- Title: Legend of the Stone Keepers
- Author: J.L. Trepanier
- Series: Legend of the Stone Keepers, #1
- Genre: YA Fantasy
- Publishing Date: December 8th, 2018
- Publishing Co.: Indie
- Length: 315 pages
- Format: Kindle Unlimited, Paperback
- Acquired: Given free paperback copy in exchange for an honest review
- Amazon Link: Legend of the Stone Keepers
The bottom line is this: the world of Terranum cannot survive without a soul. If the soul of our world is shattered, it has to make due with other sources.Like mortal souls. Young and inexperienced, Elaro of Agraxia is made captain of a journey with stakes of life and death for the whole world of Terranum: to prevent the endless winter that has plagued his land from taking over the rest of the world. To save the world, he and his companions must heal Terranum’s soul by reuniting its shattered fragments. One of which is The Stone of Courage, a magic relic kept by the humans. But centuries’ worth of bad blood between the Agraxians and the humans, Elaro must find a way to recover the human’s soul fragment without succumbing to his greatest fear: becoming the monster the world believes him to be.
First Chapter Challenge: 3 pages
In the first short chapter, we are greeted by a young Elaro and his Master Rorick. We know nothing about Elaro’s upbringing, nor what happened to his parents. All we see is that Elaro follows Master Rorick out into the cold, in order to see the devastation that Nixa Somnia can wreak. Already my interest is piqued! How did this winter come to be? How can any being hope to thwart nature itself? And what is Elaro’s past? I want to know more! I can’t wait to continue reading!
Final Judgment: 5 Stars out of 5
In this YA Fantasy, J.L. Trepanier takes her readers on an amazing journey. The mission of her beautifully fleshed-out characters is to find the shattered pieces of the world’s soul in order to fuse them back together and thus banish Nixa Somnia, the everlasting winter that freezes a being from the inside out. On this journey are the young, newly graduated Elaro, his classmate Cirra, his hero–and the Obsidian Warrior in the flesh–Plutollo, brothers Garenth and Ronin, the fiery Kindle, and the asthmatic scientist Atlas. Each have their role to play in obtaining the first piece of Terranum’s soul, which lies with the humans. Will Elaro find the confidence within himself to lead his crew to the stone? Will the humans help the Agraxians save the world, or will they be too focused on their differences?
Starting off, let me just say that the plot was unpredictable and engaging. It was also so unique, in that I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like it! To think that not only does the world have a soul, but it was shattered by the wars the creatures upon its earth waged. And now each piece of it bestows some kind of protection within its vicinity? It is interesting to believe that each race has its own purpose in the world (Agraxians were charged with protecting the skies, being descended from dragons). It’s almost comforting to those of us in the real world, who have no idea what our purpose in life is (at least, I don’t!). I just had no idea what was going to come next.
“What did he tell yeh, boy? What were his exact words?”
“Return to Agraxia with the Stone of Courage and a human warrior,” Elaro said softly.
“That’s what I thought,” Plutollo said, strolling to the front fo the pack. For once, he was clear and articulate.
Elaro knew better than to let Plutollo bother him, but the words felt like a punch to his gut. It was fine. Better than fine. Good. Great, actually. He needed Plutollo’s words to thicken his skin. He should be thanking Plutollo, if anything. (pg. 114-115)
Going along with this, the writing style was absolutely phenomenal. We were given only tidbits at a time of each character’s background, as well as the background of the world. And rather than being frustrated by this piecemeal (as I tend to get in most books), it actually enhanced my reading. It was as if I was experiencing this amazing world for myself, walking alongside the characters on their journey. Everything was revealed so naturally that it hardly felt like I was reading a fantasy at all, but rather living it.
In addition to the amazing plot and writing style, I also loved the characters themselves. They each had their own unique personalities and stuck with them; there was no discontinuity with their actions or beliefs. I was also dumbfounded by the pure inner conflict plaguing Elaro. He was quite the dynamic character, a young as-of-yet untested commander, taking charge of seasoned warriors, some twice his age. In the beginning, he is unsure of himself and so terribly concerned with how others view him that he is unable to lead. But by the end of it, he truly embraces his leadership role and fills its shoes with grace and courage. This inner conflict, such a large part of the novel, helps us to really dig down deep and get to know Elaro as an Agraxian. It helps make him so realistic as if we were traveling with him on this adventure. It was also quite something to read a novel where a human (or even a human-like character) was not the protagonist. In fact, Elaro did not even have much information to go on about humans, and thus it was very interesting to see how he categorized our race.
“Do humans like alcohol, brother?”
“You know, I’m not really sure,” Garenth said. “I’ve never had a drink with a human before.”
“Humans have rather weak constitutions. My guess is that alcohol would probably poison them,” Atlas said. (pg. 71)
One last thing that I also found to be remarkable was the underlying climate implications. The novel never comes right out and parallels Terranum’s plight with that of our own world, but the subtleties are still there (unless I am totally mistaken!). The everlasting winter that will destroy the planet unless all of its inhabitants come together as one to fix it… Sounds eerily similar to our own global warming predicament.
All the emotions in this book. I felt everything. I was nervous, surprised, anxious, scared, off-balance, content, enthused, and crestfallen. I actually cried at one part in the novel, though I won’t say which to protect against spoilers! Just know that this book will hit you in all the feels. Be prepared to laugh out loud, smile ’til your cheeks hurt, and cry your ugly cry (maybe it’d be best not to read this in public). Enjoy! I will also note that I read through this book so fast and lost myself so completely in it that I completely forgot to look for quotes along the way, hence why I only have 2… That’s how immersed I was in the story!