on July 7, 2012 :
Wow! Let me say again. Wow!
It is not often that you find talent stepping out of the shadows to stand beside authors such as Lewis, Tolkien, or McCaffrey. I will not be surprised to see Lister join the ranks of the great fantasy writers who have become household names.
Dionne's new book Shadows of the Realm starts with a flourish immersing the reader into action from the start and keeping pace throughout the story. Intrigue is your constant companion as you travel the long dusty roads of Talia with Bronwyn and Blayke, two young Realmists' who must leave childhood behind to face adventures ahead.
What lies ahead? Dragons of course! Talking dragons who have helped safe guard the world of Talia and who embody the ideas of grace and beauty.
Lister moves her characters ahead at a fast pace as they are chased by unseen assassins and hidden plots to prevent them from fulfilling their quest to save the world from impending evil. The villains are sufficiently slimy and evil and when one is defeated by our heroes or heroines one cannot help but shout… “Hah ha take that you creep!”
I found the characters in this story not only believable but very likable. Bronwyn and Blayke, the two young Realmist apprentices begin to grow up on the page right before our eyes. I found myself becoming quickly attached to them and their futures. The story line was fresh and exciting, and ended much too soon leaving me anticipating book two.
Bravo Dionne. Now back to the grind stone and give us the second saga of this delightful tale.
(reviewed 72 days after purchase)
on June 30, 2012 :
The author draws you into an amazing story where there are magic, dragons and an epic battle of good and evil, in a well build world with relatable characters. What more can you ask for.
I greatly anticipate the sequel in "The Circle Of Talia" series.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on June 11, 2012 :
I rate Shadows of The Realm 3.5 stars. It is a fun read. I enjoyed the story and the characters. I found myself wanting to read the next phase of the adventure. If you are looking for an easy, casual read that can entertain you, then I suggest grabbing a copy.
The positives are the characters, the dragons who have an enemy more powerful than themselves and the overall story. Dionne has done a great job of building a world that makes me want to visit more often.
The negatives are more about consistency and style. There are some logical disconnects (small things such as a building being described as airtight and then the sun shining through the spaces between the boards the next morning). The dialog was excellent in some cases and a little clunky in others.
There are also short sections that provide a view of the world's history and mythos. I both liked and disliked this. I loved the insight but would have rather had it woven more tightly into the narrative.
Overall, it was fun and I plan to read the next book in the series. Since this is Dionne's first novel, I expect some of the stylistic wobbles will be smoothed out and the dialog more refined in the following books. Good job!
(reviewed 17 days after purchase)
on May 17, 2012 :
Dionne Lister's Shadows of the Realm starts out with a scene that grabs you, and does not let go, even after you've finished reading. Exceptional in the fact that it is a completely unique novel, Lister creates a new world that is so realistic, it makes the reader want to grab a ticket and head over for a nice permanent vacation. I fell in love with the characters, and was disappointed when the novel ended, and am ready for more. I will be impatiently waiting the rest of the books in the series, and am desperate for more!
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
Mallory Heart Reviews
on May 12, 2012 :
This debut novel is the first of a series (The Circle of Talia) and is a smooth-reading, delightful, high fantasy. Even readers who don’t usually head for the fantasy shelves can find much to delight in here, as did I. The writing is excellent, and author Dionne Lister deserves much more than five stars for her ability with lyrical description, which makes the reading flow so well.
The characters are superbly delineated, and the action is realistic and intriguing. A good balance is achieved between destiny and free will in the lives of the characters, an effect not always managed in fantasy stories. The world-building is also very accomplished. In fact, I encourage readers to keep an eye on author Dionne Lister and anticipate, as I am, the next installments in The Circle of Talia series.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)