Fantasy at its best: An untested mage, a new queen, an old evil.

Deb’s Dozen: An untested mage, a new queen, an old evil. Survival in jeopardy.

The Golden Vial, the third book in Thomas Locke’s Legends of the Realm fantasy series demonstrates Locke has his groove back. The first book, Emissary, I loved; the second book, Merchant of Alyss, I hated; this third book, I love.

Evil is still abroad in the land. Hyam is mourning the death of his wife, Noelle, and seems to be afflicted with a wasting sickness. The new queen, Shona, has arrived at the Three Valleys where a dog whisperer, Dally, lives. But Dally is more than that—she is a far-seerer and has spoken with Shona several times in her dreams. In fact, Dally is a powerful mage—but woefully untrained.

In this epic fantasy, book three, Dally and her dogs are able to draw out the beasts of evil, and Shona’s army with the aid of the dogs is able to combat them—this time. How Dally is freed from her servitude with the mayor of Honor and his termagant of a wife is the stuff that keeps me reading fantasy.

Locke’s wonderful fantasy world and adventures come alive in The Golden Vial. Jump from one to three—you’ll catch up quickly and be entranced by Dally’s adventures as I was. Five stars.

fantasy, LockeThomas Locke is the pseudonym for Davis Bunn, a much-celebrated and much-awarded author. Name the prize in Christian literature and Davis has won it or finaled. He is the writer in residence at Oxford University in England six months of the year and lives in Florida the balance of the time. He is a frequent and edifying speaker at many writers’ conferences.

Revell, a division of Baker Books, gave me a copy of The Golden Vial, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

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