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Shadows of the Realm: The Circle of Talia (Volume 1) Paperback – April 24, 2012


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About the Author

Hi, I'm Dionne. I live in Sydney and am a writer of fantasy and suspense stories. I love writing and sharing my stories, but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Dionne Lister (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0987307800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987307804
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,769,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi, I'm Dionne. I would tell you how much I love writing, but you've probably gathered that. I have an Associate Degree of Creative Writing, work as an editor and author and am a member of SFWA. I write epic fantasy and suspense/thrillers under my own name and women's fiction as Eloise March. I enjoy placing the reader in a world they can touch, taste and see.

If you've enjoyed my young adult fantasy/adventure trilogy, and my intense book of short stories--Dark Spaces, you might like to visit my website www.dionnelisterwriter.wordpress.com to read some of my flash fiction or suspenseful short stories. Must go; chocolate is whispering my name...

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Helen2011 on June 19, 2012
Format: Kindle 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 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.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amber Jerome~Norrgard on May 17, 2012
Format: Kindle 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, and am desperate for more!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eoghann Irving on April 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Dionne Lister is an independent writer and Shadows of the Realm is her first novel and at times it shows.

Shadows of the Realm is also the first book in the Circle of Talia fantasy series. It's important to know that going in because you're not going to get any resolution at the end of this book, just some major cliffhangers. The other thing to be aware of is that this is designated as a Young Adult book so that gives you an idea of the target audience the author is going for.

The basic story here is familiar ground for fantasy fans. We've got a world in peril from a hideous evil that is returning from banishment. We've got magic, dragons and a couple of teenagers with a somewhat mysterious background who will play a key role in saving the world of Talia. Nothing particularly original, but there's nothing wrong with it either. Some of my favorite fantasy stories growing up were things like the Shannara series by Terry Brooks and The Belgariad by David Eddings.

Where I feel Lister stumbles a little is in the pacing and the narrative focus. There are a lot of characters and some just appear out of nowhere as it were a hundred pages into the book. That makes it harder to get attached to anyone because things are moving around so much.

Additionally while clearly there is significant peril, we really don't feel it for a very long time. We get told how dangerous things are and how important to get places it is. But none of the events we see along the way really connect together. It's all a little distant.

It's really not until the last third of the book than things kick into gear and we start to see real peril for the protagonists.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dee on May 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
4.5 stars for this beautiful high fantasy book by Dionne Lister. From a nightmare awakening, to mythical and magical creatures, this book comes together with well laid out characters to deliver a fun escape into a fantasy realm. While the book comes to a resolution, it leaves you edgy and wanting for more. I personally can't wait until book two is out.
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