by Shane Lege
Print Length: 288 pages
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
Adventures, magical creatures, secrets waiting to be explored
Shane Lege’s Thalondor: Kingdom of Legends reminds fantasy readers why they love the genre. It’s time to take your imagination elsewhere with this great escape from reality.
The story begins with Valaric washed ashore on a beach. He knows little of his origins besides that he’s from a small harbor town. But he soon finds a treasure box with mysterious objects related to a long-lost kingdom, and this is when he vows to learn more of its history—how its ruin could rise again in his current world.
Thalondor is more than a story about a hero rising to greatness, finding treasure, and fighting monsters. Valaric is on a journey to discover himself. He was a lost man, and we have no inkling as to who he was. As he travels and becomes more attuned with his world, he gets more in touch with his true self. Truth is: He was bigger than an average man from a simple seaport town. This side of Lege’s story shows we must play a vital role in our own self-discovery. We think we know who we are, but there’s always a layer still hidden within us.
Valaric meets a grand set of characters, some with greater roles than others. He meets Ethan, Lucas, Arabella, and Aria, and they all band together for dangerous quests as they approach the infamous Serpents Pass. While Valaric is fully formed, the supportive characters could be more active, multi-layered beings. Aria, for example, is the healer of Valaric’s group. She has incredible fire and lightning magic, and she emerges as Valaric’s love interest. But there’s little known about Aria to understand why Valaric has fallen for her. What is she like? What is her personality besides being the lightning-wielding healer?
The adventurous plot is what holds this book up. The first 100 pages might be slow-paced, but it’s with good reason. Each chapter is about picking up breadcrumbs regarding Thalondor and Valaric’s greater purpose; it all takes time. Readers will be engaged despite the slower pace, and then they’ll hit a groove when everything comes together. The mystery is what keeps us going.
Thalondor is the type of fantasy adventure that never gets old. You will not be able to get enough of these sword battles, fighting spiders, secret kingdoms, and thousand-year-old lost histories. A story filled with good times, magic, and self-discovery, this book is one that is going to stick with a lot of fantasy readers.
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