Cornerstone (Souls of the Stones, book 1)
by Kelly Walker
Amazon description:Epic Fantasy combines with Young Adult romance in this stunning new adventure set in a richly developed medieval world. Second Stone and Broken Stone are now available! Also be sure to look for Jaded Stone, the thrilling prequel to the Souls of the Stones series.
When Emariya Warren learns enemy forces have captured her father, she'll do anything to save him. Anything. Even marry a mysterious prince she knows nothing about in order to rally the strength to arrange a rescue. During her journey to Torian's foreign castle, Emariya comes face to face with her mother's killers--and a deadly secret.
Not only does Emariya possess a powerful but unexpected magical gift passed down through each of her families, the prince she's promised to marry possesses a third, and an ominous prophecy has warned the three gifts must never be combined.
If she breaks her promise to marry Torian, she won't be able to save her father and if she keeps it, she may bring a curse upon everything she holds dear. Determining which choice is best won't be easy, but when she meets the gorgeous prince who may desire more than just her heart, she realizes she will have to fight just to have a choice at all.
Her heart wants him desperately. Her head begs her to run. If she doesn't want to share her mother's fate, she'll have to find a way to untangle the truth from the lies in time to save herself.
Discover the heartbreaking betrayals, fascinating magic and fated love of Cornerstone.
The cost to download this book on Kindle is free - a price I couldn't argue with. A lot of indie authors will do this; offer the first book in their series for free in an attempt to lure you in. With Cornerstone, it worked. I can't wait to dive into the sequel!
This story opens with one of the best prologues I have ever read. In just the first few sentences, I was filled with a sense of urgency. Perhaps it was because of my maternal instincts, but I found myself consumed with the character's anxiety as if it were my own. The author managed to set the back story of a completely new world, all while convincing me I needed to care about its struggles and the people who endured them. In my experience, this is rare and difficult to execute.
It was easy to befriend the main character, Emariya. She is strong, thoughtful, humble, a natural leader (even if she doesn't think so) and just the right amount of insecure. I'm not sure how much of a coincidence it is that she mirrors Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, but either way, I'm okay with it.
Kellly Walker sets up an intriguing fantasy world full of kingdoms and political obligations, with magical legends lurking in the shadows. Emariya's quest begins as a noble one, but quickly takes her in directions she, as well as the reader, wasn't expecting. The middle of the book slows a bit as the author tries to establish history and the characters try to figure out what to do next. The romance is subtle, but highly enjoyable. The book as a whole definitely feels like the beginning of something big.
I was surprised at how disappointed I was by the ending, especially by such a talented writer. It felt rushed, and left too many loose ends open. The last bit of dialogue seemed like it should have been a metaphor for something, but I couldn't figure out what. I was left with a gaping feeling of "that's it?" But I need more of this world, and more of Emariya, so I will inevitably read Second Stone (Souls of the Stones book 2)
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(4 0f 5)
Kelly Walker's talent for storytelling amazed me. She has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I'm excited to explore her worlds. She also writes contemporary romance, and is getting ready to release her newest book, No One's Surrender before the new year.
You can find out more about the author and her work here:
~ An exciting announcement!
~ Top 10 Reasons You Should Read More Indie Authors
~ Book review: On My Way Home by Allie Walker