The Talisman by Stephen King & Peter Straub

There are many fantasy books on the market nowadays. Ranging from High Fantasy epics in the vein of Tolkein to more subdued tales of adventure there exists many sub-genres, enough to satisfy everyone. One such genre is Dark Modern Fantasy. The description is straight forward: the story in question is set in the modern world (21st century usually), is dark as in morbid, and uses fantasy norms to create a surreal blending of the imagination.

                This is precisely the kind of novel The Talisman can be read as. Written by two of the most influential horror writers of the age this fantasy novel is one of unique edging.

                Though the plot is rather simple (a boy is in need of a magical artifact to save his mother) the thread itself is a wonderful read (as most well written “simple” plots are). Contained within are twists and turns which allow The Talisman to craft it as a classic. The protagonist, twelve year old Jack Sawyer, is a conflicted epitome of what it means to be young and brave. Hurdling over troubles-sadistic barkeeps, demented jesters, power hungry businessmen, and insane religious figures- our hero learns what it means to be undaunting in a terrible situation. From the skillfully rendered world of the Territories to the memorable characters contained within this tale is not one to be missed for fear of leaving no impression.

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