Kingdoms of Broken Stone
I used to stay far away from epic fantasy growing up because of the length and because it made my eyes hurt. For a period, it felt like fantasy was a lot of different versions of one or two stories. Dwarves here, dragons there, and vampires somewhere in the mix. There were hundreds of ‘chosen one’ books and underdog themes, then came the urban fantasy takeover. I got a little tired of reading what seemed like the same thing over and over by different authors.
What I liked about Kingdoms of Broken Stone was the small differences between traditional fantasy and what you see more often in fantasy written in the last decade. There were a number of strong female characters in this book and there was a sense of originality that strengthened the message and plot of this story.
I enjoyed the magic and the fighting sequences, but I think I liked the names of the characters and locations the best. The book opened with a glossary and map which helped me learn how to pronounce all of the unique names and also helped envision the beautiful locations our cast traveled to throughout the novel. The pacing was good, the powers were interesting, and the plot was decent.
The only thing I didn’t really like was the length of the novel. I know epic fantasy usually comes with its fair share of pages but there were parts in this book that felt more like info-dumps than necessary description. Sometimes the plot dived forward but there were many times where it felt like everything was standing still and I found myself wondering when things would pick back up. I also wished that it didn’t feel so much like a revamped ‘chosen one’ fantasy where everything centered on some unlikely farm boy. It was a good story but there were small things that could have been changed to make it that much better.
I would recommend this to readers of all ages especially fans of fantasy and magic. If you enjoy medieval fiction then this is definitely the book for you.