Stones and Finger Bones (The Black Towers #1)
Published: 10th February, 2015
Age: Young Adult
From: Xpresso Book Tours
Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.
Until the night she loses everything.
Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.
But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.
They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.
And if necessary, to destroy her.
What I liked: This story leaps straight into what’s going to be the main center of conflict with the prologue and then takes a step down to show us one of our main characters, Aurelia who is a princess. I really liked Aurelia because while she didn’t really stand up on her own at the beginning of the book over the course of the book she begins to do that, and she’s clearly not someone who is guaranteed to not be corrupted by her own magic. She’s more grey than white in terms of her morality, and so many of the villains are as well. My favorite line about that in the book was “Evil is just…so harsh, I prefer ethically unfettered” showing that just because they’re villains doesn’t mean that they’re evil. They’re pretty grey too, although at a much darker shade than Aurelia is right now. While it’s very clear from the beginning that Kostadin is one of the villains I feel like there is much more to his story than meets the eye, like his history will explain how he came to be as he is. I also really enjoyed the sections where I learned how magic became so unwanted in this realm, it was a glimpse into the downfall of magic and those sections thrilled me the most.
What I didn’t like: I wasn’t completely sold on the romance portion of the book. I liked it, but I wasn’t invested in seeing them stick together until the very end of the series. I just feel like Aurelia could do better in her choice of who she likes, but the story seemed to overshadow that so it seemed to be a backburner thing to me anyway.
Overall Review: While there was a lack of actual magic being preformed in this book, everything that sets up the way the magic works in this realm was done very well. The political aspects that were woven into the story were done well and the way we learn about what’s been happening to magic users was interwoven very well into the story. Overall though my favorite aspect was the dark magic that we were shown, because who doesn’t love a little dark magic that gets someone the throne?
Recommend?: I do! It’s a very good fantasy read with some predictability but with some parts that made me very pleased. A great fantasy read in my opinion!
My Rating: 4.2/5
Check out the rest of the tour here!
About the Author
Jessica wrote and illustrated her first story in the fourth grade. “The Dragon of Grindley Grun” was about an evil wizard, a princess, and a dragon who was actually a prince. She likes to think her writing has evolved since that very first story, even though she still writes about magic and evil wizards…sometimes.
She likes to sing loudly and dance on occasion without being particularly talented at either. Her interests include reading, writing, procrastinating, animal advocacy, musicals, accessories, memes, Harry Potter, and sweet tea.
Jessica lives in Kentucky with a spoiled pitbull.
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