The Talisman of Faerie
By: Jason N. Beil
Rating: 4½ of 5 stars
Jason Beil wrote a simply fantastic fairytale here about a quest to save the world paired with a love story. The Talisman of Faerie has everything one could want in a quest driven novel. He takes one main idea; the young baker’s apprentice, Alec Mason, has found something that puts his life in danger, but could save the world that he knows from the inevitable doom promised by the exquisitely evil Vorik Seth. In this one idea, several storylines branch off- Alec leaving on his quest with friends, and mysterious local hermit, Salin the evil champion working for the Seth himself, as well as Ara and Landyn and their strange companion searching to find out what had happened to Alec and his friends who include Ara’s daughter Sarah. Though in some cases multiple storylines can be confusing, Beil does a great job in keeping the reader not only interested but in tune with what is going on at all times. The way the book reads, it is as if Beil has discovered how to expertly weave the different aspects of this tale together so that you are constantly kept on the edge of your seat.
The story provides the reader with insight into the long divided land of Eglak where most humans reside, a view into what life is like in the realm of the Fair Folk living in the faerie woods in similar communities as the humans, and the darkness that the Vorik Seth would like to bring upon them all. Beil’s descriptions of his characters as well as the landscapes of which each party travels makes the reader able to clearly visualize each person and location while reading. He has brought in characters which remain cloaked in mystery for the majority of the read, but constantly provides hints to keep the reader wondering who and what they are. He also expertly ties the change in Alec from boy to man while on his quest and growing friendship with Sarah.
With humans, goblins, ogres, zombies and faeries being just a few of the creatures the reader meets in this book, it is a true page turner. There is a constant need to know what is going to happen next, who are the mysterious warriors traveling with Alec and his friends, and exactly what will happen if Salin obtains the Talisman of Faerie. At times it seems like the story is winding down and a conclusion is near, but Beil then takes you on yet another twist of the adventure and the reader is anxious to see what this new twist can bring.
This is a classic good versus evil novel and yet it is so much more. The well written storylines and the basis on which the adventure begins, take the reader on such a fast paced rollercoaster ride as characters are introduced, plots and schemes are revealed, and changes in what seem to be a predetermined path take hold are just a few of the reasons I would recommend The Talisman of Faerie to all fantasy readers.