Saturday, August 22, 2009

Review of The Queen of Stone

The Queen of Stone (Eberron: Thorn of Breland, #1) The Queen of Stone by Keith Baker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Queen of Stone
Thorn of Breland

The medusa on the cover made me pick it up, but the writing sucked me in. The first three chapters are extremely well-done, and kept me guessing for quite some time. If you love strong female characters, this is a book for you.

The main character is a super spy named Nyrielle Tam. Code name: Thorn. Picture OO7, except she’s a female half-elf who uses magic. Instead of all the technical gadgets that James Bond has, Thorn has magical items to help her on her secret impossible mission. The coolest item that she does have is her dagger, Steel. He’s intelligent, meaning that he can speak to her telepathically, but only when she touches him. Steel and Thorn have a very, well, thorny relationship. Steel knows a ton of things, can detect magical spells, and acts like a kind of radar and annoying mentor all at the same time. All Thorn has to do is pass him over any language and he can read it for her. What a weapon for a spy to have.

Her mission involves . . . Forget it. The mission is classified.

One of the big strengths of this novel is that Keith Baker created the world, which several other authors are now writing in. He knows the material and uses it to add just enough complexity to make it interesting. By the way, Eberron is the world that won the Wizards of the Coast Contest a few years ago. It is a fascinating place and I’ve enjoyed learning about it immensely.

If you’re interested in a new take on fantasy, check out Queen of Stone. The writing is very strong and don’t forget to pay attention to the little hints along the way. They are a big payoff at the end, which I did not see coming.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters
Book Two of the Iron Dragon Series

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