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Shadows of the Realm

(The Circle of Talia #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  324 ratings  ·  70 reviews
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 wi ...more
Kindle Edition, 1, 470 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Dionne Lister (first published April 12th 2012)
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3.85  · 
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 ·  324 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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 intere
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, ...more
Charity Parkerson
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
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Justin Bog
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 hi
David Lowry
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
Ben Ditmars
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
August Is Azathoth HPL 129 August 20!
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to August Is Azathoth by: Dionne Lister
Shelves: may-2012-reads
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 betwe
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 Dun ...more
Derek McPhee
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 mento
John Dolan
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 stron
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 ex
Brian Randleas
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Julie Powell
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 pa
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: done-reading
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 beauti ...more
Jeannie Walker
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 char
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Leanne Herrera
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 jour
May 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 a ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 oth
James Eggebeen
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Donna Cavanagh
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A free ebook I liked it and have now to think about buying the rest of the series.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I recommend it a lot.
Roy Murry
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadows of the Realm
Book 1 of The Circle of Talia
Written by Dionne Lister

Reviewed by Author Roy Murry

Ms. 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 ant
Jan 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
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 l ...more
Denis Savage
Reading this took some focus and time, which is kind of surprising as I look back. The initial wording felt weak and juvenile to a point where my interest waned. It's not that I need grown-up words to form sentences but I felt it was more of "See Spot run. Spot runs far." Somewhere in the middle of the book, I wondered if I would finish the book. And I am glad I did.

The premise behind the story was sound and intriguing. A new magic system and a precious few who were trained in its nuances - real
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 charac
Peter Germany
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 f
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I'm a fantasy, cozy mystery, and suspense author with an associate degree of creative writing, and I'm a member of SFWA. My other day job is editing fiction and non fiction while my cat sits on my lap.

I love writing and sharing my stories, but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night.

I also write women's fiction under the pen name Eloise March.

Other books in the series

The Circle of Talia (3 books)
  • A Time of Darkness (The Circle of Talia, #2)
  • Realm of Blood and Fire (The Circle of Talia, #3)