Talion: Revenant
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Talion: Revenant

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4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,309 ratings  ·  73 reviews
After Nolan ra Sinjaria's native land was conquered by a brutal king and his family murdered, he sought revenge by joining a breed of feared warrior-judges called the Talions. But when the usurping king and his troops are imperiled, Nolan, to his horror, is assigned to protect them. Now, he must make a choice between duty and honor that will call into question everything h...more
Mass Market Paperback, 467 pages
Published May 1997 by Spectra (first published 1997)
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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
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Community Reviews

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Sorwen
Talion: Revenant at first seems a quite simple story about a man by the name of Nolan who is a Talion Justice. The Talions are broken into various groups according to the tasks they can perform. One such group is the Justice, an elite group of individuals that works as a sort of cross between an elite military group (Rangers/Seals/etc) and the CIA. It is their job to administer Justice and it is up to each individual as to what that Justice means. They are answerable only to their superiors and...more
Chip
Embarrassingly juvenile writing and stilted characters. I actually PAID for this drivel based on the very high average rating for it, both here and at Amazon, and rave reviews. My mistake. Most of those reviews must have been written by the author or friends thereof - or perhaps teenagers moving on from Eddings and R.A. Salvatore.

I tossed this aside 20% into it - a few paragraphs after this statement by the then 13-year-old protagonist, following the "Lord of Justices" (real title!) on the firs...more
Jeff Miller
I came across this book by chance. One of the ebook blogs I read said the author was offering DRM-free versions of some of his books on his site. So I bought this one for 5 bucks. I like to support authors directly especially when they offer DRM-free books.

This was actually his first novel, though originally not published because they thought it too long for a new author and so was not published until after he had built a solid reputation and following.

The Taliion is sort of like a cross between...more
Cameron Harris
For years, Stackpole has been lauded by the Science Fiction community for his superb Star Wars and Battletech novels. This review is about his first novel, Talion:Revenant. The interesting thing about Talion: Revenant is that it originally was not published because it was to long for an unknown author. All I have to say is I am quite glad that Talion: Revenant was eventually released.

The novel begins with Nolan, an experienced Justice, hunting down the thief Morai and his various lackeys. Aft...more
Chris
Jul 13, 2010 Chris added it
Shelves: fantasy
Michael A. Stackpole (Author of Star Wars novels including "I, Jedi" and many Battletech novels) has retained his electronic publishing rights and re-released "Talion: Revenant", an amazing fantasy novel, as an e-book for $5. He's setting aside profits from the sales and promises to write a long awaited sequel once he's sold 10,000 copies (After all is said and done he estimates he'd net around $27,000 from the sales that he'd then live on for the year he estimates it would take to write and edi...more
Troy G
I hate coming of age stories. This is the exception. The coming of age prequel is interspersed with the present day story in such a way that the back story is offered when it is needed, and by the end, all of the pieces fit together.

The world of Talion is vivid, interesting, and original. There is essentially an academy that produces highly skilled trainers, advisers, and servants that are in high demand, and given extended privileges throughout the various principalities. The main character is...more
John
3 or 4, 3 or 4? Where is my 3.5 option? With a hundred pages to go, I was leaning towards a 3, but it didn't end exactly like I thought it would, so I'm rounding up. It was a pretty good book, but could have used a little bit of emotion. On a sliding scale, it was pretty impressive for a first novel. I commented before that I didn't like how he started and then flashed back, but I understand now why he did it; though I still would have liked a stronger first chapter. Luckily, the second chapter...more
Julian Tan
It's hard to imagine that this was the author's first fantasy book - it has every making of an epic and introduces the reader to a beautiful, sweeping fantasy world with a tapestry of nations, history and characters. The heroes are larger than life, and you are treated to a tale of a boy maturing into a man, weaved into a complex plot full of mystery and suspense. A very satisfying read.
SpyNavy
Stackpole is hit or miss with me. This book was a home run. I enjoyed it from start to finish and am surprised he hasn't fleshed this universe out with more books. Great character development and cool fantasy universe.
Letty
One of the best stand alone fantasy novels I have ever read. SOOOO tragic that it is not a series...a very long series!!
Domenico
If you've read any Star Wars novels, then you recognize the name of Michael Stackpole, one of the best of the stable of those authors. But that's not the whole of what he's written. He has many novels in both fantasy and scifi genres.

But Talion:Revenant is unique in that not only was it the first book he ever wrote, it has never been published. At least not in the traditional sense. Last year, Stackpole brought the book out of his archives, polished it up, and started selling it on his website (...more
Peter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan
Instead of just one story, there are two parallel stories that told. One is Talion as an adult (i.e., present day). The second is Talion as a youth. The stories told about the young Talion set the stage and/or provide important information that's applicable to the adult Talion's story thread.
Pros:
+ I thought this was preferable to using the 'flashback' mechanism
+ It was an easy way for the author to provide relevant information, and it was hard for me as a reader to miss or forget important d...more
Becky B
The main character in this book is a Talion. What's a Talion? Well, they're part James Bond, part knight, part old West wandering lawman, and part Dementor. They roam around the empire hunting down criminals and, if necessary, sucking out their souls if they've been really bad. Stackpole focuses on the story of a Talion from Sinjaria/Hamis. Every other chapter alternates between telling how he came to be a Talion (so his story from age 12 on up) and present day as he is chasing down criminals &...more
Stephen
Honestly, there's some really good ideas in this book, too bad they're not implemented well enough to be all that interesting.

The book started out well, the first chapter had a nice little fight scene. Then when Nolan is taking his test I thought it was decent. Then it just gets so boring. I found this book a chore to finish and it wasn't even that long. I guess that's what get for reading this after A Game of Thrones. The pacing is completely inconsistent, sometimes it moves along fast and nice...more
Jake Scholl
Premise: Nolan, a member of the Talions, a group who's mission is to fight for justice. Nolan will have his beliefs tested , but will he succumb to his wants or do what's right?

Review

You may know of Michael Stackpole if you've ever read Star Wars or Battle Tech novels. Talion : Revenant is the first novel Stackpole has ever written. But wasn't the first book that was published. Back in the 1980s, when Double Day read Talion, they said it was too long of a book for an unknown writer, so they had...more
David
I read this book years ago, and now that I'm a member of Goodreads I finally can review it.

This was a good book. It wasn't great, but certainly it was enjoyable. If you like light-hearted, fast-paced fantasy in the same vein as David Eddings, then this is a book you will probably enjoy.

There are a couple things I found odd, though. First is that Mr. Stackpole tells this story from the first person viewpoint of the main character, Nolan. While this itself isn't an issue, he alternates the chapter...more
Dawn
I came across this book as part of a Bookbub.com deal and I am very glad that I took a chance on it. In Michael Stackpole’s Talion: Revenant Nolan, an orphan from the free city-state of Sinjaria makes his way to Talianna where he becomes a Justice, a branch of the Talions that roam the countryside hunting criminals and sucking out the occasional soul through the use of powerful magick. After becoming a full-fledged Justice, Nolan is sent to defend the man who killed his family and defeated his h...more
David(LA,CA)
In looking for a starting point to try reading more fantasy works, I thought I'd start with someone who's writting style hasn't proven a problem for me in the past. I came to this book as a fan of the author's work on the Star Wars X-Wing series. And now, a part of me wonders if I would have enjoyed this book more if it had been set in an already established setting where the author didn't have as much freedom to create.

I sit here trying to think of a reason why I didn't like this book more. I...more
Lindsey
Fans of Stackpole's work will enjoy this book. His vivid imagery and unsurpassed character representation shine through. However, it is evident that this was his first book. There are some areas of this book's world that could be expanded. While a good story, I would not say that this is one of his classics. This novel is a good read, but do yourself a favor and read some of Stackpole's later works (like the Dragoncrown War books) as well.

As a side note, this book is now available as a low cost...more
Dianna
Decent story with a couple of plot twists near the end that threw me for a loop. Characters didn't feel very fleshed out and what little emotions they felt seemed very forced and not realistic. The reader was given very few hints before the main character Nolan suddenly falls in love. And when he finds out one of his best friends died on a mission, he barely reacts. Also the writing came off as very simple some times and too detailed in its description at others. I would've much preferred more i...more
Jordan Masters
Stackpole's fiction left me satisfied and yet craving more still. Not since The Lord of the Rings have I seen a more fleshed out and immersive fantasy setting. Some reviewers might disagree with Stackpole's anachronous approach to storytelling on face value - the way each chapter shifts between the main character's adulthood and childhood - but I would argue that anything less would ruin a heart-wrenching twist. Stackpole illuminates a perfect balance between every aspect of his world in order t...more
Miracletonic
Perhaps it's not my place to review this book, since I only remember general impressions of it. Nevertheless, I think I remember enough to explain the 3 stars.

The book was enjoyable, definitely. I'd recommend it, sure. However, I remember a few plot holes at the end, regarding the motivations of the villain. If everything played out as planned, the villain's pride would have been restored. Oh, and why exactly that one character went completely balls-to-the-wall insane when I'm pretty sure people...more
Caleb Mickel
This was a fantastic book. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The author jumps each chapter from being a full fledged Talion to a novice Talion, which was a nice change of pace each chapter. Anyone who is a fan of fantasy should give this book a try.
Carey Walker
I read this book on a recommendation based on other books I had read. I didn't know what I was getting into aside from the fact that this was a fantasy book. When I finished it, Talion: Revenant became a hidden gem. I couldn't believe I had never heard about it before. I immediately told all my friends to read it (which I still bug them about almost every time I see them). This was a great, very in-depth book. I was shocked how well we got to know the characters and I loved how each chapter alte...more
Alyssa
The author's final note states that although published out of order, this was his first fantasy novel -- and it shows. Simplistic and rather predictable, with a rushed ending that while adequate isn't really satisfying.

Still, for all that, an enjoyable read. The characters are engaging if not terribly complex, and the action is well-written. I appreciated the protagonist's struggles and hoped for his sake he would be able to live by the choices he'd made. Since I consider caring the best endors...more
Betule Sairafi
Can I say 3 stars for most of the story and then 4 when it really picks up, at the end?

I think this book could have been a lot more satisfying had it been trimmed down a little more, been tighter and faster. If I could tear out all the pages of lesser [or un-]importance, Talion: Revenant could have been a 5 star short story! The way it is, though, I can only give it 3.5 stars, rounded up because the ending deserves at least that.

Not that the pages I'd tear out were bad, mind you. They were just...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
There's two things I hate about Talion: Revenant. The first is that Stackpole has gone back and forth about whether he'll ever make a sequel. The second is that it's only available in mass market paperback and I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up having to buy a new copy every year or so due to obsessive re-reading. In contrast, there are innumerable reasons that I love this book; it has great multifaceted characters, fascinating world-building, and a complex unforgettable story of one young man'...more
Em
"Talion: Revenant" is a standard fantasy novel describing the origins of the protagonist (Nolan), specifically how he leaves his home country and becomes a Justice. the narrative skips back and forth between Nolan's early years and his current situation. the early character development was interesting. i didn't love some of the later character arcs but overall enjoyed it. 3 stars. (i liked stackpole's "in hero years... i'm dead" better, and will probably look up his alternate history/fantasy tri...more
Derek
This is one of the few books that I have read multiple times. Whenever I find myself without a book to read and need one (road trip!) I'll grab it off my shelf. It's a stand-alone fantasy novel for one, which earns definite points. The system of magic and the main character's stories are both engaging, and it keeps you reading the whole way through. Kind of a classic fantasy story arc, but not to the point of being boring and predictable.
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