Talisman Of El

A story about accep­tance, des­tiny and the bat­tle of good vs evil, this pro­found and breath­tak­ing orig­i­nal read takes you to a place you’ve never been before.

About the Author
Al Stone is a writer from the UK. Raised in London, she has a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television. Al’s debut novel, Talisman Of El, was published in 2012.

Reading Group Guide

About the book
Charlie Blake is fourteen; his parents are dead. He has just moved in with his foster parent, Jacob Willoughby, and thinks it’s a new start – a new home, a new life. He’s right about one thing: his life will never be the same again. For Charlie, the world changes in a heartbeat when he wakes up sweating and petrified one night. He’s just witnessed a brutal murder, but he can’t tell anyone. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago. The day before his dad died.

Charlie has no idea where his prophetic ability comes from, but the mysterious woman following him does. She knows more about his dream than should be possible. As Charlie ventures out to discover the truth about who he is, he unveils a shocking truth about his past – one that threatens to destroy everything he thought he knew.

Discussion Questions

Warning: the following questions may include spoilers.

1. Describe Charlie’s relationship with Jacob before he discovers the dark secret his guardian is harbouring. How does finding out the truth about Jacob alter their relationship and what kind of impact does this have on Charlie?

2. In Chapter 5, after having discovered Charlie’s prophetic ability, Derkein asked, ‘Have you had dreams like this before?’ Why did Charlie lie to him? What stopped Charlie from disclosing the truth about the dream he had of his father the day before his tenth birthday?

3. What role does Derkein play in Charlie’s life? How does this role change as the story progresses? Why does Derkein inspire such strong feelings in Charlie?

4. Why did Gaddis rebel against the Legion? What do you think he hopes to accomplish by becoming Keeper of the talisman?

5. Candra’s revelation of Charlie’s identity leaves both the Arcadians and Charlie’s friends shocked. What are Charlie’s conflicting feelings about his identity and how is it different to how he feels at the end of the book?

6. Does Charlie have any choice but to adhere to the oath he swore to uphold before he returned to Earth? What would be the outcome if he fails to restore the talisman?

7. “Ne kavegur qlati yiu qopl giv.” What does this phrase mean? How does this message influence Charlie’s attitude and actions? Have you used this message in your life? If so, explain.  Is there a situation in your life now that you could apply this message to?

8. What part of the story did you find most exciting? What part made you sad? Happy? Angry? Discuss your feelings about these scenes and why they impacted you.

9. Discuss how Charlie’s feelings towards Candra changed throughout the book. What incidents prompted those changes?

10. How did learning about Arcadia affect how Charlie saw the world? What opportunities and possibilities did Arcadia open up for him? How would his life have been different had he not learned about Arcadia?