Shaeleen is given a TruthStone by a strange woman, and now every lie she hears or tells gives her pain. The pain ranges depending on the intensity of the lie, and Shaeleen has to learn to control it so that she isn’t found out. Even separating herself from the stone doesn’t do anything to alleviate her pain.
When she starts to almost faint every time she hears about how Prince Basil is going to be king, she realizes that her entire kingdom could be based on a lie. She wants to reveal the truth to stop her pain, but this could send the entire continent of Wayland into war. The kingdoms have been protected by the stones, but after pieces were given away over the years, the stones have begun to fail. Shaeleen, Cole, and Orin must gather all the stones and return them to their full power.
I think my favorite part of this story was how smooth the storyline was! There were no random time-skips, and each character was so unique that it was easy to tell them apart. I found myself flying through the pages until I reached the end of the novel.
I came into the story thinking that it was going to be a heavy YA fantasy novel, but honestly, the plot wasn’t that dark. The pain was a focus, but it wasn’t the main focus that would bother me until my skin crawled. In fact, nothing was too gory that it would make a middle-grade reader scared or uncomfortable. This would be a good intro to heavier fantasy novels for them.
The only complaint I had was that some parts of the book did seem to be a bit childish at times. When Cole got his powers, his swearing of allegiance to Shaeleen seemed to be a little cringy to me. This didn’t bother me too much though and I overlooked most of these little parts because the main storyline was so engaging.
The character development was also intense. The stones made the characters have times where they acted their age, and then have times where they acted with wisdom far beyond their years. This was especially obvious for Orin, whose character could have been around the age of 9-12 years old. It really allowed readers to understand how powerful the stones were without saying “Wow these super powerful stones are really strong!”
I didn’t see any editing errors as I was reading through this novel.
My overall experience with this novel was positive. I was super excited by the time I got to the end of the novel, and then it said continued in book 2! Luckily, I have Kindle Unlimited so I will try to read the other 2 books in the trilogy before the summer is over.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new young YA/older middle-grade fantasy novel with a strong female main character and her team.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars