Book Review: The Shining Stone

Emperor Rak`koth, the Dark sorcerer, launches his armada and embarks on his ruthless invasion of Balleterria with fifty thousand warriors, including the brutal Black Legion, and the eerie, soulless Dread Riders, intent on fulfilling his despotic destiny to crush all opposition beneath his heel and establish his Empire in the West. Across the Luminous Sea, Killian, the Avatar prince and Ellianthia, the Elfin princess forge an uneasy peace and, together with other human and Elfin companions—a Blademaster, a master bard, a healer, a battle mage and a young lord—undertake a difficult and dangerous quest to find an ancient talisman hidden in the mysterious Dwarven mines far to the west. They will encounter great hardship and danger as their long journey across a continent unfolds, and some may not survive their race against time to find a lost mage. Meanwhile, the fragile Alliance of Calderians and Forest folk struggles to overcome hatred and distrust, and unite their forces against the coming invasion, beseeching other allies and bitter enemies for more aid, while the Kal`Dathian mage Mik`kel teaches a new magic and traitors lurk within their midst, waiting to strike.

This is the second book in the series, yet David did an excellent job enabling it to stand by itself.  I honestly had no issues reading from page one, any unfamiliar terms were explained in the context, and there was very little that required me to “shelve” the question because it should have already been answered with the first book.

As far as the technicalities of the story went, the characters were very well developed with a continual evolution as the story progressed.  There are three main threads of this tale, and they were woven together deftly enough that there was very little jar when you shifted between locations.

The pacing was wonderful, and definitely lands this one in the “action/adventure” category in my mind.  The desperate race against time provides a wonderful backdrop of tension to underscore the more poignant moments when they occur.

The world building was exquisite.  There was enough description of the local environs to bring the setting to life, without an overkill of detail that might have caused the story to drag a bit.  A wonderful balance between the encountered travel, and the ongoing action.

As for the actual technicalities – grammar, and such not – I’m no judge.  My poor editor I think often wishes me to go strangle myself on this point.  So, I do not hold anyone accountable in this regard.  However, I also did not notice anything to indicate this was not a professionally published book.

Getting into the plot line itself, this is a well developed, multi-stranded plot with several underlying subplots to weave you deep into the tale and keep you spell bound.  Many times, the scenes showed a polish, despite the rawness of the encounters.  This includes both battle scenes and bedroom scenes.  David did a wonderful job knowing when the pull the curtain closed, while providing enough information for the mind to take over.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, and now I need to go find the first book.  (Oh, the problems of being a voluntary reviewer!  You find wonderful new authors.)

From the land of the pukah, I see a shower of 5 out of 5 stars over this work.  Well done, and thank you David for letting me read it.

 

 

If you would like to have your book reviewed, please stop by my offered services page and send me a submission request.  I will get back to you soonest.

In the mean time… happy reading everyone!

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