The Tablet – a review by Carol Garden

The Tablet is a prequel to the Realm trilogy written by S. R. Manssen and sets up the
backstory of the mysterious tablet found by the trilogy heroine, Freya. At its heart it is a
classic allegory with thinly-veiled Christian themes and messages.

Main character Aleryck is a crippled goat herder who is charged with a special quest, by a
deity called The Ancient. Aleryck’s physical weaknesses mean he must rely on his brothers to
help him fulfil the quest. Conflict between Aleryck and his older brother Taran puts all their
lives in danger and they must work together if they are to overcome great odds.

When Aleryck’s brothers abandon him in a thermal crevasse, it is a resourceful girl who
rescues him. Juniper is a kick-ass character who unquestioningly rescues Aleryck and his
brothers, at the behest of the Ancient. Juniper is a believer and embodies both desirable
Christian qualities and brains and strength, not to mention a loyal pet bird of prey, who helps
her when she is captured. Juniper’s bird and Aleryck’s donkey, Milly, remind readers that
help comes from unexpected places at times.

Like all the best junior fiction, the children in The Tablet outsmart evil adults, in this case,
human slave traders. The fight scenes are tight and well-written and I enjoyed imagining
grown men being beaten by suddenly-invisible children.

The conflict between Aleryck and his brother Taran is drawn convincingly; as is the rough
and tumble of a gaggle of brothers. Touches like the warping and the invisibility add a fun
mysticism that lifts The Tablet from being a moral fable to an exciting story, with the promise
of the trilogy to follow.

Book 1 Medar – published August 2017. Click here to purchase.

Book 2 Tyrelia – published March 2019. Click here to purchase.

Book 3 Golden City – published November 2020. Click here to purchase.

The Tablet (a Prequel) – published March 2023. Click here to purchase.

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