Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: Dark Talisman by Steven Booth

Source: Paperback ARC via Bauer Teen Network, Miss Literati
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Azimuth Books (October 15, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0615797253
ISBN-13: 978-0615797250


She's been banished from her home without a word of explanation. Assassins are hot on her tail, and she's fleeing without a plan. On the whole, her future looks pretty grim. Then again, it's nearly impossible to catch a dark elf. And even tougher to kill one.

Meet Altira. She set out to rob a sultan, and ended up stealing the deadliest gem in the world. Her mistake could cost Altira her life -- or save her race, and possibly the world as she knows it.

As Altira struggles to triumph over the vast forces arrayed against her, she acquires (mostly against her will) a rich cast of unexpected allies -- perceptive dwarves, giant Phoenix birds with mysterious powers, and ephemeral creatures made from nothing but air. Together they must find a way to defeat the army of assassins set against her, overcome the wrath of three nations, and forge allegiances with despised enemies, to reveal the truth to a people kept in the darkness for millennia.

The first installment in The Guardian Chronicles, Dark Talisman takes us into the magical land of Salustra, where ageless Guardians are locked in an eternal battle with their mortal enemy: a Dark Lord intent on destroying their world. 

Dark Talisman was a deep, dark, delicious fantasy young adult novel with a ferocious story with writing that grabs you and refuses to let go.

Appealing to fans of the Game of Thrones and the Lord of The Rings, this epic fantasy young adult novel centers around elves, dwarves, and the like, all immersed in a deeply woven plot of magic, scandals, betrayal, and redemption. A dark elf must find her way after being banished from her home after stealing an important artifact- the Dark Talisman. The theme centers around the fact that knowing the truth can sometimes be dangerous.

Normally, I am not a big epic fantasy fan, as it is hard for me to get interested in (probably why I have been so hesitant to start The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings, etc.) because I have been scared that I would not like them, as I feared with this novel. Yet, I was pleasantly surprised when I found this story to riveting, interesting, and action-packed, all without getting redundant or boring. You are kept on edge at all times, with new twists and surprises being thrown at you frequently. It is very hard to put down.

The writing is incredible. Very educated and witty, the language and style of this author is impeccable. Completely in tune with this novel, the writing flows and matches the theme of the novel spot on. The dialogue is original and constantly makes you want to put on the accent and read it out loud! The characters are very easy to either love or dislike. Our main characters are very relatable and fascinating, and very easy to root for during the novel. This is the most original and deep otherworldly novel I have ever read. It seriously is so perfectly woven, it is easy to wonder how Booth came to write this. It is that great.

With an imaginative plot with deep dark fantasy, gorgeous writing, and lovable characters, this novel is sure to lure anyone with an imagination in and not let them go. A definite must-read for any age! (And that's high praise.)

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  1. Thank you, McKenzie, for your kind words. If you would like a signed, first-edition of the hard-copy book to replace your ARC, drop me a line through the author website at

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