#2: Merchant of Alyss
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#2: Merchant of Alyss

Revell / 2016 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Beneath the hills of a primeval city, a vanquished enemy is gathering power. Meanwhile, warrior and newlywed Hyam is haunted by dreams of mythic beasts and coming conflicts. When his wife, Joelle, falls under a sorcerer's spell, can he summon the courage to rescue her---and his community? 354 pages, hardcover from Revell.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Revell
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0800724488
ISBN-13: 9780800724481
Series: Legends of the Realm

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Publisher's Description

Life for Hyam is bittersweet. Admired by the citizens of Falmouth for his heroic rescue mission, he cherishes these peaceful days with Joelle by his side. Yet grief over the loss of his magical skills during the great Battle of Emporis threatens to engulf him. Sometimes he even wishes he had never known magic at all.

When Hyam comes into possession of an ancient Milantian scroll, he is thrilled to feel the surge of power that courses through him whenever he touches it. But what he discerns in the text could mean war. He embarks upon another journey to determine its true meaning and forestall any attack. But as Hyam is seeking answers, he is unaware that the merchant of Alyss is seeking him . . .

Author Bio

Thomas Locke is a pseudonym for Davis Bunn, the award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies. With a lifelong passion for speculative stories, he is also the author of Emissary and Trial Run. 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. A screenplay adaptation of Emissary is currently under development as a feature film with a British production company. Learn more at www.tlocke.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. Dyscyple
    Saint Albans, WV
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Didn't like at all (legends realm)
    September 27, 2017
    Dyscyple
    Saint Albans, WV
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review was written for NEW! #2: Merchant of Alyss.
    I found this series to be excruciatingly boring and ridiculous. The writing is bad. The author apparently has an intense aversion to commas. I've read other Davis Bunn books and don't recall disliking them so much. Maybe it's the genre...

    I cannot say that the books are biblically inaccurate, but only because they're not biblical at all--there is nothing in them related to the Christian walk (in fact, I would almost call them UNbiblical)--so I can only give my opinion regarding the story. I found myself simply skipping large sections at a time in both books just to finish. I definitely don't recommend this series.
  2. Fitzysmom
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Review from Rambles of a SAHM
    June 15, 2016
    Fitzysmom
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for NEW! #2: Merchant of Alyss.
    I've said before that fantasy just isn't my genre of choice. But after reading Merchant of Alyss, I may be changing my mind on that. Thomas Locke has such an engaging writing style that I can't help but be drawn into the story.

    This book (and series) has a little bit of everything so you don't have to be a fantasy lover to enjoy it. There is adventure and intrigue for the suspense lovers. There is a beautiful love story between Hyam and his wife Joelle for all the romantics. And there is also an underlying spiritual element for inspirational fiction lovers.

    Merchant of Alyss is the second book in the Legends of the Realm series. I am supposing that you could read it as a stand-alone novel because things are explained very well without being redundant. But . . . truthfully I have to say that I think I would have been a little bit lost if I hadn't first read Emissary.

    I look forward to reading the next book to see where the story will take these compelling characters next. If you enjoy a great read that will take you to a world yet unknown you should give this series a try.

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
  3. Sparrowhawk
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    This was not an easy read to sit through; the plot was almost non-existent and the writing style rendered the book nearly unreadable!
    April 24, 2016
    Sparrowhawk
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This review was written for NEW! #2: Merchant of Alyss.
    Merchant of Alyss had flair but no real substance beyond a decent concept and setting. Simply put, this was not an easy read to sit through. The plot was almost non-existent and the writing style rendered the book nearly unreadable! It just didn't work for me and I don't think I will continue with the series.

    ___________________________________

    WHAT I LIKED

    . . . . . . . . . .

    THINGS THAT MADE GO HMMM. . .

    - My main gripe with Merchant of Alyss was the writing style that just presumed too much of the reader. Its the sort of writing style that demands a strenuous amount of effort and attention in view of the authors semantic choice of words. Not only that, but with the brief descriptions, stunted sentences, and disruptive charge the words simply disappeared making it difficult to grasp any of the characters, their plights, and the plot.

    In response, the sentinel rose from the earth. He hovered above Hyams head, up where his wraithlike form become silhouetted by the sun. Gone was the warrior of old. In its place appeared a great conjured beast, whose outstretched wings bore diamond patters along their leading edges. Talons raked the space between it and Hyam, and a sweeping tail lashed out, mist-like against the stones.

    Then the sentinel returned to the earth and resumed his warrior guise. He motioned once more. Come.

    - The fantastical elements were great to be sure, but most of the book was a massive info dump. The only thing this book has going for itself, truly, is its appealing cover art and a dragon that peppers the plot line; poor dragon, it didnt even get the limelight it deserved. Other than that, theres no real point to the magical elements mentioned in this book and most of the tropes will fly completely over your head because some of the referenced details go without any real explanation.

    - In retrospect, Merchant of Alyss made no real sense to me and I didnt see how it connected with the first book at all ― a dragon haunts Hyams dreams all while trying to convey a subliminal message that was dry and uneventful. There are enchanted scrolls, one in particular, that holds immeasurable power, but I didnt really see this said power evolve as I would have liked. Theres a coming of age side story that didnt really hold my interest and a sappy love story that just was not my cup of tea. This pretty much sums up the plot and as interesting as this may sound, the truth is I simply could not connect with the narrative nor the characters enough to keep me even vaguely amused.

    AFTERTHOUGHTS

    Merchant of Alyss fell short in comparison to other fantasy novels I have read and to say that I was underwhelmed is an understatement, I want the eight hours I spent reading this book back! But thats only wishful thinking. Having said all this, I cant recommend this book or series at all, and I realize that I may just have lost rapport with Revell Publishing in light of this review. Cest la vie.
  4. CozyWriter'sDen
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    More, Please!
    April 6, 2016
    CozyWriter'sDen
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    It's been a few weeks since I wrote a review. I don't really have an excuse other than that the sun has come out and it's way too much fun being outside after a long, dreary winter.

    Merchant of Alyss was a wonderful read and well worth coming inside for. As much as I have had trouble picking up a book lately, once I did pause and open Merchant of Alyss, I honestly couldn't put it down. I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre. As much as it is not the main genre that I read it is definitely my favourite. The reason I don't read more fantasy is that good, wholesome fantasy is hard to find.

    I read the first book in the series, Emissary, two weeks ago after reading the first chapter of Merchant of Alyss and realizing that the books need to be read in order. So I went to a local book store and picked up Emissary. This review is about the second book, but I have to throw this in here: Emissary is an amazing book! Before reading Merchant of Alyss make sure to read the first book. Not only will you understand the subsequent book much better, but the first book is incredible.

    So, what did I like about Merchant of Alyss? Well, I loved the world. There are so many different tribes of humans, non-humans, and magical-type animals; best of all, these different 'species' are not your stereotypical fantasy creations. Thomas Locke has made the effort to make them unique. For example, the elves are not tall, willowy, blonde human-types like those found in Lord of the Rings. Instead, they are smaller, green folk that live in enchanted worlds accessed by the forests. I appreciate the author's efforts to make his world unique by not borrowing characters from other stories. I also liked how the worlds were layered. There is the world that the main character (Hyam) lives in, but then there are mirrored worlds where the *spoiler alert* dragons and elves are. An interesting touch to the story!

    Like any good fantasy, Merchant of Alyss has magic. I loved how the mages don't have power on their own, but have to draw their power from "arteries" that flow through the earth...rivers of magical energy, if you will. Only by tapping into this strength can they do anything. This clause creates some rather interesting circumstances of Hyam and his fellow adventures.

    Speaking of Hyam, he really is the main reason behind this series. I will try not to ruin the first book, but Hyam is a half-human with some pretty wild mage abilities. *Spoiler alert* During an epic battle in the first book, he destroys his ability to connect to the rivers of power and thus destroys his magical ability. Enter the second book and Hyam is reeling and trying to recover from his brutal injury. Despite no longer being a mage, the enemy is moving and he needs to keep fighting. His wife, Joelle, who is a warrior alongside him is cast under a brutal spell by the enemy and Hyam's search for answers becomes desperate. He teams up with a multi-faceted group of characters as he barrels head-long into madness. Hyam is a driven, self-controlled, general-type who sees the final goal and does whatever it takes to get him there. He is all business and isn't afraid to take risks or to sacrifice himself, if need be.

    I'm trying not to ruin the story by giving away too much - needless to say there is more than enough action in these stories to keep the most impatient reader very happy. The plot is drawing but not too complicated and the characters are engaging and believable. Both Emissary and Merchant of Alyss are great teenage/adult fantasy read.

    As a caution, I will mention that there is some more mature content in these books that I would caution parents of younger teenagers about. There are suggestions of intimacy between Joelle and Hyam, though nothing is stated explicitly (PG), there is a woman who lusts after Hyam even though he's married, there is mention of sheer garments on women and the use of sexual dances to lure in men, and there is a lot on magic, mages, and witches. So, I would personally not give this book to anyone under 15 or so (parental judgement required here), but for a mature audience these books are a great find.

    Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for a free copy of Merchant of Alyss for me to review.
  5. TellNJasmine
    Montana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Good must triumph or all is lost...
    March 25, 2016
    TellNJasmine
    Montana
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for NEW! #2: Merchant of Alyss.
    Once again Thomas Locke drew me in and held me hostage with the pages of a book. And just like last time with Emissary I finished Merchant Of Alyss in fairly short order. I just couldn't seem to put it down. The story was enthralling and the writing is top-notch in quality.

    Reminiscent of Tolkein, in that, the story gets darker and more desperate as the quest goes on, but still told in Locke's own distinctive voice. Merchant Of Alyss is definitely what I would call epic fantasy. It isn't one of those dauntingly thick paperbacks of years gone by, but it is an all encompassing, all engrossing tale. Complete in 350+ pages and yet with the perfect, almost cliffhanger, ending to draw you onward in anxious anticipation for the next book.

    If you like fantasy Merchant Of Alyss has it all. A desperate quest, dragons, magic, mysterious forces of both good and evil, and a small band of companions trying to conquer the darkness before it's too late. For years I kept my fantasy reading to pretty much J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis but in recent years I have discovered some pretty talented current fantasy authors. Thomas Locke is one of those I consider a must-read, if I see his name on the cover I'll definitely pick it up.

    A great book that will appeal to teens and adults alike, Merchant Of Alyss, Thomas Locke's latest installment in the Legends Of The Realm series, is a MUST read for fans of fantasy and quality, well-written fiction.

    (I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
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