Soul of the Stones #1
Published Sept 2012 by Kelly Walker
YA, Fantasy | 340 Pages
Emariya’s life was nearly over before it started. Hidden under the floorboards while her mother died above her, she escaped a brutal death then—only to go racing toward it now, sixteen years later.
After learning her father has been captured, Emariya is desperate to save him, no matter who she has to turn to for help. Oblivious to her potential gifts and the secrets surrounding her dual heritage, Emariya makes a bargain with the prince of a rival land, Torian Ahlen. In exchange for her hand in marriage, he agrees to send his forces to rescue her father. With the arrangements made, Emariya embarks on a tumultuous journey through two kingdoms as different from each other as the families that rule them.
Before long, Emariya comes face to face with her mother’s killers, and learns of an ominous prophecy: her and Torian’s bloodlines must never be combined. Armed with this frightening new knowledge, Emariya begins to fear the handsome prince may desire more than to steal her heart, and it will take all of her newfound skills to survive.
I got this book off amazon for free and picked it out of my TBR jar to read. The start of this book read well. I liked the writing and the story felt very much like a historical fiction. I liked how Walker set up the world and I looked forward to seeing where things would go. The beginning scene with the death of Emariya’s mother was very enticing.
However, when she left for Thalmus to be wed to the prince Torian, things started to go downhill. The writing started to get bland and repetitive. The characters started to sound the same and Emariya went from an interesting and well rounded Lady to a girl who kept making dumb and costly decisions. The other characters weren’t too unique and some were written with accents that came and went. The accents weren’t well done and one character, Kane, would go from peasant/low ranked type speech to perfect English within the same sentence.
The first reveal Emariya gets to her powers was just out of the blue. At this point the reader has already been told what she is but when Emariya learns, it is when she faints while someone is trying to kill her. Her mother – who has been killed – shows up and says “You’re a cornerstone” and then disappears! Imagine Hagrid busting down the cabin door, yelling “You’re a wizard, Harry!” and then walking right out. The other characters are then tasked with filling Emariya in with the knowledge they have retrieved so the readers are left rereading information they recently learned (some of which is repeated multiple times within the same page).
*spoiler* I also have to complain because when the group spends the night with a huge camp of strangers and then Emariya gets attacked, she faints and the others are then suddenly there trying to help her. There was no explanation as to how they stopped AN ENTIRE CAMPFUL of people AND THEN JUST UP AND LEAVE! Serious plot hole here *end spoiler*
By the time I gave up on this novel I was 60% done and the only evidence of Emariya’s amazing powers were a few voices she heard when no one else did. We’re already over halfway through the book when the reader and then the main character learns what she is and she hasn’t even been showing any powers until they leave for Thalmus. It makes no sense!
I really wanted to keep reading but I just can’t stand the stupidity of the characters, the hole ridden plot and the bland writing.