Reviews and Media

"Altira always felt herself something of an outcast but was certain this latest bit of thievery from the sultan's private collection of opulent gems ought to prove her worth to the dark elf community. Instead, it got her banished with a deadly assassin on her trail and nothing to her name beyond the fascinating blue amulet Altira stole from the sultan and her sword. While seeking food and water at a seaside settlement, Altira went against all instinct and helped a dwarf regain stolen merchandise. Thus began an unlikely alliance between Altira, the dwarf community and the marvelous Phoenix birds known as Guardians along with their warders. As Altira worked to destroy the rouge Cirrian assassin assisted by a talking sword, she discovers the secret locked within the amulet, a piece of hidden history that could unite or destroy both the dark elves or Alo'Daran and the Greenies or Alo'Kin. Meeting with the Alo'Kin leaders changes everything Altira thought she knew about herself and family even as that new knowledge forces her to do whatever it takes to unite the elf races against a deadly foe. Dispelling millennia long history built on lies is not going to be easy and though Altira never wanted to become a pivotal figure, she will make any sacrifice to save her people. Good thing she now has some strong allies watching her back.

This entertaining, sweeping fantasy is the first installment of the new Guardian Chronicles series geared toward the young adult market but equally suitable for adults. The diverse, obviously flawed characters are a treat, especially Altira who gradually replaces her snarky, knee-jerk reactions to people with genuine caring. Tyke, Altira's dwarf friend proves to be steadfast ally and companion while the Guardians add just the right amount of magic to this engaging tale that all started with the simple theft of a stone. This is a treat for fantasy readers of all ages and is certain to win Booth a loyal following for his upcoming releases as there are more challenges ahead for Altira."


"My editor keeps having me review books, and they are so much more difficult to write a blurb about than a comic. There's, like, chapters. And, no pictures. And, lots and lots of words. I just read one for you: Dark Talisman by Steven M. Booth. I actually enjoyed it; it was fun . . . but I think you've got to be a certain person to actually really enjoy it. I'll tell you why.

So, basically, it's all fantasy with dark elves (and not dark elves) and dwarves and phoenix. (Plural for phoenix, right?) The heroine is a dark elf, and she Robin Hoods this bad sultan guy of some trinkets and stuff . . . but it turns out that the trinkets included something world changing and powerful, and now our 'innocent' lass is on the run.

But, Steven doesn't let her go without some impressive tools. She's bad a--.

So, that's the plot. I'm not spoiling anything, as his blurb on his site covers as much as I said. Let's talk about quality.

Steven is a detail storm trooper. There are some forty (40) characters actually listed on the "characters you should know page." Forty. That's a lot. That's about half of the characters listed on the Wikipedia page of War and Peace. This isn't a problem, so long as you're a nerd like me. You like video games with crazy storylines with a million characters? You like to see saintly characters interact with piracy? You love DETAIL? Then, this is good.

And, another thing: it's basically a Dungeons & Dragons book. As in: FANTASY. If you dabble in the occasional historical fiction with a bit of magic or whatever thrown in . . . don't just dive into this. The book expects a solid foundation in nerdiness for its readers. Be a nerd.

Finally . . . it's good. Well written. Compelling. Sequel-likely (and worthy), I recommend this book to all of you nerds out there. I wasn't terribly surprised by the ending, but the immersive, comfortable, and wildly fantastic (as in Fantasy!!!) world.

A little on Stevie. (I don't have his permission to call him that – don't tell.) He does everything. 3D effects on movies like Transformers 3, ballroom dancing, writing, sumo wrestling; lava spelunking, sun walking . . . check out his site. He actually looks interesting, and likeable. Maybe that's why I liked his book as much as I did."

- Jack


"DARK TALISMAN features a snarky heroine along with a colorful cast of magical creatures struggling to triumph in the midst of an eternal battle set in a vividly written world. This fun, fantasy adventure is not to be missed!"

Top Pick

"This book is geared toward the Teen / Young Adult crowd but really reads as a go between from Middle School to Teen. It is a light fantasy read that children will find very easy to get into. This is definitely a series to look out for if you are looking for a light easy fantasy read or if you are looking for something to get your child to read."


"Steven Booth has delivered a fun, action-packed fantasy novel aimed at the young adult market, but more than suitable for an older audience that enjoys their fantasy aligned with role-playing games. That's what you get here, a sort of video game in words, with a dark elf rogue named Alitra, who pilfers the wrong item from a Sultan's treasure, leaving her hunted by all manner of would-be assassins. The review copy I was sent had a little more than three hundred pages, in somewhat large print, and Booth still managed to squeeze in nearly fifty unique characters of various genders, races, and classes. Admirable, to say the least, as each seemed well-serviced in the time we spend with them. Not an easy task, and its success owes much to the author's firm grasp of where his story leads. Dark Talisman is well worth a look, especially if you enjoy a streamlined adventure without too much heavy lifting."