Thursday, November 27, 2014


The e-mail I received inviting me to review THE EMISSARY by Thomas Locke
informed me:
“This is a new kind of story that focuses on the positive aspects that come from our life walk: courage in the face of hardship, growth, and change.”

Every one of us must wrestle with these issues as we make the break between choosing to live our lives according to principles of the kingdom of hell, or by the principles of the kingdom of heaven.  The Lord Jehovah, through his servant Moses, declared:
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live,
Deuteronomy 30:19 (HCSB)

Life is not about choices, life is a series of choices, and living one’s life in light of the ramifications of the choices that we make.  And that message is declared on every page of Scripture.

Enough preaching.  On to the story itself.

Hyam, the hero of our story, is much like the crops that he grows; the fruit on the surface is abundant, rich, and varied . . . and yet there is more to him than meets the eye.  The roots run deep; deeper than even Hyam knows.  His mother’s dying request is for Hyam to return to Long Hall, where he spent five years as an apprentice . . . and where his extraordinary capacity for mastering languages came to light.  It was also a place that holds bitter memories for Hyam, and the one place to which he had vowed never to return.  But how can one deny his own mother? When Hyam dares to seek out the Mistress of the Sorceries, her revelations rock his world to its very core.  An encounter with an enchanting stranger reminds him that he is part hero and part captive. As Hyam struggles to interpret the omens and symbols, he is swept up by a great current of possibilities--and dangers.

Thomas Locke writes with an attention to detail that doesn’t bog one down with the details.  The action varies as the scenes change, but is intentionally directed to the final resolution.  The characters are complex, and  yet one doesn’t really see them as characters at all.  From the opening pages, one is swept off one’s feet and taken where the stories, and dreams, and aspirations . . . and the dangers, and the heartaches, and the losses . . . take one.

I’m reminded of the preface to HUCKLEBERRY FINN:
Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

Because Mark Twain desired the reader to “join in” the adventure – not psychoanalyse the author, or subject the story to the typical “literary critique.”  As Thomas Locke desires in THE EMISSARY.

5 stars for an odyssey that leaves you longing for more

Thomas Locke
ISBN 978-0-8007-2385-9
400 pages
$14.99 U.S., paperback

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