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Tahn: A Novel Paperback – January 1, 2005

3.4 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Tahn Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kelly pens a novel with a medieval setting, writing under her initials to distinguish it from her historical Depression-era inspirational fiction under the name Leisha Kelly (Julia's Hope; Katie's Dream; Emma's Gift). The lovely Lady Netta Trilett is kidnapped by a cold-blooded killer, Tahn Dorn, who slew her husband several years before. This time, however, Dorn is acting out of a somewhat unexplained newfound desire to turn over a new leaf. After Dorn stashes Netta in a cave for her safety, the evil Samis, Dorn's former leader, burns her family's home. Dorn rounds up eight children Samis had tutored in villainy and spirits them away to the cave, where he and Netta care for them and Netta wrestles with forgiving Dorn—and understanding her newfound feelings for him. Kelly develops her story well in the first half, and her characters, especially the children, are sweet and vulnerable. Some light sexual tension and violence mark Kelly's change of genre. The pace slows in the second half, and readers may struggle with the idea of a woman romantically interested in her husband's killer, no matter how much Christians believe in forgiveness. Yet Kelly's tender touch will endear her to those CBA market readers who like their historicals heavily salted with salvation themes. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

As Robin Hood might, Tahn Dorn kidnaps Lady Netta Trilett, knowing that the Trilett Castle is about to be overrun with the forces of the evil Baron Trent, who wants no opposition in his campaign to become king. After a lifetime of service to another evil lord, Samis, Tahn's submerged conscience is at last breaking free. He saves the kingdom, saves a host of children Samis is in the process of corrupting, and wins Netta's love. That's the first book, and it's a serviceable adventure, but then Kelly tacks on a second book, which teases out Tahn's torments and attenuates his courtship of Netta, while advancing the story only a little. It's too much of a good thing. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800759990
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800759995
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,439,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The beginning of this story was absolutely fantastic; I was captivated and submerged into the story. The beginning encompassed both mystery and a great style of writing.

About 30-40% of the way through the book, however, the dialogue becomes rushed, and I felt like I read the same message about God's mercy at least 50 times per chapter. I am an extremely passionate Christian, but the forced dialogue ruined my motivation to continue reading. The characters had great potential to be well-developed, but the author neglected many details which would have made everything more realistic.

It's a shame because it started off so great. You'll become immersed in the story from the beginning, but don't expect it to get any better; you'll more than likely end up disappointed as I did.
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Format: Paperback
In The Princess Bride, Inigo Montoya speaks the famous line: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." While reading Tahn, I kept hearing that line echo through my head. The setting in Tahn is quite similar to The Princess Bride, being some medieval time that's still our earth while not fitting into any timeline we know of. And this novel could easily be classified as a fairy tale for adults. It's an exciting and fun ride at the beginning, though it slows down a lot toward the end.

Leisha Kelly has written several Depression-era novels (Rorey's Secret, Julia's Hope, etc), but for this novel she's chosen to go a different route and thus the name change to L.A. Kelly. Tahn is definitely not one of those historical books she's known for.

Lady Netta of the House of Trillet is awakened in the middle of the night by a somehow-familiar stranger attempting to kidnap her. What makes it even more bizarre is his claim that he's trying to save her. In shades of Oliver Twist, Tahn Dorn is an orphan raised a mercenary by a cruel man named Samis. But rather than pickpocketing, Tahn learns to kill. When he finally reaches the age he feels he can stand alone, he tries to break from his brutal lifestyle and save Lady Netta in the process because she has been targeted as the next to die.

As the story progresses, Tahn takes in the small band of orphans he himself was supposed to train and tries to protect them as well with Lady Netta's help. But when Netta realizes that Tahn is the man who killed her husband years ago, things get rough. Can she forgive the man she swore to hate forever?

As I said before, Tahn is a great adventure story that starts out with a bang and runs for a long time off of it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Honestly, I could barely bring myself to finish this book, but I persevered so that I could write an honest review after I figured out how to explain what exactly is wrong with this thing.

Yeah, there's preaching, & a Christian will recognize the truth in the lesson. The description includes a reference to the Christian theme of forgiveness, so don't go complaining about thinking the story was about anything other than what it is. Unfortunately, the lesson is lost in the lack of CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, which forced Kelly to revert to over-the-top preaching which even most Christians would find over-zealous. (Actually, as a Christian, I found myself laughing at a few things...some of the other reviewers do a great job explaining why, so I won't take up any more of your time with that here.)

The characters are shallow, childish, immature...fill in what you will. I just didn't buy it. Really, I wanted to like Lady Netta, but she just annoyed the snot out of me. I couldn't figure out her angle, her motives for doing or saying almost anything. Her thoughts revealed little, & Kelly didn't seem too interested in filling in the blanks. Now Tahn Dorn is an interesting character, & I really would've loved to have seen him less insecure...because, I mean, really, the guy is a studly manly man, no doubt about it. Nothing doing. He blows hot & cold, & again, the main issue for me is that I could not wrap my brain around his motivation for, well, anything. I could speculate about both characters 'til the cows come home, but it isn't the same, & even reaching the tale's conclusion wouldn't have told me if I was right or not. And then, to make it all worse, new characters & perspectives were added more than half-way into the book! I actually stopped reading to whine to my husband.
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By A Customer on December 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tahn kidnaps Lady Netta Trilett from her bedroom, but allows her to scream so that she awakens her family so that they will have a chance to save themselves because someone is going to torch the manor house. Tahn is supposed to take Lady Netta to his master Samis's fortress but he can't do that to a woman he cares about, a noble whose husband he killed. Netta fears him until he sneaks into Samis's stronghold and rescues the children that Saamis took off the streets so that he can train them to be assassins.

She learns Samis took Tahn in as a child as he did many other children, made them fear him and then got them addicted to opium so they would not leave him. He raised a fearsome group of mercenaries who would kill for him.

Baron Trent hired Samis's men to kill the Triletts because they were in the way of his being crowned king as they are widely beloved for their kindness and piety. Most of Netta's family died in the fire or were hunted down by the mercenaries. Tahn risks his life to keep the children and Netta safe; he knows Samis's thugs will eventually kill him, but for love it is worth it even if he believes it is unrequited.

This historical romance is a fascinating work in which even the greatest sinner can be redeemed if he truly repents his misdeeds. Tahn is a tough warrior but also a shy and introverted man who always expects to be friendless and hated because he is an outsider. Netta's love warms his heart and he realizes that redemption and death are only a heartbeat away. L.A. Kelly writes a beautiful adult fairy tale with a deep moral message.

Harriet Klausner
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