Larry Kollar's Reviews > Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar

Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar by Craig Smith
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's review
Jan 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy

While Zoolin Vale is a sequel to The Red Stone, Craig does a great job of including enough backstory so you're not completely at sea if you pick up this one first. If it had been published when I was in college, we would have passed this book around and around. It's an epic fantasy that doesn't pretend to be anything but, and that — as I rediscovered — is a good thing.

As a reviewer above pointed out, this is really two stories in one. In one story line, the newly-appointed Lord Protector Tennen leads a squadron of soldiers (plus a wizard and a friar) to recover the Chalice of Ringtar, stolen from a church in Melin (by a one-legged thief, no less). Meanwhile, Tennen's friend Devlin sets off with his friends Myke and Tyvn to find Devlin's imprisoned parents, somewhere in the neighboring realm of Welkland. Things rapidly get complicated for both parties -- the search for the Chalice leads to a mysterious island, while Devlin and his friends find themselves forced into a competition to become the new ruler of Welkland! Then, once the Lord Protector returns home, there are still some surprises waiting for him…

All in all, this was a really fun read. There are a few "modernist" phrases, but they mostly appear in humorous passages and actually enhanced the humor for me instead of throwing me out of the story. The only caution I'd give is that the Kindle edition has quite a few typos. That's the hazard of working with a small publisher, I suppose — they can get overwhelmed and things like that happen. I'd hate to ding Craig for something out of his control, but at the same time I have to note the very real problems I found. Fortunately, an updated version is on the way.

With that caveat, I'd recommend this book for all ages.

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Reading Progress

January 9, 2012 – Started Reading
January 9, 2012 – Shelved
January 9, 2012 –
January 12, 2012 –
21.0% "This is a book that, if it were out when I was in college, would have been passed from friend to friend to friend. :)"
January 13, 2012 –
January 16, 2012 –
January 17, 2012 – Finished Reading
July 5, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy

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