This book was ok. To me the characters were not developed enough, so there really wasn't any emotional attachment when I finished. Kind of a typical run of the mill fantasy. But it did surprise me once. It was good enough to keep my interest. A light read.
Alesia reviewed The Stone and the Maiden (House of the Pandragore, Book 1) on
The Stone and the Maiden has all the elements of a great fairy tale--a corrupt king, an evil wizard, a conniving stepsister, and, of course, a beautiful princess and a handsome soldier. Author Dennis Jones weaves an intricately threaded story around these classic characters in this action-packed tale.
The Ascendancy is rotting from the inside out. Archates, incompetent Dynast, is fearful and easily manipulated, willing to sacrifice his kingdom, his people, and even his own daughters to preserve himself. The barbarian Tathars are on the march, taking advantage of the Dynast's cowardice and slowly crushing the Ascendancy. Evil Erkai the Chain aids the Tathars with his forbidden Black Craft--the magic of death. In the middle of this desperate situation, the luminessa Mandine, uncertain heir to the Ascendancy throne, experiences a vision in which the God and Goddess instruct her to find the Signata, enigmatic tool of Deep Magic. If she succeeds, Erkai and the Tathars can be defeated. If not, the universe will be threatened by unspeakable evil. To make matters worse, Mandine's stepsister Theatana has designs on the throne and is willing to torture, kill, and dabble in the Black Craft to get it.
But never fear, our plucky heroine doesn't have to go it alone. She's got the able strength of hunky Key Brander at her side, not to mention the assistance of the mysterious forest-folk, the hemandri, and their familiars, the small dragon-like pandragore. This first fantasy novel is a terrific quest adventure and a romantic fantasy all rolled up into a delightful package--beginning Dennis Jones's House of the Pandragore series in high style--plus the complicated setup promises many sequels. --Therese Littleton