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3.3 1
Young Adult Fiction 247
Fraction of Stone
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Imagine a tale of two warring kingdoms that each have “possession” of a wielder of magic. Imagine also that one of those magicians, for lack of a better word, is hailed as a conquering hero while the other is no more than a weapon held prisoner for years and forced to do the bidding of her king. Akara has been enslaved for so long she doesn’t even know how old she is and certainly has little desire to keep living. Little wonder, then, that she sees no real value in ending the natural disasters that are tearing the world apart while Rydan has been so sheltered that he has trouble believing how evil people can be.

And then an old man named Phemedes tells Akara and Rydan who they really are.

I like these two very much. Rydan made me laugh when he starts out the morning feeling “important”, “in charge”, “destined to be the saving sorcerer” but a few hours later is feeling not so “high and mighty”. He made me tear up when he came to an understanding of just why Akara is so different from him even though they share the ability to do magic. I felt a small sense of what Akara had lost in her seventeen years when Rydan begins to call her Kara and she has no idea what a nickname is; I felt her vulnerability when she realizes that she’s no longer alone against the world. I also found the secondary characters to be well fleshed out although I would have liked to know more about Phemedes.

The mission ahead of this pair of teens is formidable. Will they succeed or will humanity’s foolishness get in the way once again and forevermore?

There are some construction failings in this novel, primarily a lot of incomplete sentences and the occasional odd word choice, but these did not prevent me from enjoying the story. They did, however, disrupt my reading, the flow of Ms. Lynn’s prose, but more rigorous editing would correct those problems in future books. Despite these issues, I really was intrigued by the concept behind the story, especially the idea that the only two people who can save the world from disaster may not want to. It’s refreshing to have protagonists who don’t rush off willy-nilly to fix things.

The all-important worldbuilding is lacking—I never could get a good handle on the geography of the kingdoms or when this all takes place although it seems to be medieval in nature. Hopefully, the next book will offer more of the elements needed that will allow the reader’s imagination to take flight. On the other hand, thanks to the gods, there’s no insta-love.

All in all, while there are flaws in Fraction of Stone, Ms. Lynn has created the beginnings of an entertaining saga and readers will be looking forward to the next book in the series.
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