“Talia” Builds New, Beautiful World

Rating: 4 out of 5.

There’s a lot of debate in the book world about whether audiobooks count as reading, and that is some abelist BS. A few months ago, one of my writer friends had recently released his book on audiobook, and found out I loved audiobooks – and it was one of those perfect timings sort of things. Joel C. Flanagan-Grannemann, who is a fellow writer in Tales Untold: Mythos Around The World, which is how I met him, has weaved a tale of beauty in “Talia: Heir to the Fairy Realm.”

About the Book

Talia — the young, Iridescent-winged Heir to the Fairy Realm — and the Heir to the Human Realm — Prince Bastile — embark on a secret love affair that has wide-ranging consequences for both their worlds. Certain elements within each society hate the other side, and the Realms have a long history of warring with one another. Talia, her maid, her eight Ladies, and her Heir’s Guard (nine female Fairy soldiers) soon find themselves alone on an adventure through the lands of the Fairy Realm in search of information on a reviled ancestor, the Exile Queen. While Talia has always aspired to bring peace to the two Realms, her evil Aunts (known as the Three Sisters) and others within both the Fairy and Human courts conspire to thwart her ambitions, not understanding the ancient prophecy they are about to set Talia on the path to fulfill.

World Building

Flanagan-Grannemann has built a beautiful, complex world for his fairies to inhabit. Sure, there are humans, too, but this is a fairy story, that is ever abundantly clear. There are different kinds of fairies, based on wing structure. He has created a complex government, politics, relationships, and religion for his fairies, and the first book – of a trilogy I believe – was 18+ hours long in audiobook form. I appreciated that none of it felt like an information dump, which is a credit. Especially with long, epic fantasy novels, sometimes authors have a tendency toward info dumps. It is much better with authors weave it into the story line, like Flanagan-Grannemann has done here.


The author’s character development was spot on. The story has a diverse tapestry of characters, and each one of them is alive and developed. While I haven’t asked him, it feels like I could ask questions about almost any of them and he’d know the answer – which is impressive once you realize how many characters there are. I’m starting to feel a little like a broken record, but I did have trouble keeping up with all the characters. In an audiobook, especially, it was difficult to keep all the fairy names separate, especially when some of them are similar. There are a cast of eighteen ladies that are very important to the story, and they were not alone in the story.


The beginning was a little slow, but once the action really got going it was fast-paced and exciting. In some ways, it felt like the part it could have been two different books, but I also see the reasoning for keeping it as one.

Audiobook Performance

Flanagan-Grannemann’s lovely wife, who also serves as his editor, read the audiobook. I’m not sure if this is her first go at narration. She did a pretty good job, but she wasn’t my favorite narrator. She spoke very slowly, so I preferred listening to the book at a quicker pace, which it will also help with the fact that the book was 18 hours and 27 minutes long.

Content Warning: Adult Language, Violence, Adult Situations, Rape

I was gifted a copy of this audiobook by the author, and I’m so glad to have spent time in Talia’s world. It hasn’t impacted my review. I look forward to learning more and seeing where the story goes.

About the Author

Joel C. Flanagan-Grannemann is a first-time author, but he has been writing since childhood, and has a B.A. in writing from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford in Bradford, PA. He has lived in Columbia, SC for over twenty years with his wife and editor, Jay-Jay Flanagan-Grannemann, and a coterie of cats. Joel’s day job is Claims Supervisor at a major national retail chain.

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