Thomas Locke

‘Emissary’ Casts a Spell on Non-Fantasy Readers

Emissary by Thomas LockeMore than a few of the people who volunteered to review Emissary confessed that they do not normally read fantasy stories. But they were willing to give Emissary a shot. Some of them are now converted to reading fantasy fiction!

Following are excerpts from several reviews. Click each reviewer’s name to read her full review.

Jasmine Augustine:

I have never been big on fantasy stories but in recent years I have discovered some wonderful fantasy books from publishers I enjoy and trust, and Emissary is one of the best.

Juanita Paslay:

Emissary is high adventure in a strange world where evil wars against people of the realm… I normally don’t read fantasy, but I’m hooked and look forward to the next book in the series

Cindy Steib:

I do not read much fantasy so I was a little uncomfortable with the idea of using magic to get power. However, the story was interesting and it drew me forward to find out what would happen next. There were elements of romance, adventure, action and suspense.

Terri Wangard:

Fantasy is a genre I rarely read, but I’m familiar with and enjoy much of the author’s work in other genres. Emissary held my attention from start to finish. I did read slower to be sure I understood everything. It is a bit like being dropped into an alien environment.

No mention is made of God or Christianity, but the theme of good and evil is familiar. Hyam doesn’t view himself as a hero or spokesman, but he agrees to the role of emissary because it’s the right thing to do, even if he loses his life, as he expects he will. I am reminded of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.”

Pam Graber:

Fantasy books are not my thing, generally. Give me a good romantic suspense or some good Amish fiction and I’m your reader. So, when I was invited to review Emissary, I was skeptical about not just enjoying it but even getting through it seemed a stretch.

I shouldn’t have worried. Emissary kept me up at night reading “just one more chapter” until I finally finished. This book had all the excitement and mystery that I look for in the suspense novels I read while taking me to a medieval world where wizards, Elves and glowing orbs of power are the norm.

The characters in this book were finely wrought and it was always very clear who the “good guys” were and who the “bad guys.” Hyam gradually picks up an entourage, starting with his destrier, Matu and his huge wolfhound, Dama. He then gains the sorcerer, Trace and the Lady Joelle, both of whom saw his coming before he ever arrived at their Long Hall.

The women, for the most part, are every bit as strong as the men and always have as much say in decisions that are made. Hyam vanquishes foe after foe using his wits far more often than his brawn. His impeccable logic and ability to think through problems also gains the respect of town leaders. His kindness and fairness to the underdog gains him the adoration of the people.

I would definitely recommend this book to the fantasy book lovers out there and since it is such a clean read, I wouldn’t have any qualms about pre-teens reading this.

Since some of the battle scenes are a bit gory, I don’t think the very young reader should tackle this but 11- or 12-year-olds would definitely be OK with this. I would also say this is a great book for those who, like me, have really not read the fantasy genre. Pick this one up! It was a 5-star read for me.

Tina Hunt:

I hate to admit it but I used to be a cross between a literary snob and a fantasy virgin. Emissary was my first venture into the fantasy genre. Somehow I felt stories needed to be based in reality to be worth reading.

I was wrong.

This story by Thomas Locke is described as a “contemporary thriller that harkens back to classic fantasy.” That comparison may make sense to some, but I have nothing to compare it to. What I can say is that it was a thrilling and totally engaging read.

The author does an excellent job of weaving the themes of courage in the face of hardship, growth, and change into this tale. The main character begins this journey not realizing what he will be called upon to do. The fact that he is a reluctant hero makes all the more relatable.

Emissary cast a spell on me and I couldn’t put it down. And I can’t wait to read the next installment.

If I could give this book more stars, I would.

Thank you, Mr. Locke, you made a fantasy convert out of me!

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