Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Emissary (Legends of the Realm, #1)” as Want to Read:
Emissary (Legends of the Realm, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Legends of the Realm #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  802 ratings  ·  226 reviews
Hyam is a likeable lad who will make a fine farmer someday. But he carries a burden few can fathom. As his mother slips toward death, she implores him to return to Long Hall, where he spent five years as an apprentice. It was there that Hyam's extraordinary capacity for mastering languages came to light--and soon cast him into the shadows of suspicion. How could any human ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by Fleming H. Revell Company (first published December 30th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  802 ratings  ·  226 reviews

Sort order
Start your review of Emissary (Legends of the Realm, #1)
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Emissary tells the story of Hyam, who up until his 21st birthday was a plain farmer's son who enjoyed hunting. And that is all I could tell of who the guy was. He was dull and his emotional range appeared minimal to say the least.

Anyway, it's his 21st birthday and it appears that he is not a regular human after all. He has powers. Powers which only manifest themselves at that specific age. Why? You tell me. Apparently it's in his race. People turn 21 and boom - they get powers. Does that
Sarah Sundin
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From my fantasy-loving 16-year-old son, Matthew: "The story is well written and very enthralling. The story following Hyam leaves you with a sense of wonder, but has enough realistic properties that it does not become insanity. Though the story is meant for a younger audience, members of an older audience could still find enjoyment in reading this book. Through and through, Emissary is a great story and a good read. I recommend this story to lovers of adventure and fantasy."

I received a
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it
High fantasy that was just too predictable & easy. It started out well & held my interest well for the first half, but it just became a drag. Everything was "a thousand years ago" & there wasn't a lick of tension. It had every over-used trope I could name, too. Still, I got through it & the first part was pretty good. I'll give it 2.5 stars rounded up to 3. I don't recommend it to anyone who has read a lot of fantasy, though.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When Hyam's mother passes away before his 21st birthday, he follows her final wish to go find his father and tell him that she has died. Upon going to the Long Hall where his father was at that he was banished from after 5 years of training, he is told that his father has passed away and to go away. It is only when he goes to the Ashanta that they declare him emissary to their clan that his true adventure begins. Can he warn the others of the sinister force that is descending into the land to ...more
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had not read a good fantasy novel in a long time. I enjoy the genre when it's done well, and Emissary is done well. It has all the elements of a good fantasy tale. There is a hero who is honorable and steadfast. The hero has a quest that is shrouded in a mystery. There is an older wizard (okay, not a mandatory element, but one I like) who mentors the hero. And there are clear lines between good and evil. Fantasy that smudges that line won't work for me.

Hyam begins his journey by honoring his
Paula Vince
Hyam's mother dies the week he turns 21, and he returns to a Long Hall where he used to be an acolyte, to tell his father of her passing. He hates having to go back, as he has traumatic memories concerning his time spent there. Hyam learns that his father is deceased, but that he himself was actually an orphan with unknown origins who his parents took under their roof. Although Hyam is willing to return to his village and farm his land, his magical heritage catches up with him now that he is of ...more
Christian Fiction Addiction
Jan 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis will rejoice at a new addition to the realm of epic fantasy with the arrival of "Emissary". From page one, I was captivated by Hyam and his story, as his status as orphan garnered my sympathy while the explosion of his powers onto the scene held me captive to the point I simply couldn't put the book down. I had to find out, just who is Hyam? How did he come to have these mysteries powers? I absolutely love characters who come from humble beginnings, only to ...more
DNF at 28%

I don't really have a lot I can say about this book because I didn't even get 30% of the way in, but I just couldn't do it. I was bored.

That doesn't mean that this is a bad book by any means. I can definitely see that some people would actually love this book, it just wasn't for me.

This, actually, very much reminded me of The Wise Man's Fear, which is strange because I loved both of Patrick Rothfuss' books but I just couldn't get along with this one.

There seems to be a complete lack
Deb Haggerty
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Deb’s Dozen: 12-Word Summaries – Dying mother’s last request sends orphaned farm boy on a quest – Emissary!

Fantasy has always been one of my favorite genres, although, until recently, I’d not read much of note. Emissary, by Thomas Locke, has shot to the top of my list of favorites. Clean, crisp writing paired with descriptions that pull you into the environment make this a very enjoyable novel.

Hyam’s dying mother had one last request—tell your father that I am gone. Hyam’s father had left them
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Wow! Wow! And triple wow! I LOVED this book. This is no epic. This book for me, however, was epic enough where it counted. I love the characters, the mystery, the magic and the quest. The main character Hyam is one amazing guy. Simple, kind, an all around good man and a total bad-a** with what he can do. This simple read had me sucked in from the get go and I hated to put the book down. As I read, the better it got. This is not a story for everyone out there. It may seem too simple and ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Read all my reviews on

This was a difficult read for me that I had a hard time getting into. Emissary felt at the same time too long and missing details about the characters, mainly the main character Hyam, who for some reason only at 21 finds out he has magical powers, after first enjoying his simple life as a farmer.

The rest is a pretty standard fantasy story, where Hyam will prove everyone rather quickly why he is such a special boy and fights some
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As someone who is very picky about fantasy novels, I found Emissary to be a great addition to my fantasy shelf. The story of Hyam is fast-paced however not because every page is filled with action. The dialogue is quick, even explanations are left blunt and to the point, which works very well for this book. My only trouble was every so often I'd get so engrossed that I'd forget who was speaking and would have to backtrack a sentence or two as a reminder. As the book delves into Hyam's adventure, ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Written in a possible mid century type of style where wizards, mages, magic, mystery and a clouded past are just a part of the true underlying story of Hyam. Born and raised by a mother who did not birth him and a father who did not raise him casts shadows of uncertainty and an unresolved past of who Hyam really is. He has powers and can speak forbidden tongues of Milantian, Ashanti, and Elven even from an early age. It was told that anyone speaking or to be of Milantian blood would be killed on ...more
Rebekah Gyger
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it
When I first saw this book up for review, I was not aware that Hyam was to become a mage. Ordinarily, I would stay away from books with wizarding heroes, but since it was from a Christian publisher, I decided to stick it out.

Let me start by saying that Locke has done some fantastic world building. At no time did I feel like this was not a real world that I could somehow enter and move around in. The story was easy to follow and the magic interesting. Yet, as a whole, I could not get into the
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
On his 21st birthday, Hyam receives powers far beyond anything he could have imagined. Suddenly he finds himself involved in a rising war, as his powers are tested and his destiny is revealed.

The beginning drew me in, but as the story progressed I lost interest and got kind of lost. I really wanted to love this book, and I tried hard, but in the end I felt as if I didn't really have much of a connection with the characters, and I felt more like I was seeing them from a distance rather than being
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Emissary, by Thomas Locke, is a fantasy which takes place in a world that is often frightening and dangerous. Ominous forces threaten the realm, and most of those who have the wisdom and power to stop these forces have been hidden away, their powers forbidden. Hyam, a young man with a mysterious lineage, turns his back on all that is familiar to become the reluctant leader of a brave, loyal group of mages, soldiers, and a beautiful, equally mysterious young woman, all of whom are dedicated to ...more
Claudia {SparrowHawk}

// Emissary, Legends of the Realm captures all the very best elements in the fantasy genre: young nobodies destined for greatness, fascinating and enchanting races and realms, ancient mythical fiends, the gathering of a team, valiant quests, and the way in which Thomas Locke weaves them all together is so brilliantly clever!

// Thomas Locke's writing is skillfully executed in this novel. He presents a unique sort of writing style that strangely writes itself; a type of
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Emissary, book one of the Legends of the Realm series, takes us to a world filled with magic and wonder, where elves once flitted beneath the forest canopy and wizards of unprecedented power and ability reshaped the very world with but a casual thought. However, long gone are the days of sorcery and magic, the kings of old now living in exile at the edge of the known world and those few remaining mages a mere shadow of their former glory. Enter Hyam, a farm son whose mother has recently passed ...more
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like mainstream fantasy
Shelves: fantasy
“Emissary” by Thomas Locke is the first book in the “Legends of the Realm” series. This first book is about a young farmer named Hyam who discovers many new things about himself after his twenty-first birthday, not the least of which being that he now has powerful magical abilities he has to learn to control. Oh, and the parents he grew up with, who have both died, were not his real parents. There is also a Mysterious Bad Guy (we know him as the “Crimson Mage”) with a “join-me-or-die” attitude ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I was a bit disappointed with this one, it had an intriguing synopsis. The writing was good, descriptive, and clean. The characters however felt really flat to me, they didn't have any depth. I didn't connect with any of them, and though the book had a nice pace. I couldn't get into it. It was also fairly predictable, nothing took me by surprise.
Karla Akins
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I know you're not suppose to judge a book by its cover, but really, what's not to like about this gorgeous work of art? It's the perfect marquee for this new fantasy series by Thomas Locke. It depicts the flavor and mood of this story perfectly.

I don't read fantasy as a rule, but because it's such a popular genre for the younger set, including Millennials, I wanted to read it as a way get to know why they love this type of story. Walk into any bookstore these days and the shelves overflow with
Jessica Higgins
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A thrilling new journey in the realm of fantasy and science fiction. Filled with action, romance, and subtle humor, this is the beginning of a promising new series.

Hyam is a young man who just lost his mother. Her dying request is that he return to the Long Hall where he spent five years as an acolyte apprenticing in the languages of the Milantian, Elven, and Ashantan, of which he mastered all. Actually, he mastered Milantian, the others were beaten into him. However, it is said that only true
Emmanuel Boston
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, high-fantasy
Thomas Locke delivers something to his readers that, by all measures, is really quite good. Mystery embedded in mystery. Adventure in fantasy. Love in trust. Story in words.

Instead of giving you a book summary like many of the other reviews, I’ll give you a more analytical/critical review to help you gauge (not whether it will be a riveting story, but) whether you want to read this philosophy over-against competing philosophies.

Book Philosophy: Greater good can be had in denying myself, even
Pam Graber
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I, as a non-fantasy reader, was invited to review “Emissary” by Thomas Locke, I was skeptical about not just enjoying it but even getting through it seemed a stretch. I shouldn’t have worried. “Emissary” kept me up at night reading “just one more chapter” until I finally finished. This book had all the excitement and mystery that I look for in the suspense novels I read while taking me to a medieval world where wizards, Elves and glowing orbs of power are the norm.

“Emissary” introduces us
[Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley.]

While I'm only giving this book three stars, I am going to say that this was one of the better new fantasies I've read in a long time. Three stars simply means "I liked it," and I didn't LOVE it, so that's why it's only three. This book was more rooted in traditional fantasy than a lot of other books I've read lately, that purported to be fantasy but were in actuality just a teen romance. It probably helped that Hyam is 21, not
Janet Sketchley
Hyam is an honest and unremarkable farmer in a world where magic is only permitted within the confines of Long Halls: places of training for wizards. He was a Long Hall acolyte for a time, until the wizards threw him out. Not that he wanted to stay. To be an acolyte was much like being a prisoner.

Now, as Hyam reaches his coming-of-age birthday (21), his mother's deathbed request sends him back to the Long Hall with a message. The unwelcome news he receives there, plus the sudden onset of what
Beckie Burnham
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thomas Locke is a new voice in epic fantasy with the first book in a new series, Emissary. Written from a Christian worldview, Emissary is not your typical Christian novel, yet it embodies the themes of justice, mercy and compassion. Unlikely and ordinary characters achieve the extraordinary through shear will and determination. If you like classic fantasy, then you need to check out this novel.

Following the death of his mother, Hyam must travel to give the news to the father that left him long
Victor Gentile
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Locke in his new book, “Emissary” Book One in the Legends of the Realm series published by Revell takes us into the life of Hyam.

From the Back Cover: With his twenty-first birthday, Hyam begins a journey that will lead him to his destiny–or his doom.

Hyam has always shown a remarkable ability to master languages, even those left unspoken for a thousand years. But now the shadow of suspicion that was cast upon him as a child prodigy at Long Hall is lengthening, and he must keep his identity
Terri Wangard
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hyam’s mother dies two days before his 21st birthday, when his adulthood begins. She asked that he inform his father at Three Valleys Long Hall. Magic had been banned throughout the realm, but within the Long Halls, magery was still practiced.

Humans aren’t the only inhabitants of the realm. There are the telepathic Ashanta who keep to themselves. The green Elves, thought to have been wiped out by the Milantians, a warrior clan that brought havoc to the land and are now killed on sight.

Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Emissary by Thomas Locke
The beginning tale of an epic fantasy series starts on a farm where a young man cares for his dying mother. His mother is a weaver who has woven a beautiful tapestry of a young man holding up a brilliant purple orb before a battle. Her deathbed wish is that he return to the Long Hall and tell his father of her death. This journey sets Hyam on a perilous quest. At Three Valleys Long Hall he learns his father died four years before and that he might be of a race of
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Hero's Lot (The Staff and the Sword #2)
  • The Shock of Night (The Darkwater Saga, #1)
  • Judge (Books of the Infinite, #2)
  • A Draw of Kings (The Staff and the Sword #3)
  • Invitation (Harbingers #1-4)
  • The Story Peddler (The Weaver Trilogy, #1)
  • Cloak of the Light (Wars of the Realm, #1)
  • The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim, #8)
  • A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)
  • A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England, #1)
  • An Hour Unspent (Shadows Over England, #3)
  • Within These Lines
  • A Song Unheard (Shadows Over England, #2)
  • The Warrior Maiden (Hagenheim, #9)
  • Land of Silence
  • King's Folly (The Kinsman Chronicles, #1)
  • The Number of Love (Codebreakers, #1)
  • The Book of Ruin
See similar books…
Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.

His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.

Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford

Other books in the series

Legends of the Realm (3 books)
  • Merchant of Alyss (Legends of the Realm, #2)
  • The Golden Vial (Legends of the Realm, #3)