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However, not for similar reasons. Ben the orc killer makes another appearance doing what he does best. Again Seth Peck obviously has a well laid out plan here that we are making our way through. The pacing is always tight and enjoyable, as he transitions from one storyline to the next seamlessly, continuing each part in bite size portions that keep us wanting a bit more from all of them.

His panel structure and ability to guide us from one focus point to the next is great. And really integrates flawlessly with the pace of the story. He has the ability to not only bring the characters to life but the lonely, bleak, and foreboding settings of the Realm become character in themselves also. My thoughts and opinions are my own. May 09, E. These books are very closely interconnected, so if you're thinking about reading this book without reading the other two, it probably wouldn't be the best idea. You won't know who half the people are, and you definitely won't understand what's been going on.

After the big cliffhanger at the end of Merchant of Alyss I was very much looking forward this book in the hopes there would be an epic ending to this overall epic series. Unfortunately, while I did enjoy reading the book as a whole, when it comes down to it, I am disappointed. As far as I know, this is the last book in the series correct me if I'm wrong??? I will rewrite this review if I'm wrong, but I checked the author's website and there's no indication that there is. Hyam was the main character of the previous two books, but this book opens with a totally new character, a girl named Dally, because it turns out Hyam is out of commission for reasons explained as the story goes on.

Hyam is so out of commission in fact, that instead of saving everyone, he is now the one that needs saving from some kind of affliction that has weakened him to the point he can barely raise his head. Now, I don't mind heroes needing help from other people. The thing is, he was the main character of this series, and all of a sudden, he's not.

I kept waiting and waiting for him to be helped so he and the others could team up to give the villain s the epic smackdown they deserve. It was said earlier on that any course of action to defeat the villain that did not involve Hyam would end in failure, hide spoiler ] so I'm feeling encouraged, right? But then the book ends, and there is no epic smackdown. And then there's Dally, our new main character. She's an ordinary girl with extarordinary abilities, and neither she nor the reader knows why she has these abilities. If you've read Emissary, this probably sounds familiar as Hyam was much the same way.

The difference is, we at least have a hint at what his heritage might be. With Dally, we have even less of a hint of her background, but still, one expects that if this is the last book we will get an explanation, or at least a partial one, right? But then the book ends, and while I suppose we the readers can make some guesses given the hints, it's still only a guess for us and the characters since we get no solid explanation for her or Hyam. I mean, I guess it's nice that things are at least left on a positive, hopeful note that things will be better soon, but still Are we just supposed assume that it all turns out okay?

I mean, I guess I can make that assumption and maybe some readers are okay being allowed to make that assumption and imagine how things end rather than being told, but the whole reason I picked up this book was because I wanted to see it happen. I didn't even feel like this book had a real climax. There were a couple of little ones, but right when I thought the big one was about to happen it view spoiler [ got squished by a dragon landing on it. It was kinda funny at the time, but then it turns out that's the last we see of the bad guy for the rest of the book and it truly feels like there should be a fourth book coming.


But there's not. As I turned the final page I found myself feeling like I had received a copy of the book with the final chapter s missing. I even flipped through the pages advertising the author's other books trying to figure out if he'd decided to add another book to the series, but there was nothing. The characters are likable enough. Connell and Edlyn were probably my favorites: Connell was funny but kind and I liked his interactions with Dally, and Edlyn was such a fun, sassy, old lady.

Dally came off as kind of overpowered at times, but had enough weaknesses to balance it out, so I didn't dislike her in the long run. I mostly just didn't like that she was the main character here rather than Hyam and that I didn't get to know her as well as the characters I've spent that past two books getting to know. I also liked how Shona has grown and matured since the end of the last book. There were actually times in the second book when I got really annoyed with her, but I overall liked her in this one.

I'll also note that the story was well written, easy to read, and I often found myself flying through it at a pace that was faster than my normal pace. Like, why did I read this trilogy at all if I'm just going to be left to imagine how things work out? Maybe that sounds harsh, but I'm really struggling to come to terms with the fact that I liked this trilogy only to feel like the ending wasn't enough. My mom read each of the three books before I got around to them and said to tell my review readers that she feels the same way.

To those of you who started this series and are reading this review either just wondering about my opinion or wondering if the series is worth finishing, I'm not telling you not to finish. Go on and read it if you want to. Like I said, the story itself was enjoyable and was worth reading from that perspective. It's possible you'll even feel differently about the ending than I did.

All I'm saying with this review is that for me personally it wasn't quite enough. Maybe someday I'll decide I am okay with it. I actually think I will reread the series someday after I've gotten some distance from it and see if my feelings change, and I don't reread things I hated or even severely disliked so that's saying something right there. For right now, though, the ending simply wasn't what I hoped it would be, which is why I give this book 3 stars when I was hoping to give 4 stars if not 5.

Content Advisory: Language: None. Sexual: None. Violence: A few battles occur but they described in a way that is not graphic or even particularly intense. They are simply action-y. It is mentioned that some dogs died in a battle, but they are not dogs the readers get to know and their deaths occur "off screen". Brief mentions of blood on weapons after battles and brief mentions of blood on people due to injury. Never graphic. When some large, evil, animal-like creatures are killed in battle it is said their skins are hung up with bloody spears to prove to the doubters that these creatures do exist.

Magic: Magic is present throughout and follows the same rules as previous books. There are rivers of magic running beneath the earth's surface that are accessible by those humans called "mages" with the natural ability using orbs, or pieces of broken orbs stuck on the ends of wands. There are also non-human beings with inherent magical abilities. Some characters who appear human but may have ancestry that is non-human have extra abilities that are not fully explained. Spiritual: I'm including this section because once again, I see that some users have marked this book as Christian even though it's not.

Yes, the author Davis Bunn writing under the pseudonym Thomas Locke is a Christian and has written Christian fiction, but he has stated that he is using this pseudonym for the books he writes that are intended for the secular market. There is nothing in this series that is specifically Christian. There are no analogs for the Judeo Christian God.

In fact, there are no mentions of deities of any kind, or faith, or afterlife, or other religious beliefs. The closest thing this book in particular comes to anything spiritual is the fact that a certain character's "life breath" was captured in a vial by bad people and seems to keep that character's Shelves: ultimate-popsugar-reading-chal , christian-fiction , favorites , free-to-me-for-review , bunn-locke. Loved it, loved it so much. Book 3 in the Legends of the Realm series.

I read book 1 in early and book 2 in early I highly recommend you read Thomas Locke's answer to this question. Open this link in a new tab so you don't loose the rest of my review Where did you get the idea for your most recent book? His most recent book happens to be "The Golden Vial". His answer is the reason why he has had so much success as a writer and especially with his Loved it, loved it so much.

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Oh, My! I love his writing. Well thought out, well planned. Extremely well written. Like nothing else I have ever read. Drawing you in. Making the book impossible to put down. This book continues the series, but starts with an unknown main character, someone knew on the scene. Dally works for the mayor and his wife in the village of Honor.

She lost her family in a fire and came to live with the mayor. His wife Krim, however, is impossible to work for. Dally has no choice, she has no family, no money and no where else to go, so she endures the job the best she can and spends a lot of time with the wolfhounds the mayor raises. I know this series well enough to expect some interesting abilities from the characters in the book. Dally has a secret gift, she can reach out to the wolfhounds and smell what they smell and sense what they sense. She can reach out from her spot in the holding pen with the dogs and tell what is going on in the village.

She has also been having dreams, no not really dreams, visitations. She knew Shona was real and that she was coming to Honor. The town had been cut off from the world for almost 2 years. The arrival of an army is alarming and there is not much time, Shona and the army arrive at dawn. First she test her with the dogs, she passes that quickly.

Then they look for a sign. They speak? Before these dogs came. Not in words. Whatever events that have filled you with such fear are now behind you. She could no more hold back the tears than stop her own breath. Thank you. Dally, I will never lie to you. Even when the truth is at its most painful, you can trust me to be both direct and honest. The answer is, your talents are so remarkable it is possible they were noticeable to our foes.

But I very much doubt this. Latent powers are invisible to even our most sensitive adepts. The beasts have been tormenting the surrounding countryside and towns. They are a fierce enemy. The new mistress has come with her army to protect the citizens. Dally and her gifts will have a part in the upcoming battles. But there is more. Hyam, our hero from books one and two, has been struck by a terrible illness and cannot be awakened. Who will help them save him? Does Dally with her untrained talents and powers have what it takes to help the army defeat these gigantic beasts?

Will the mages find out what is wrong with Hyam? Can they save him before it is to late? Battles, powers, gifts, mages, wolfhounds and terrible beasts. Could anything be worse? Yes, but I won't tell you what you will have to read the book to find out the details. What did she seek to do with her life? Her past had been stripped away, the prison of her former existence gone. She was free, and yet Dally did not know what the word even meant. What course did she wish to chart for herself?

She found herself struggling not to weep, though many of those gathered here bore tear-streaked faces. She was wracked by a sorrow that made no sense. She had a purpose. She had gifts. Her life held meaning. Should she not be thrilled? Where was the joy? In the silent, sunlit warmth, Dally realized she had no idea what she wanted.

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The confusion was as powerful as guilt, though she had done nothing wrong. She felt herself being reshaped by the questions as though images that had not yet appeared required her to ask what she had spent years fleeing. Worst of all was the simple fact that she did not even know her own name. We all seek a purpose for our lives. Why was I put here, in this time and space? What does God want of me? This we, like Dally, seek to find. Purpose for our lives. For the first time she glimpsed a realization all her own, a purpose large enough to justify the hard life she had known.

Here was an objection so gigantic, it made her years of lonely toil not just bearable, but necessary. She had never given up. Wept, yes. Ached and sobbed and experienced hardship, most certainly. All for this moment. I can't tell you that it would give away.

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Some day I hope to find the same thing Dally did. A purpose for all my suffering In the meantime I will continue on. I will not give up. I have wept, many times. I am sure I will weep again. I have ached and sobbed like Dally, but I have not given up, and I will not give up now. It may be I don't know why things happened until heaven. Until then I will keep on and try to serve my Lord, my family and my community. Do you want to know what happens to Dally? Do they save Hyam?

Read and find out. I highly recommend this book and if you haven't read the series start with book one. This series is great. I am pretty sure I heard that book four is on the way soon. Note: I was sent this book for free for me to review. My thoughts and review are honest and not influenced by the fact that I received the book for free. Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge prompt s — A book that's published in Jan 07, Shauna rated it liked it.

I went into this completely blind and also not realizing that it is the third in a series. I received it as an early arc for review. My rating could very well change after I get my hands on the first 2 books.

I wish to know more of the characters and because I started in the middle of the story I don't know anything about them. Apart from that the writing us good and the flow is great and I think once i get the other books I will understand the world much better and I feel it will be beautiful. Jun 09, Dixie rated it it was amazing.

It continues the quest of Hyam and company to rid their land of the evil that has come upon it by adding new characters and letting go of others. I was not expecting this turn of events and would much rather have had a happier outcome than the one given. Thankfully, however, the spirit of this character has been found and will no doubt continue on in the fourth book, of which there absolutely must be one.

The newest character presented to us, and the one who will play a vital role in combating the evil that has come upon the land, is Dally. She is also the one who is the focus of this book. Dally is an orphan, just shy of 18, when we are introduced to her. As expected, she has unusual and significant powers that will aid her in her part to rid the world of evil, but oddly enough, she is human.

The fact that she is human makes her powers even more special. Her young life has been very hard, but it has prepared her for her future role and the difficulties ahead. Because she has grown up humbly, she is initially overwhelmed by the attention given to her as well as the understanding and acceptance of the strangers who have come into her life. The journey is a quick one and one that I did feel ended much too soon, but that was because I became so involved with the characters and all that was going on in the story. Having said that, I find it intriguing that some reviewers have failed to grasp, much less comprehend, the energy of this series and have rated it low because they felt Mr.

Locke failed to give them enough information. I have been privileged to read and review all three books in this series. I had no problem identifying with and understanding Dally, or any of the other characters for that matter. I found her to be a hard working, honest, and humble young woman whose gifts were just part of her daily life. She saw them as normal because she knew no different. Her abilities were a part of who she was, and how they came to be did not need to be gone into. Had Mr. Locke done so, he would have robbed the reader of the ability to use their own imagination.

It could well be that some of those who have read the book and wanted more descriptions or felt that the characters were underdeveloped are lacking in imagination. How sad. How very sad indeed. To have to have everything spelled out for you in grand detail all the time is a great hindrance. One can only hope that those with stunted imaginations are able to correct that handicap by learning to visualize the words they read, turning them into images in their own mind, as well as finding the ability to empathize with the characters whose lives they have entered by means of the written word.

I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages. Those who wish to escape from the troubles of every day life will enter a world that, though imaginary, can teach them so much. They will experience joy through the acceptance found by Dally, grief through the loss of one much respected and loved, frustration due to the stubbornness and narrow mindedness of older folks who should have been wiser, adventure as the story unfolds and risks must be taken, intrigue as stealth is required, and recognition of the need for those who may have once been sworn enemies to lay aside past grievances and come together for the good of the whole.

While the book is a work of fiction, it has much to teach those who will take the time and make the effort to learn.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and the author. He voiced Deathstroke in Batman: Arkham Origins , where he replaced Ron Perlman who was absent while working on the upcoming Fallout 4. He has a recurring role as Lex Luthor in the animated series Young Justice ; his Shawshank Redemption co-star Clancy Brown also played Luthor for various animated TV shows over the course of his career. Sign In Don't have an account?

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Harsh Realm #3

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