Read Shadows of the Realm by Dionne Lister Online


This is an epic fantasy adventure book with lots of action, intrigue, creaturas and dragons, for young adult to adult.Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they move unknowingly toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their wThis is an epic fantasy adventure book with lots of action, intrigue, creaturas and dragons, for young adult to adult.Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they move unknowingly toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their world, Talia, will succumb to the threat. Can they learn enough of the tricks of the Realms before it’s too late, or will everything they love be destroyed?The young Realmists’ journey pushes them away from all they’ve known, to walk in the shadows toward Vellonia, city of the dragons, where an even darker shadow awaits.This book's been given the Grub Street Reads seal of approval....

Title : Shadows of the Realm
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780987307811
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 474 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Shadows of the Realm Reviews

  • Amber
    2018-11-09 09:53

    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!

  • Evgeny
    2018-11-06 13:14

    Bronwyn and Blayke are two realmist (local mages) apprentices of their distant relatives. A great threat is coming to the land of Talia which forces their masters to go on a long and perilous journey. Is sounds cliché, but I cannot say anything more without giving away some spoilers, but I will say that the plot is not what I made it sound like.This is the author's first major work and as such it has some rough edges, but nothing too serious. On the positive side, the magic system is very interesting and original. It takes a while for the plot to get moving, but once it does it gets very interesting; I was not able to put it down to go to sleep until I finished it. I also like some of the details that get overlooked in a lot of books, like the fact that when somebody is forced to kill a human being in self-defense it really leaves a long-lasting impression. The characters range from excellent leaving breathing 3-dimensional almost real people to somewhat less developed ones. The two teens I mentioned in the beginning seem moody at times, but considering their age this is realistic and justifiable. I already mentioned some rough edges. As an example the scene of a dragon sitting on a bench somehow does not compute for me. I also noticed some minor formatting problems in my ebook. All in all, a very solid effort which made me want to read the second book and which deserves 4-star rating.

  • Charity Parkerson
    2018-11-14 11:54

    Your fantasy shelf will dance with joy when you bring home this epic fantasy. Beautiful world building caused everything to seem so realistic that I was not once pulled from the story. A story that was filled with magic and dragons. If you enjoy fantasy then you will love this book. You will feel as if you've made some new friends and when you lift your head from this book you'll be surprised to find no magical beasts sitting at your feet.

  • Helen White
    2018-10-22 07:05

    I picked up this book knowing a little of what to expect, dragons, adventure, good vs evil. I started reading and then could not put the book down until I had finished. I lost track of time reading it.The book centers around a secret group called Realmists, possessed of magical powers who are sworn to protect their world, Talia, from the evil race that exists in another realm. This race once lived on Talia and were banished, but are determined to return.The book contains a surprising variety of characters, ranging from teenagers through to adults and magicians of advanced age. And of course the dragons, who in this case are portrayed as being on the side of the realm. The dragon characterisation is fascinating. The words used to draw a picture of their intelligence, strength, and their nature are so powerful that the reader has absolutely no difficulty in accepting them as part of the world we are drawn into. Equally the human characters are drawn as individuals, each with their own backgrounds, faults, opinions and reactions. Again it makes it very easy to find yourself drawn into their world.Realmists can bond with one selected animal, a creatura, and even these are well drawn with a great variety of animals used. I found it a pleasant surprise to be able to read about , as it were, familiars who range from rats to panthers. Another pleasant surprise is the way that the Creatura's point of view is also presented.All through the book I felt an odd sense of familiarity. I could not pin down why at first, it was not that I had seen the plot or any major plot devices used before. Some elements of the world drawn can be found in other fantasy novels, for example familiars, but that was not it either. In the end I simply had to conclude that it was due to the way the writing drew me in and made me feel a part of the book from start to finish.

  • Justin Bog
    2018-11-04 07:52

    Dionne Lister's first fantasy novel introduces a new and original voice in epic fantasy, and even though the book is labeled a YA novel the story gives plenty of time to develop the adult characters, who become richer with intrigue . . . I'd say the book is successful at reaching for audiences of any age, YA or adult. Some of the adult themes and horror elements are suitably gruesome, the villains depraved in their single-minded search for sustenance. I won't talk about the plot, beyond the need for the disparate characters, some infused with magic as realmists, to take a journey. Great for a sequel, none of the plot threads reach a conclusion, which is a big risk for a long novel with many characters to keep track of throughout the narrative twists and turns -- so much so that I felt the book was a cliffhanger episode like the weekly serials of old where you'd have to "tune in next week" to see how someone escapes. By the way, I can't wait for the next installment. I am hooked. There is a great voice throughout, and sense of humor too, the same kind of droll and dry humor that I relish -- I would love for this voice, and the writing voice, to grow stronger in future volumes since the original fantasy elements and the dialogue of the dragons, animals, and magical age-defying realmists make Shadows of the Realm a pleasurable read.

  • Maria
    2018-10-25 10:05

    This is a fabulous fantasy tale. I'm so glad it's the first in a series because I really didn't want the story to end. There is a race against time to stop the evil inhabitants of the Third Realm destroying the world of Talia.Bronwyn and Blayke, two young realmists, have been enlisted to help The Circle in the struggle to save Talia.The book is well constructed showing the two young realmist's journeys; Bronwyn is travelling with her aunt, Avruellen, while Blayke is travelling separately with his uncle, Arcon. There are many dangers along the way and lots of adventure.The writing really drew me into the story and I could easily imagine what the different places and characters described in the book looked like. The storytelling is exemplary and contains many insightful observations about human nature and life.I would recommend this book to young adults and adults who enjoy getting lost in a great story.This is an outstanding debut novel. Dionne Lister is a very talented writer. I look forward to reading more of her work.

  • David Lowry
    2018-11-12 10:53

    "Shadows of the Realm" for me was a good book and kept me enraptured enough to not want to put it down. It's also the first novel I have read fully on my iPad which is saying something as I much prefer the feel of a book in my hand and all other novels on my iPad have remained unread. This is author Dionne Lister's first novel and it is a good first book. It did keep me engaged and wondering what would happen next and it was fairly original which can be hard in a fantasy novel. I don't remember any other fantasy novel that I have read channeling "magic" from other dimensions or have a "GPS" ability to read where characters are located throughout the world based on their body signature.There was decent character development, a good plot although I wasn't totally sure of the big picture and a good pace through out the book. What I did like about this book was it didn't feel like I had read it before in some other novel. I didn't get any real sense of I know what is coming next or typical character traits that all "heroes" tend to have. Dionne did a great job of giving us something fresh and a feeling of something unique. It is an easy read and you don't get lost in time changes and so much detail that if you don't stay on top of your reading, you forget important parts. My only knocks are not enough political intrigue within the nobility, a quick and unexplained disappearance that I am sure will make itself known in later novels and I don't get enough sense of dread of the consequences if the party fails to accomplish it's mission which we never really find out about it's purpose in this first novel. I guess that could be interpreted as a good way to bring the reader back for the following books.All in all a good first novel and I am planning on reading the follow up as the story is pretty solid and the author kept it intriguing enough in general to enjoy the adventure.

  • Ben Ditmars
    2018-11-16 09:16

    Author Dionne Lister has created something wholly unique and unexpected in her debut novel, Shadows of the Realm. The words are as dazzling as the cover. I found her use of realms and magic, a fresh perspective in the age old struggle between good and evil. The author reimagines dragons brilliantly, making them sentient, thoughtful creatures the equal of humans in compassion and rage. But, more than that her understanding of the period (that feels long ago) draws you in and won't let go. Lister knows horses and fighting like the back of her hand. Despite the higher price tag $4.99, this is a book you don't want to miss. It's worth every cent.I had few issues, loving most of the book. There are some instances of passive voice, but it does not affect the reading. The only thing I really would have changed would have to be the antagonist called Gormons. They were frightening enough but I would have liked to see more complexity. The "good" characters are well-rounded, having vices and conflict with one another and I guess, though Gormons are "evil" I would have liked to see something deeper in them. But there's always the sequel for that, which, I am very excited to get and devour like a hungry Gormon.

  • March Shoggoth Madness The Haunted Reading Room
    2018-11-01 09:12

    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.

  • Abigail
    2018-11-01 10:55

    Dragon's are one of those creatures of fantasy I have always had an attraction too. I drew them, collected cards with images on them and instead of reading Judy Blume at the age of 11 I was reading Anne Dragonrider series right along with my horror books. Sure, an odd duck for a preteen girl, but than again ... I also played hostel take overs with my brother's GI JOE with the Barbie collection with the occasional Jedi Mind trick of having Barbie serve GI JOE tea (again odd duck=me). I played Dungeon and Dragon's at lunch with the chess nerds and did not bother worrying THAT much about lipgloss (I did but I was more excited about the new sparkly set of purple dice I found at the comic shop!)."Here be Dragons".~ Early European map makers' warningThere have always been dragons, and not just on the pages of fantasy books. I would like to think that someday we will discover bones of a real dragon which make the early map maker's warning be true. But in the case of Dionne Lister's books, these dragons are both terrifying as well as loveable.One critic claimed she thought she was reading high fantasy and found she wasn't. Obviously does not know the definition of high fantasy. Dionne Lister complies to all the aspects of what high fantasy is suppose to do. It has characters who are young and not worldly. There are wise mentors with mysterious pasts raising and guiding the youths into the future. A way of life and world is in need of saving and only a few can do it and are prophesied too. There is magic all around and in every part, not just with a wave of a wand or a wiggle of a nose but in the prose. Mystery and darkness, good and evil are present and at odds. Honor, dishonor and a past event which changed the world and paths of all, happened at one point affecting the main players. And the big part?? DRAGONS!! This time they are not just hanging on a wall or in legends, the story is steeped and truly centers around them! How does it make it any different and why should you try this series out?...these same dragons had also started rumours that some of them occasionally liked to eat people. Zim, however, was not one of these dragons." - Shadows of the Realm - on the prince of the dragons.I would like to say Dionne waved her magic wand and sent a big bad Dragon to threaten to clear my McDonald's of workers and prevent my occasional feasting on nuggets, but the truth is she wrote an epic fantasy that was not an 800 page tome with so many convoluted names and so many different storylines my 13 year-old, as smart as he is would be put off! Don't get me wrong, I occasionally live for those tomes, I am a huge fan of David Eddings and Robert Jordan and Zelazny but the themes are not approachable for all the ages. Then she comes up with these absolutely beautiful images, the descriptions are not that of a police blotter. She is able to say how someone looks and how they are as a person all in a couple sentences."...had a short white hair; a long white beard adorned his lined face. He exuded the calm and mystery of a still lake. His dark, intelligent eyes were full of life, twinkling with the promise of jokes yet to be told, mischief yet to be unleashed." Shadows of the Realm - on AgmunstenDionne's story and characters are written into a realm that is approachable and readable for anyone from the age of 12 to 99. Everything which is taken to be the conventions of an epic fantasy novel is here but written with the young adult in mind. She has woven the characters and stories in with humor and given her readers real people to believe in and cheer for. Her teens in this coming of age are real, they are moody, snarky, occasionally rude and in need of discipline and guidance all the time. They are not savants in the realm of propriety and manners, they are like the same gifted children you have in your house, their appetites are bottomless, they huff and puff and think the world revolves around them They grow, learn and realize as the stories go on the world revolves around everyone and more than that, especially in this series. Like any good fantasy, there is much more than meets the eye. These things alone makes the story a wonderful read for young adults! She makes the dragon's a little over the top, superior and full of pomp and circumstance, but best of all, she makes them funny and likeable.There are some very real and serious situations that come up that are intense and frightening. I found myself holding my breath at times waiting to find out what the story held for the characters I was so invested in. From the very first sentence I fell in love with a young boy who was interested in catching frogs yet who dreamt of a frightening creature threatening his life and following with the introduction to our female teenager who was going to throw herself off a cliff because of being forced to leave the only life she had known.Epic is right, over the top and yet at the same time real. A teacher once told me a reader does not get invested in the story, they get invested and care about the characters, the story just follows behind them. This was certainly true with both of these books. I can't even put my finger on one specific thing she has done, it is everything from her wonderful colorful writing to her believable loveable and despicable characters.  I laughed out loud, I sobbed with grief and sighed with relief all the while unable to stop reading (I am not kidding, go check my sharing on this book). The magic system is original and touching, the evil is dark, the good are not perfect and even though there are gruesome scenes of real horror these just lead to it all being an amazing tale.This is the first book, and it has an incredibly intense cliffhanger. I was so glad I had book two. You will find a place in your heart for so many of these characters, I wonder though, which one is yours?Dionne has managed to take all these lovely ingredients, bringing them together in this series to create a n incredible feast. These books are not a box of chicken nuggets  more like a love pair of roast pheasants.. or goat.. or the whole cow slaughtered in award winning BBQ. My only issue? She has not written book three yet...                                 ((I received this book as a gift when I was sick last year from the author, I ended up buying it on Kindle because I wanted to own both as a pair after reading 15% of this one and falling in love. I never promised a review but I am so glad I did read and review it, it is an amazing fantasy read!)

  • Derek McPhee
    2018-11-02 04:49

    Fantasy is trite.I carried this opinion with me for a number of years, despite (in my youth) being a very avid reader of the genre. Something happened, as I got older, that left me soured and embittered on the genre as a whole. It was all the same. You changed the characters, you changed the themes, but as a general rule you could count on a number of things being universally true about all fantasy novels:- All stories were about the youthful and inexperienced.- There was always a wise old mentor.- Dragons entered, somewhere, in the story (if in no other place, heraldry).- Magic was present.- Mysteries dripped from the pages.Let me say something that, while reading Shadows of the Realm: These thing are, while in many respects tropes, quintessential to the proper telling of a fantasy novel. That is, in the end, why we read them. What is unfortunately true for most fantasy novels, is that these points of interest in novels are rarely handled well and, as a result, feel abused and boring.Dionne Lister has found a way, quite a mystery to me, to make the stories of these plot points actually quite fresh. There is a vigour to the writing styles and a sort of, unabashed reality, that (despite being in the fantasy genre) makes the story feel very real. Perhaps it is the unique way in which she's created the magic system for her world, or perhaps its the way in which the characters feel like they have been there, living their lives, before our intrusion, but whatever the case may be... The story is enthralling and highly reminiscent of why I loved fantasy novels as a child.I hope that the author does not dawdle... I am waiting for the sequel with no small degree of excitement and interest (to a minor extent, annoyance that it hasn't already been finished).Highly recommended, you should have read it yesterday.

  • John Dolan
    2018-11-04 04:53

    It is some time since I read a fantasy book in the Tolkein vein. While I am a longtime admirer of the sword and sorcery writings of Michael Moorcock, Tolkein himself has always left me cold: impressive if verbose world-forming but too many seemingly endless journeys and (at least to my mind) laughably naive and one-dimensional female characters.So I must admit, I approached Dionne Lister’s “Shadows of the Realm” with a degree of trepidation. Many of the elements of the Tolkein epic feature strongly: the disorganised, squabbling, ill-prepared forces of ‘good’, the undertaking of a quest, rites of passage for young, inexperienced protagonists, ‘wise’ elders, mythical creatures and a ruthless, bloodthirsty adversary.However, where Ms Lister scores over Tolkein for me is the way she vividly creates her world of Talia with a few deft strokes. Her characters are people we can identify with, possessing recognisable human failings and frailties – and she creates 3D female characters (some of whom are happily rather snarky). They are ‘real’ individuals, not ‘representatives of races’ imbued with generic characteristics.The story moves along at a cracking pace and the author skilfully structures the progress and interaction of the various strands of the story. The writing is tight and literary in tone and requires the reader’s concentration. Although I was reading fantasy it certainly did not feel like YA material.The novel ends on a cliffhanger – well, several actually – and there is clearly a lot more story to unfold presumably over several other books.In summary, I’m a convert. Well played, Ms Lister.Look after my sword, would you, while I settle down to read the second instalment? And keep your eyes open for flesh-eating Gormons while you’re at it.

  • Johanna
    2018-11-10 08:53

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I think Shadows of the Realm is a very entertaining read. As I progressed through the book, I wanted to learn more about the many characters that were introduced. I think the fantasy world in which the Realm was set was different and interesting, and the interweaving of the various strands of character action made sense. I liked the fact that there were both human and otherworldly villians in the story.While I am certainly not an expert writer myself, it seemed that the transitions from one piece of story to another jumped kind of abruptly at some points in the book. I guess what I mean is that the flow of storytelling is a bit uneven in places. One thing I was happy to see is unlike some other indie novels that I have read on my Kindle, the book contains few, if any, grammar mistakes. If they are there, they are certainly small enough not to distract a math teacher from the story.Ms. Lister should be very proud to have produced such an excellent first start for her fiction career. Overall, I would rate this book at 3.5 stars, and I am looking forward to learning what happens to Bronwyn, Blayke, and their companions in the sequel.

  • Brian Randleas
    2018-10-30 12:02

    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!Lister moves her characters ahead at a fast pace being chased by unseen assassins and hidden plots to prevent them from fulfilling their quest to save the world from impending evil.I found the characters in this story not only believable but very likable. The story line was fresh and exciting, and ended much to soon leaving me anticipating book two.-Brian Randleas

  • Julie Powell
    2018-10-18 08:09

    I won a copy of this book and yes, I was lucky. The story is steeped in imagination, magic and enchantment, with characters that bring it alive in the most realistic way.The writing is superb, with wonderfully rich descriptions, creating fantastic detailed worlds. The building of characters was excellent, so that readers have no choice but to care about what happens to them...rooting for the good and hating the bad - and with the right degree of uncertainty. I also found the story original in parts and was fascinated by the ideas of several realms and how they could be used for 'magic'. The 'bonding' sequences were particularly intriguing and were portrayed amazingly well.The only downside was that I will have to wait until the next book to find out what happens!I do not give spoilers, but will say that overall this book hooked me from start and I didn't want to put it down - an excellent tale that I highly recommend.Please hurry with the next installment :)

  • Kim
    2018-11-02 10:58

    This book is rated YA, I think it's appropriate for adults to as I am one. At first I thought it was going to be scary and bloody, but it's so full of fantasy and adventure that you want to just jump in and live it with all it's colorful characters. The Realmist are humans who can change themselves into animals and have various magical powers. The dragons are described with such colorful descriptions, characters wise and color wise you can imagine them yourself. The dragons have their own beautiful world that they'll protect at any cost. Can realmist and dragons come together to save there worlds from the evil that lurks in the shadows, you'll have to buy the book to find out. There's so much more to this book as there isn't really a conclusion. Maybe the author is writing a second book to follow? Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  • Jeannie Walker
    2018-10-19 08:07

    Adventure and reaching into a puddle trying to grab a frog is something I know about. Who would guess that I was a tomboy growing up? I know about thunder booming and rain falling before being able to get to shelter. One thing I am glad I don't know about is giant creatures bellowing screams like the ones that assaulted Blayke. When Blayke is asked, "How would you feel about leaving this paradise tomorrow?" He answers, "I'll start packing."I especially liked the journey the author takes her characters on with the picture drawn in such a way that keeps the reader enthralled.I think when you start reading this adventurous fantasy about magicians and dragons - you might just pack this novel in your belongings so you can continue reading until you finish it.Jeannie Walker- Award Winning Author of "Fighting the Devil" - A True Story of Consuming Passion, Deadly Poison, and Murder

  • Dee
    2018-11-09 12:07

    This book captured my attention from the very first. In my opinion, and I have read many, many fantasy and otherwise books, this new author, Dionne Lister has the potential to rise to Anne McCaffrey, Jim Butcher, and other great traditionally published authors. What makes her truly exceptional, is the fact that she is an indie author. This book will have you laughing, crying, at the edge of your seat in anger and fear. It is well worth the time to read.

  • Shari Kay
    2018-10-30 10:16

    Writing style not for me

  • Leanne Herrera
    2018-10-17 08:13

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Epic fantasy is not generally my genre of choice. The stories are great but I prefer something that follows a faster pace and epic fantasy seems to take longer to get to the next exciting part. I loved this book though even though it was an epic fantasy. I fell in love with the characters easily and the plot was easy to follow. The concept of the story is a time honored tradition of there is bad out there and the good guys must journey to stop it. In this journey we find several people with ability to connect between realms and meet to decide the course that they need to take to fight the bad guys. Unfortunately the bad guys have access to that realm as well and work very hard to not only infiltrate but actively sabotage their foes. The novel is long and has a lot of twists and turns during the journey but this allows the reader to become part of the story. I felt pulled into the scenery right from the first page and the author was able to keep me not only interested but in the action as well. The only issue that I found other than the length (which is my personal preference) was the lack of a conclusive ending. I felt as I was Bronwyn standing at the edge of the cliff as she was in the opening of the book. I was on that edge not knowing what was to happen next. I hope that Dionne Lister writes a second novel about this because I am dying to know what happens next. I rate this book 5 out of 5!

  • Grubsy
    2018-11-16 04:56

    To start off with, I really enjoyed this book, it was, fun, interesting and the relationship between the families reflected actual family relationships.Positives of the book:- I liked the way that the story was told from different characters points of view. It created a higher insight into what was going on in different parts of Talia and how they were all working towards the same thing, just from different areas.- The characters were engaging and you could relate to some, love some and hate others.- The creatura were something that I hadn't seen before in a book and I really enjoyed the bond that they had with their partners......I really wish I had a creatura now.- It is an intriguing book and gradually got better throughout the story.Negatives of the book:- The characters were introduced very quickly and without much description as to who was who. It did become easier to figure this out the longer you read through the book. Maybe it was just me who had trouble figuring it out.Overall I liked the story and enjoyed the book an I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good read.

  • Melinda
    2018-11-01 11:49

    Shadows Of The Realm is a beautifully written story from the multiple perspectives of a very endearing band of characters. I had my favourites, but it's hard not to love this well drawn bunch for how they work collectively. The characters are diverse - ranging in age, race and animal species. The author could focus on any of them and make a solid tale - a rich and promising way to begin a series. But it's not just the individual characters; it's the relationships - between young and old, human and animal. Even within a dramatic family of dragons! Okay, these were some of my favourites. :)Though mostly light and gentle in tone, the story delves into just enough dark places to allow mature themes to be explored by the young adult reader. I found this added depth and respectfully subtle moral lessons to the coming-of-age journeys of Bronwyn and Blayke. However, the fun and cheekiness served by the surrounding characters balances it nicely.Combined with the interweaving stories, the action grows steadily and comes to a satisfying end that leaves you wanting more. Shadows Of The Realm is a highly enjoyable read that I gladly recommend.

  • James Eggebeen
    2018-11-08 08:10

    This was a great read. It contained all the epic fantasy I could have asked for.The story is told from the perspective of several groups of Realmists (the magicians who draw their power form the second realm) who are converging on the Dragon city to fight to save the world from the evil Gormons from the outer realm.It was engaging and kept me reading when I should have put it down and gone to sleep. The author has created a cast of characters that kept my attention throughout. I found that I had to keep myself from rushing through it, just to find out what happened next. The magic of the Realmists worked well and she demonstrated how they learned and grew in their power. I particularly liked the bonding test that the Realmests underwent when joining with their creatures was well done and fresh.Overall I was very pleased and look forward to the next book in the series.

  • Donna Cavanagh
    2018-10-23 12:01

    This was a great book. I am new to this genre and I wasn't sure what to expect, but Dionne Lister is wonderful at drawing readers in to the fantasy. I would definitely recommend this book and I hope a sequel comes to us soon!

  • Brian Burriston
    2018-10-24 11:15

    A free ebook I liked it and have now to think about buying the rest of the series.

  • Roy Murry
    2018-11-13 12:54

    Shadows of the RealmBook 1 of The Circle of TaliaWritten by Dionne ListerReviewed by Author Roy MurryMs. Lister has written a jewel of a young adult fantasy story for the reader who enjoys an adventure with imagination. The plot draws the reader in from the get go, by setting the ground work for a series a young reader will want to complete.Our young protagonists are Bronwyn and Blayke. At the age of eighteen, they’re sent on separate paths towards their destiny by The Circle of Talia. Their antagonists are coming of age, again, from another realm, as our main characters are being mentored into becoming realmist. A spirit the reader will learn about as the story progresses.The author has ingeniously interwoven morals and philosophy into the teachings of our young realmists. Bronwyn’s mentor Avruellen teaches her, paraphrased, ‘As you’ll come to realize over time…no amount of worrying will help to solve a problem for the better or the worst.’ Tidbits like this will get the reader thinking in the right direction.After the tedious part of laying out the background of the story and the characters involved, Dionne Lister’s adventures takes off. The reader, with the basic intro knowledge given, will be reading rapidly to see what next happenstance will develop.This is Book 1 in the series The Circle of Talia. Ms. Lister will have the reader thinking and saying, “Don’t end now; not at this point, I want to know what will come next.” And that is Book 2. The author has done her job. She has hooked the reader into her fantasy which he or she will want to continue, and they should to settle their restless minds. Otherwise, how will the reader know the end of the adventure? Buy the series to keep the flow going. It’s worth it.

  • Anya
    2018-11-11 08:01

    I unfortunately had to DNF Shadows of the Realm. I found there were large information dumps for the first several chapters that weren't even that related to what was going on with the characters. The one chapter that focused on the dragons showed them in a ridiculous light. I had images of dragon kings sitting on benches (just try picturing that in your mind and tell me you didn't chuckle), overly dramatic language mixed with very informal (the dragons apparently like to speak in "fancy" terms like thee and thou), and hugging. I'm not against dragons being used in a comedy, but I thought I was reading high fantasy.... The villains have so far been portrayed completely flat since they are apparently a race of evil killers. I did think the premise of magic being based on channeling power from a Second Realm interesting, but throw in animal companions that sound just like humans in their mind-speech and actually journeying to and meeting in this Second Realm and the magic system was getting a bit cluttered. Finally, the two younger protagonists I was introduced to were petulant and moody. They would be spitting mad just because they're guardian wouldn't tell them something or said something they didn't like, not really an unforgivable offense ya know? Oh and using commas correctly would have helped my reading experience.In summary, Shadows of the Realm had potential but combined far too many fantasy oddities together for my taste. Once the annoying characters and flat villains were thrown in, I just couldn't take it.

  • Katie
    2018-11-14 05:07

    Jump into a world of fantasy!Brilliant world building that really took me to another world. The breathtaking imagery had me eagerly devouring each word. I really enjoyed the imaginative world and its memorable inhabitants. Filled with adventure, intrigue, and dragons you will not want to put this book down!The voice of the story was beautiful and fun. It really drew me into the heart of the story. I love the intricate plot of the story and seeing this new world through the eyes of the two characters Bronwyn and Blayke whose worlds are both being torn apart by the same war. They are strangers, but their plight is the same.This story also had some intriguing coming of age elements that I thought were very well executed. The two different viewpoints were handled nicely and added to the depth of the story instead of detracting from it like different switching different viewpoints can do sometimes.This book was an exciting adventure story that every dragon lover should read! I cannot wait for the rest of this series.

  • Peter Germany
    2018-10-25 08:07

    This is the first fantasy novel I have read and I was not sure what I would make of it but I really got pulled into it. The story got more and more fascinating as I read. The characters grew on me quite quickly, especially Fang! The universe that Dionne Lister has created here is moorish. Sometimes I've found stories can get bogged down when describing a setting but here those details were well woven into the story.This is the first in a trilogy I believe and I am absolutely looking forward to following this journey these characters are on.As I was coming to the end of this story I was thinking about how I would rate it and I was all but set to give it a 4-Star rating but those final pages earned that extra star.

  • Edenmary Black
    2018-11-13 08:13

    Shadows of the Realm is a bright portal into a fantastical tale of dragons and enchantment. Lister’s power with description and the smooth flow of her writing, pull the reader into an incredibly detailed plot where forces of good are facing off against forces of evil. One thing that is particularly entertaining about the book is the engaging nature of each character, against the backdrop of amazing settings. A reader might wonder if the author has somehow traveled to the locations in her story and the characters are as genuine as their hopes and fears. Highly recommended to any reader who wants to explore a new world, filled with magic, without ever leaving the comfort of home.