Tuesday, 20 September 2016



by C.L. Schneider

5 out of 5

He’s paid for his addiction. He’s been scarred by his spells.
He’s borne magic’s weight, its pleasure, and its guilt.
But will he surrender to it when the realm needs him most?

In one fell swoop, the resistance was shattered. Lives were taken. Hope was lost. Peace slipped like grains of sand through his fingers. So did the Crown of Stones. Now, forced into hiding, Ian Troy grapples for a way to save the realm—and free its people—from the sadistic clutches of Jem Reth; Mirra’kelan’s new self-appointed emperor. Plagued with the knowledge of a tragic future, he strives to influence events and save those he cares for. But his magic has betrayed him, and Fate has other plans.

Marked by the crown, hindered by the transformation spell contained within, each cast brings Ian one step closer to becoming more beast than man. Each move brings the death and destruction foretold in his vision inexplicably nearer. With Langor on the brink of war, and King Malaq’s plan for peace hanging in the balance, Ian returns to the ancient past; seeking an end to the eldring spell and a means to thwart Jem’s growing domination. What he finds there sets off a chain of revelations that leads Ian places he never thought to go.

Entrusted with the future of his race, Ian becomes the linchpin for lasting change. But how much weight can one man carry? And how much is he willing to sacrifice in the name of peace?

After journeying the length and breadth of Mirra’kelan, seeking to stop his father's tyranny and destroy the Crown of Stones, Ian Troy finally faces his Fate.

Everything has to come to an end, including the Crown of Stones trilogy.
I have made no secret over how much I love this series - it just works. 
If you love just one aspect of fantasy; magic; betrayal; politics; history; hurt by love; power of friendship... you need to get these books.

It is a high fantasy setting, with everything you would expect, a world full of magic and adventure, somewhere your imagination can escape to. But it's the vibrant characters that really bring it to life. And my favourite part, that there is always a surprise around the corner.

OK, so a review of Magic-Borne, hopefully without spoilers... lord that's going to be hard.

The story gets much bigger than Troy and his issues, the whole of Mirra’kelan has to unite to fight against the new emperor that would see them all as slaves. Already thousands are oppressed, and the whole eldring race is corrupted.
New questions worm themselves into the story, as Troy realises that the past still has a part to play, and perhaps he could do even more than provide his kind with peace, he could cure them from their magic addiction.

There is a lot of observation, character development, discoveries, and characters coming to terms with what life intends to throw at them. All of this is important, but does make this book read slower than the previous two. The information given was interesting enough, but the lengthy woe-is-me atmosphere meant it wasn't as all-round amazing.
That being said, the twists in this book makes those in the rest of the trilogy dull in comparison.

Schneider is an absolute bugger for the twists and development of her stories. She throws in just enough red herrings, and a whole load of shocks. Trust me, she is going to play with your affection for these characters, and even if you think you have guessed the ultimate outcome, you will be sorely mistaken.
I have to applaud Ms. Schneider for this. Or shout at her, I haven't decided, I haven't recovered yet.

In case anyone is curious about the issues mentioned in my reviews for Magic-Price and Magic-Scars, the different nations are all still blurry, but it doesn't seem to matter in Magic-Borne. The characters that represent each nation feel real and important and very much individuals.
I know that doesn't excuse a lack of distinctness between the nations, but you almost forget about it as they come together to defeat Jem.
And y'know, I have to mention that Troy has matured in his attitude and treatment of women. Oh, there's still some pogo-stick action, but the women in this third and final part are all stepping up and proving to be leaders, fighters and heroes. Which just makes me smile.

There is a lot more that I want to say, but I really don't want to spoil anything.
If you haven't started this trilogy, stop arsing around and get Magic-Price.

Goodreads link

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