"This was an excellent novel of magic and adventure..."
In another time and another place, men are called upon
to sacrifice their lives to feed huge blocks of stone,
giving their spirits to keep the land alive. One of these
men is Nathan who is forced into this role through threats
against his family. The child he would have married when
she was grown rescues him from completely forgetting his
past, allowing him to step into the stone as "the One".
Someday there will be a woman called a shroud, born with
caul over part of her face who will hold the key to
wakening these sleeping warriors when the need is great.
Many generations later Bree is shroud born. Another man
wants her, but it is the stones she turns to for
protection. Too many of her people have died through plague
and the worship of the stones is dying now. Outsiders have
combined with a new force in the land that promises to make
the land fertile again when all the stones have been
destroyed. But it is the stones that give the land its
strength and when the last one is down, the goddess Hertha
will die and her evil brother Blight will rule the land of
Skye and it will be winter forever. It is up to Bree,
Nathan, and a host of others to fulfill the promise of the
stones and save Skye for future generations.
A mixture of ancient legends, including those of the
faery, Stonehenge, and others, WITHIN THE SHADOW OF STONE
is a thoughtful and well-written piece of fantasy
literature. It combines so many ideas together that it
occasionally becomes a bit overwhelming, but there is a lot
of adventure laced with humor to make up for that. The
characters, particularly Bree, Nathan, and an otherworldly
creature named Rowen are well developed and there are many
minor characters to add flavor to the story. This was an
excellent novel of magic and adventure with a budding love
story to hold it together.
Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted April 1, 2004