3 out of 4 stars
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Here comes a tale where readers can find centaurs, cyclops, fauns, and one Duende girl who is trying to fulfill the destiny she’s been given. The Stone of Mercy by M.J. Evans is the first in the young adult fantasy series, The Centaur Chronicles.
There is a legend that predicts the future ruler of Crystonia will wear the infamous Silver Breastplate and sit upon the throne of Mount Heilodius. This ruler will help heal the torn apart kingdom, bringing together the broken Centaurs, the harsh Cyclops, the enslaved Fauns, and peace once and for all.
Sixteen-year-old Carling had no desire in being more than what she was, living with her parents in Duenton. However, one heroic act from this little Duende has led to a domino effect on her path in life, and now she must fulfill her destiny of wearing the Silver Breastplate. Along with her best friend, Higson, and two Centaurs, Tibbals and Tandum, she embarks on a journey to collect the first stone on the breastplate, the stone of mercy. However, there are several obstacles along the way. Will she and her companions be able to find the stone while keeping true to their hearts?
Written in the viewpoints of several characters, the reader is able to follow the main characters and their inner thoughts. Though this is true, the reader only truly gets to know Carling. By far, she is given the most background and development, and albeit her incessant crying, she is still a very likable character. Even though most of the other characters are one-dimensional, the author clearly shows who readers should be sympathizing with and those who shouldn’t.
For most of the book, there were several bursts of low-action scenes, creating a steady flow throughout. There wasn’t a clear climax and the action scenes were not fully described, but I still found myself entertained and happy to continue reading each time I picked up the book.
The biggest theme here is mercy, hence the title. Carling is the one who shows the most mercy, even to the ones who treated her and her fellow friends poorly. Another major theme is friendship. Carling, Higson, Tibbals, and Tandum work together to not only to find the stone of mercy, but through many trials and unkind creatures.
There were a handful of errors, but they were not very distracting. Overall, the book could use a bit more action and some more character development, but as I have said, I still really enjoyed The Stone of Mercy. Therefore, I grant this read a 3 out of 4 stars and recommend it to those who enjoy low-action fantasies where one girl is trying to fulfill her predestined path in life.
The Stone of Mercy
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