Book Review: Stonebearer’s Betrayal

Stonebearer's Betrayal

  • Title: Stonebearer’s Betrayal
  • Author: Jodi L. Milner
  • Series: Shadow Barrier Trilogy, #1
  • Genre: YA Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: January 2nd, 2020
  • Publishing Co.: Stone Orchid Press
  • Length: 298 pages
  • Format: Kindle Unlimited, Audiobook, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free print copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: Stonebearer’s Betrayal

Forbidden magic compelled Katira to live a lie, but learning the truth is far more dangerous than she ever dreamed.

When an innocent hunting trip turns into an attack, Katira’s world fractures. Her humble parents are actually legendary Stonebearers – immortal, powerful beings tasked with protecting the human world from creatures of the mirror realm.

Those cracks widen and shatter apart when the Archdemoness, Wrothe, escapes from her timeless prison and snatches Katira away, intending to use her as bait to destroy not only her family line, but the entire Stonebearer Society.

If Katira is to be made whole again, she must learn to trust the young stranger who’s trying to save her while finding the strength to accept not only her parents’ power, but her own.

Final Judgment: 3 Stars out of 5

Katira believes that her world is as small as the village she grew up in. But that idyllic, peaceful view is shattered when she finds out that her parents can wield magic. Scared of the truth of her birth, her parents, and her own power, Katira is kidnapped by a rogue magic-wielder before she can make sense of any of it. She must learn to control the power within her if she is to survive long enough for her parents and her village-boy love-interest, Elan, to come rescue her. Or perhaps she is strong enough to escape on her own…

A classic YA novel, Jodi L. Milner creates a magical world where the young protagonist has to learn of her power before she can save herself and the people around her. She even adds in not just one love interest, but two! It’ll be interesting to see how the story progresses regarding the love birds. I’m always a sucker for the boy-next-door, but there’s something exciting about a new and powerful boy thrown into the mix.

While the premise for the story and the world built around it both highly interested me, the characters and their interactions lowered my overall rating. In the very beginning, the characters seem to have hard-set beliefs, and yet one short conversation easily changes their minds. And this happens not just once, but several times back and forth. Although this does improve later in the novel, the characters’ personalities remain inconsistent, especially Katira. She’s built up to be shy and unsure of herself, but plays coy and arrogant the next. Perhaps part of that is Katira faking it until she makes it, but the execution simply obscures who she actually is. Without having a solid hold on who the characters are, the plot begins to fade to the background as I struggled to make sense of them.

Occasionally, character actions also made no sense, unless the only purpose was to drive the plot forward. A badass demoness seems to hold all power, and yet allows a young boy to escape her clutches. Why? So that he can bring us to the protagonist. A seasoned Stonebearer wastes time on small talk when he needs to shout out a warning. Why? So the demoness can gain more power and destroy more lives. But, perhaps I am being nitpicky. This is a YA novel after all, and I am a grown adult.

Regardless of the execution, the worldbuilding and conflict were enough to keep me reading! A good start to a series, I expect that with the characters more fleshed out, the next books in the series will be even better.

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