What could have snuffed the flames of Telbyrin? When the Creator made the world, he gave the Eternal Flame first to the elves. Then they gave some portion of the Flame to the other peoples. But not all people welcomed the Flame. Some rejected it, and over the years have waged war with those who kept the Flame.
Now, something disturbing is happening. In many villages across the kingdom, portions of the Flame have stopped burning. It falls to Orilin and his wife Larilyn, a “young” elven couple with 300 years each, to discover what’s happened to the flames, even as they prepare to fight off armed invaders. But the corruption they are really fighting runs deeper than they have understood, and not all those who smile upon their efforts are really allies.
Benedict Dyar’s The Flame of Telbyrin packs a lot of plot into one novel. On a large scale, armies battle each other. On a smaller scale, our heroes must overcome difficulties to reach the king and queen in the city of Gallinthrar, and that’s only the beginning of their struggle. The story roars with action: kidnappings, betrayals, and even encounters with the undead—which the story portrays with informality and pleasantness, rather than grim determination or respectful reverence. Nonetheless, our elven heroes prove charming, and the narrative burns hot and quick.
Best for: Young-adult fans of lighter fantasy fare.
Discern: Some violence and combat.