A Published Review of The Lesser Talisman


The advantage of being a reviewer is that it forces me to read genres I would normally ignore. The Lesser Talisman by James L. Gillaspy is in one of those. It’s a fantasy that takes place on a world called Kolahvar at a time other than now. Kolahvar will remind you somewhat of the Middle East, of Aladdin and his ilk, but Gillaspy didn’t want to be bound by the rules of that time, so he built his world somewhere else. His first book, A Larger Universe, is futuristic science fiction, so he’s had experience with this genre.
This is the kind of book that makes you relax as you read the first page. You say to yourself, “Aah, I’m in the hands of a good writer.” The beginning may remind you a little of The Hobbit when one of the main characters, Haytham, enters an underground labyrinth of caves and finds something magical – not a ring this time but a coin. The coin is the erstwhile home of an imp, cursed by the Goddess to live in it until it is found and he completes a hundred years of service to the finder.
But Haytham and the imp, Kaspir, are only two of the many characters in this book that balances several different story lines. Each of the story lines involves someone dealing with a supernatural being of one kind or another. And each character learns the same lesson: You have to be careful what you wish for.
As you would expect, Gillaspy ties the story lines together in the end, and the grand finale is as spectacular as you could hope for. You’ll enjoy this book.
–Caroline McCullagh, Reviewer, “The Mensa Bulletin,” Feb 16, 2016

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