When a hidden evil threatens to destroy the realm, a young orphan, untested and untrained, could mean the difference between victory and total defeat.
Vulnerable and weakened by grief after a terrible loss, Hyam has been struck by a mysterious illness that threatens to claim his life. Seeking to help Hyam and restore the realm, Queen Shona travels to Hyamn's remote hometown to find answers an doffer aid.
Dally has always had abilities far beyond those of a normal human - far-seeing and magic come naturally to her. Before the arrival of Shona and her army, Dally had always kept her abilities secret. But when an ancient evil bearing down on her village and the fate of the realm hanging in the balance, the orphaned servant girl steps forward to do what no one else can. Will the battle claim more than Dally is willing to give?
I brought this book on a weekend camping trip with my family. I was in the mood for a good fantasy, and The Golden Vial sure did not disappoint! The second evening we were camping, my Dad walks into the cabin living room to find my Mom and me engrossed in our novels (Mom was reading A Dangerous Legacy). We had already been reading for a good hour, and my Dad asked, "Aren't you ready to do something else?" Mom and I slowly lifted our eyes from our books to look at Dad and reply simultaneously, "No." And then we promptly went back to our stories. (Don't feel too sorry for my Dad; my brother-in-law rescued him to go for a walk.) But simply put, The Golden Vial was too good to put down! I found myself sitting down to read on as many occasions as I could over that weekend, and the only disappointment I encountered was having to finish the story!
Book 3 in the "Legends of the Realm" series, The Golden Vial introduces a new character by the name of the orphan Dally, whose abilities - and the magnitude of them - surprise no one more than herself. Her past is tragic, having lost her family in a horrific manner. Dally struggles with feelings of inadequacy and finds solace in her connection to the wolfhounds that her master and mistress breed. When the opportunity arises to assist Queen Shona in eradicating the evil permeating the land, Dally jumps at the chance to leave her difficult mistress and seek justice for her family. What follows is not only a journey of self-discovery, but a pulse-pounding adventure full of monsters, mayhem, battles, and lots of magic.
Thrilling and fast-paced, The Golden Vial is probably my favourite of the series. It is also, sadly, the conclusion of this trilogy. I so hope that Thomas Locke (pseudonym for T. Davis Bunn) crafts another fantasy series as I will dearly miss the Realm and all its fantastical adventures!
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.