Between truth and deception, between justice and abuse, a stonewiser stands alone with the stones. Or so begins the stonewiser's oath. But what happens when a rebellious stonewiser discovers that lies have tainted the stone tales? In a world devastated by the rot's widespread destruction, only the tales preserved in the stones can uphold the truth and defend the Goodlands. In this world, stone truth is valued above anyone's word, and stonewisers are the only ones capable of retrieving the tales from the stones, the only link between past and present, order and chaos.
Sariah is the most gifted stonewiser of her generation, but her talent does not atone for her shortcomings. A survivor of the Guild's brutal training, she is curious, willful, and disobedient. Yet not even Sariah is prepared for what she finds when she steals into the Guild's Sacred Vaults: A mayhem of lies and intrigues that shatters her world. Hunted, persecuted, and betrayed, Sariah must make an unlikely alliance with Kael, a cynical rebel leader pledged to a mysterious quest of his own. The fate of their dying world depends on their courage to overcome centuries of hatred and distrust. But not even the grueling journey has prepared them for what they're about to discover. Because nothing is really as it seems, and the truth is more intricate and devastating than they ever suspected…
Vibrant with detail, alive with compelling characters, and packed with intriguing action and unforeseen twists, Stonewiser is an unforgettable adventure, an exquisite, heartwarming tale from a mesmerizing storyteller.
©2008 Dora Machado (P)2013 Dora Machado
The storyline is original and interesting. The world has been created with great detail. I admit that I was somewhat lost at the beginning of the story, wishing for more explanation about Stonewising. It was a slow starter, but as the book progressed I found myself very interested. My heart went out for Sariah. The author has filled her story with a wide range of emotions and action. I will be getting the next book in the series so I can see where the story goes next.
This review is of the audio book, so I want to include just a quick piece about the audio itself. The reader of Stonewiser did a great job. The reading was well paced and easy to listen to. I listen to at least one audio book a week while I commute to and from work, so the reader is vital to the enjoyment of the book.
This was my first audible experience and I found that I prefer audio CDs that I can listen to in my car. I was unable to convert this book into a format that burned onto CD and therefore had to listen on my computer. I am sure that there is an easy way to have this happen, but I was not able to find it.
The writing was packed to bursting with evocative descriptions of all things, from ever changing environments, to the intense emotions of the characters. The romance between Sariah and Kael was dealt with beautifully, if a little predictably (they hate each other, then they love each other). The sex scenes (only a few, no smut, beautifully done) were so well written, and their emotion so infused me, my tears gushed on more than one occasion.
Sariah was likeable, if difficult to understand in places due to her emotionless upbringing. And Kael was the typical strong brooding silent type, with a big a heart and burning passion beneath the tough exterior. I found the cast, on the whole, well developed; I found it easy to picture them, their actions, their expressions, and I cared for them.
I had the great experience listening to the very enthusiastic Melissa Reizian Frank. Her ability to take on different characters and add different voices really helped me to digest the story.
I cried at some high emotional moments and laughed at others.
However, when characters mentioned Ars (a name) e.g. Kael, son of Ars. it pulled me but of the story. Am I child? Perhaps. It wouldn’t have been so bad if this word were mentioned once or twice, but it was mentioned a lot at one point, and interchangeably with mention of actual ‘arses’ (he slapped her arse, etc). Especially on Audio, it was confusing and inappropriately amusing.
Overall, this is a superb high fantasy. If you love fantasy, you’ll be glad you took a chance on this one, and will no doubt be as eager as I am to see what is in store for Sariah in books two and three.
Author of The Immortality Virus
Stonewiser Saraiah was raised to believe that the Stonewiser's Guild stands for truth and justice. But when she nearly dies wising twin stones no sane person would touch, she learns that the stone truth may not be as it appears. Deception surrounds her and the rebllious Sariah sets off on her own desperate quest for truth.
The Heart of the Stone is a difficult story to describe. It's high fantasy that steps outside of cliched genre norms to tell the story of a woman hungry for both love and truth, cast adrift in a world full of selfish deceit and manipulation. I suppose there's a certain uncomfortable truth to that: It isn't safe to assume that the things we've been taught our entire lives are true just because someone told us they are.
This is an imaginative, thought-provoking tale. Sariah is easily sympathetic, even if her need for stones sometimes felt strange or alien -- that was a part of the other worldliness of the story.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book. Melissa Reizian Frank did a very nice job with the story. She has a strong voice for story-telling.
I recommend this book (in audiobook or text format) to fantasy lovers looking for something a little outside the mold.
This is certainly one of the best fantasy audiobooks I've listened to.
It has to be the wising of the Main Shield's memory stone. Very powerful scene.
Really liked how she did Horatio Maliver.
The moment where we learn how Alista lost her eyes.
Highly recommended to all fantasy lovers.
Vivid, suspenseful and steamy!
One of the most memorable moments was the final wising at the wall. That particular scene felt cinematic with all its striking details, which highlight a thrilling denouement.
I thought the narrator's pacing was very well done, and allowed me to get wrapped up in the story in a different way than when I read the book.
There were definitely laugh out loud moments, but I think that Sariah's brand of humor is much more appealing than that. It is the witty and wry humor in this heroine that calls out to me much more.
A wonderful listen to get lost in.
Among the best and over the years I have listened to a lot since I travel by car for hours at a time.
Spoiler alert - in case you have not read the book. My favorite is the description of Kael on the quartering stone when Sariah comes to save him.
Definitely Sariah, although Mia comes in a very close second.
An action adventure fantasy that keeps you guessing.
Melissa did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life. I always get audiobooks of book I have read in book form - since I listen while I am driving it makes it easier to get into the story. I like the way that the performer did her characterizations, particularly of the New Blood and Sariah. The voices she gave them fit very closely with what I had in my mind before beginning the audiobook. It was a very enjoyable experience. Thank you!!
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