Thomas Locke Hyam is a young man who has lost everything when his mother dies. But the truth of what he has lost will not be revealed immediately. And there is something more - a truth about Hyam that has been kept hidden from him. A truth that may very well determine whether or not his world will survive or be lost to a powerful enemy that thrives on death. Called upon by an ancient race to be their voice, Hyam is about to discover all too soon just how powerful this enemy is. As a result of this encounter Hyam is about to discover new friends and allies in his quest to turn back the evil that has entered the land. But through it all Hyam is determined to discover who he truly is, but discovery comes with a cost... But Hyam's is not the only life whose story is brought to light. For hidden away from the world is Joelle - a young woman whose life is about to intersect with Hyam's destiny. Joelle is a young woman with an incredible destiny before her if only she can find a way to seize it. Her chance is coming... Fans of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis should delight in this new world that is given birth with Emissary. This is a world in which one will want to get lost within the pages. What has been forgotten must be rediscovered, legends and myths are truths that have been hidden by time. This is fantasy fiction that is not geared toward the teen/young adult, but rather the adult reader. That is not to say that the teen/young adult reader won't enjoy this book, because they will. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Revell through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.
Days before his twenty-first birthday, Hyman’s world changes abruptly. Upon his mother’s death, she implores him to visit Long Hall, a place he spent five years as an acolyte. And a place that he loathes and despises because of the way the mages forced him to study obsolete languages. When he arrives at Long Hall to deliver his message, he learns unsettling news about his heritage and that the parents that raised him were not his birth parents. Putting this troubling news out of his mind, Hyman returns home to farm the family land. But strange events cause him to abandon his farm and flee. Leaving everything he has ever known, Hyman embarks on a journey to try to stop a coming war. The power he discovers within himself sets him aside as a leader and a possible force to confront the evil that prevails in the realm. And the newfound friends he meets on his journey, unite with him to prevent this evil from waging war on other communities. This story takes place in a fantasy realm of created beings with powers beyond the usual human experience. Thomas Locke has created a world of elves, mages and wizards and a unique story about a couple of misfits. One of the central themes of the narrative is the power of the orb, creating a clash between good and evil. Hyman was a worthy hero and leader exhibiting courage, intelligence, honor and humility. Important information about the plot and characters is revealed throughout the book, so I would recommend being patient as the reader. Not everything is clear upfront. The story is intriguing and creative and the characters likeable. It moves at a reasonable pace. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy the fantasy/fiction genre. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
I do not read a lot in the fantasy genre however, I was intrigued by Thomas Locke’s (aka Davis Bunn) new fantasy Emissary. We meet Hyam who has just lost his mother and seeks to fulfill her last wishes. He has not traveled much and he plans to stay and farm his land. However strange occurrences begin to happen and Hyam realizes that he may be meant for more than just being a farmer. Not only that, but he also learns that he is not who he thinks he is. Intrigued? Good. We meet a whole host of characters and different races along the journey and they are not hard to keep apart. What I liked best about this novel was how I was discovering the world of the Realm and its secrets along with Hyam. This was a very compelling storyline and I found myself quickly turning pages to satisfy my curiosity of this new world. I look forward to more in this series. My thanks to Revell for my review copy and the opinions are my own.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Thomas Locke, the pseudonym of Davis Bunn, because Emissary is completely unlike anything I've read by Bunn. But I was enchanted within the first lines. The story starts immediately and gives you plenty of reasons to keep asking what and why and to keep reading. Some parts of the story have a gentle pace, but still pique curiosity to keep reading late at night. Other sections are full of action and surprise and won't let you rest until the battle is over. I really enjoyed reading this book and read it much faster than I have most books lately. Another pleasing part of the experience is that the story told is whole and complete, while also letting you know near the end that this is just the beginning. I hate it when I book ends without really ending, an arm-twist to try to force you to buy the next book. (I never read the rest of the series when that happens because it ticks me off.) Locke's Emissary doesn't do that, I'm pleased to tell you. If I were to find fault with anything, it would be that the first chapter of the second book, appearing at the end, takes too much time to describe and explain before the action starts. I prefer to jump right into the action like Emissary did. If I hadn't read book one, I'm not sure I would've read all of the first chapter of the next book. I rather hope Locke adjusts that first chapter before book two comes out because the part where the action starts is awesome. Overall, for someone who is quite picky about what fantasy I'll take time to read, I really enjoyed Emissary and I look forward to book two! :) (I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.)
From my fantasy-loving 16-year-old son, Matthew: "The story is well written and very enthralling. The story following Hyam leaves you with a sense of wonder, but has enough realistic properties that it does not become insanity. Though the story is meant for a younger audience, members of an older audience could still find enjoyment in reading this book. Through and through, Emissary is a great story and a good read. I recommend this story to lovers of adventure and fantasy." I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Emissary is a fantasy novel that I enjoyed thoroughly! Thomas Locke’s descriptions in the book were excellent and I kept thinking that I would love to see this made into a movie! The story is about a young man, Hyam, who, when he comes of age, learns not only that he is an orphan with a questionable heritage, but that he has supernatural powers. He immediately realizes that he must use those powers responsibly to fight the evil that is taking over the realm. Sadly, he must leave his home and everything he has known in order to do so. I loved Hyam’s character. As he meets others he is humble, respectful, and ready to serve. He also knows that he doesn’t know it all and is willing to learn from others. However, he is driven to complete his quest as it is revealed to him. As a fantasy novel, it is filled with magic and wizardry, and many fantastical characters. I tend not to read this genre, but knowing that it came from a Christian author and publisher, I read it at face value and enjoyed the story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for this honest review.
“Emissary,” written by Thomas Locke, is a fantasy novel with main characters that are worth looking up to! The good guys are truly good, and the bad guys are truly bad. There are no wishy-washy values in this make-believe world. If you chose to journey into this realm you will meet a variety of different people. Many are thought to be extinct, yet they have survived in a land that no longer has use for them. In this book you will meet Hyam, a young man who is only beginning to discover he has powers he didn’t know existed. His dying mother sends him on a quest which leads him on an amazing journey of self-discovery. He ventures into magical lands and meets many new friends and a few enemies. I give “Emissary” five stars! It is clean, easy to read and understand. The continuous action held my attention from start to finish. The map in the front of the book gave me a visual of where Hyam was going and where he had been. In these days of dark and gruesome stories, this one shines out brightly! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Bring on the Sequel! Emissary, by Thomas Locke, has everything a fantasy lit fan can ask for. It is fast-paced and has just enough characters to keep it moving without having to make a chart of who’s who and what their purpose is in the story. Neither does it dwell on long drawn out descriptions of landscapes and irrelevant histories of the characters or the reason for their position in the plot. With a little bit of imagination and a few choice words, the reader is able to create their own landscapes and fill in any blanks about which other authors tend to overwrite. Fantasy lit is one of my favorite genres of writing. I enjoy reading it as an escape from the real world in which we are forced to live. If only I had such special powers to use to make this bad world better! Because I have read a good bit of fantasy lit—especially by Brooks, Eddings, Jordan, and of course Tolkien—I found several similarities to these fantasy adventures, but this in no way detracted from the enjoyment I received when reading this book. At first I thought it showed a lack of creativity on the part of the author, but later on I decided that in some ways it allowed the reader to tie their past readings from other authors with this new one and feel a sense of continuity with regards to special powers and how they are manifested. After all, in the world of fantasy, magic is magic, or so it would seem. As with any fantasy lit story, someone, or multiple someones, must have powers that are not the norm for everyone. The fact that Locke allowed certain characters to have powers, and to use them to fight darker powers without writing to be excessively dark, is a plus in my opinion. I have read fantasy books before where I felt my skin crawl because of the occult nature depicted in the writing. Needless to say I didn’t read more writings of authors who took fantasy to the realm of downright evil. As a homeschooling parent, I was impressed by the way Locke handled the relationship between Hyam and Joelle. All too often, books that I thought my children would enjoy reading ended up not being given to them because the plot included sex scenes, discussions, or innuendoes that I didn’t feel were necessary to the storyline and definitely not something about which I would condone my children reading, and I’m talking teenagers here. The fact that Hyam did not take advantage of Joelle’s apparent lack of a moral upbringing is a positive that is needed in literature today regardless of which age category it may be meant. Maybe if more secular as well as Christian writers would embrace this fact, my daughters wouldn’t have such a hard time finding a Christian young man who behaves as a Christian young man should behave. If more young girls would read this as a lesson that one should not “throw” herself at a man in order to get his attention, more young girls would manage to keep their purity longer and preferably until they married. A gold star should indeed be given Mr. Locke for his ability to point this out in a fantasy adventure story without being preachy about it. To say I am looking forward to the sequel would be an understatement. A bit of a preview of what is to come was given at the end of the book and I can’t wait for the second book to make its debut. All in all, this was a wonderful book for escaping, imagining, and enjoying. I so appreciate having been given the opportunity to read it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Every writer of fiction creates characters and the world they live in. Fantasy writer Thomas Locke writes in Emissary of a world where tremendous courage, sacrifice, and good clash with forces of evil. In this book , a young man named Hyam experiences the gradual unfolding of his quest. Soon the book becomes an action-filled and quite an exciting book! I gladly give this book a 5-star rating. I am eagerly awaiting the second book in this series. I received a complementary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
Emissary is about a young man named Hyam, who has recently lost his mother. He is still feeling the keen loss. In order to fulfill his mother's final wish he must go to a Long Hall, a place he utterly dreads, to tell his father of her passing. When he arrives, he receives news that his father actually died years ago. Hyam feels the loneliness of being an orphan, but the mistress of the hall informs him that he has been an orphan for years. His parents took him in when they found him on their door step and his past training at the Hall has put into question who he truly is. He can speak a tongue that only one of that race can speak and better than any professor ever could. This puts into question his origin and leads them to believe that he is part of a race that is feared and sentenced to death. This race is spread far and wide to hide. These people had no qualms in destroying an entire race. This news is a shock to Hyam and leaves him wondering who he truly is. It is said that when one of this race turns twenty-one they come into a power of their own. Hyam does not know what this means and must wait until all is revealed. When the power he did not know he had comes to the surface, he flees and goes into hiding, searching for answers that lead him on a quest that he would have never foreseen. He meets a people who had long been forgotten; becomes an emissary to a people who have not needed one in over a century; sees magic that has long been forbidden. He wields magic in a way that has not been seen for a thousand years. He does so in order to protect all those he loves and the world he holds dear from one who seeks to destroy all. This is a tale you will not want to miss. Thomas Locke has done a great job with his tale. You are on the edge of your seat the whole way wondering what will happen. The pages fly by as you take a seat and read, not realizing how long you have been engrossed in his story. This book is one you will not want to put down. In some stories you know what is happening before the characters do, but in this story you are in just as much wonderment as the characters themselves. In order to discover what is happening you must continue to read on. There is really no specific character that I can think of that represents God, but like Lord of the Rings this is a great example of the fight between good and evil. If you love fantasies, magic and stories with the feel of Lord of the Rings, then take a ride with Thomas Locke's book, Emissary. I thoroughly enjoyed Emissary and look forward to the release of second book in the series! The publisher, Revell, gave me no monetary payment for this review. I received a complimentary copy of Thomas Locke's book, Emissary, so I could share my honest opinion of his work.
I was very excited to read this book and it didn't disappoint. Epic fantasy story that has me excited to read the next book in the series. A little bit predictable towards the finish, but the overall story is very creative and enjoyable. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for my honest review.
So what did I think..... I love fantasy movies and novels so I was interested in reading this novel, I love the authors books his real name is Davis Bunn, but has picked a pseudonym for his fantasy books. I really like the authors style of writing he is very versitile, which is so great. I love how the author had the many different type of creature, it was like a lord of the rings type characters, while reading the book I was really trying to have an imagination while reading and that really helped me continue to read the book. The main character in the book Hyam was awesome he was very brave and really smart and was a great leader, I love how heroic he was. I am so glad I read this book it was so awesome and I have been telling everyone about it. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review purposes from Revell A Division Of Baker Publishing Group. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.
If you are a fan of the fantasy genre then this book is for you. I don't really gravitate towards that type of book but when I realized that Thomas Locke was the pseudonym for Davis Bunn I had to give it a read. I still don't like the fantasy element of the story but overall I really enjoyed the book. Not a surprise since the author is one of my favorites. The story still has that tightly woven, fasted paced element that is common to Davis Bunn's work. While the category is fantasy, there is still plenty of suspense, mystery and even a bit of romance thrown in. I found myself skimming over the portions that went into fantasy detail and continued reading the rest to get the meat of the story. If this first book is any indication this is going to be a really good series. What fun to find a new/old author to enjoy. I look forward to the next installment to find out more about this mysterious realm. If you're not quite sure if you would be interested in reading this title. There is a free (as of this writing) Ebook short called The Captive that will give you a little peek into Joelle and how she came to be a prisoner at Long Hall. Fair warning . . . be prepared to continue on with Emissary because I can almost guarantee you'll be sucked in! I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.