Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar

Zoolin Vale and the Chalice of Ringtar, Craig Smith, Stonegarden.net Publishing, 2010

This is a fantasy story about a set of friends on two very different quests.

Disaster has struck the land of Melin; the Chalice of Ringtar has been stolen. It is a sacred relic, and its absence will make Melin look weak and incompetent in the eyes of their neighbors. A young man named Tennen, newly selected earlier that day as Lord Protector, leads an expedition to track down the chalice. Accompanying them is the wizard Rimotar, carrying a type of homing beacon, keeping them going in the right direction. When they aren't fighting off mud and stone creatures, the group hears stories of a being of great power, dressed all in black, a day or two ahead of them. Whoever stole the Chalice is not your everyday thief.

Devlin, Tyvn and Myke, friends of Tennen, are on a different sort of quest. Devlin has just learned that a long time ago, his parents were kidnapped and sold into slavery. Devlin was occupied at the time, having just escaped from an evil warlock who kidnapped and brainwashed him. On their journey, they rescue an imp named Hugen, who was tricked into going down to the bottom of a well, and was left there. The neighboring land of Welkland, where Devlin is from, is without a king. A grand contest, open to all comers, will choose the next ruler. The four are accosted by a man who says that he has given Hugen and Tyvn a special kind of poison. Only he has the antidote. To stay alive, the four must enter the contest, held at a place called Zoolin Vale. If any of them win, and become King, they are supposed to rsign in favor of their tormenter. Hugen doesn't make the cut, but the others make it to the finals. Along the way, Devlin gets closer and closer to finding his parents. When he finally finds them, things are not what he expected.

Here is a really good piece of writing. It's interesting, it has plenty of action, and it has intelligence. The reader will enjoy this.  

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