19.5.15

Stones and Finger Bones (The Black Towers #1) by Jessica Minyard

Stones and Finger Bones (The Black Towers #1) by Jessica Minyard

Goodreads Synopsis
Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.

Until the night she loses everything.

Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.

But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.

They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.

And if necessary, to destroy her.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love fantasy novels, especially ones that include magic. This one had the promise of both and while we only saw a little bit of magic, I am sure we will see more in the rest of the series. However, I was still a teensy bit disappointed with the book.

Aurelia was a great character -- sometimes. She was headstrong and knows how to play the political game of the kingdom, which will be very useful, especially in the next novel. However, she didn't question Rycen at all really and even though she was questioning him, she still let him take her away at various points without giving her actual answers. That confused me because (1) she is a princess and her father had just been murdered so she should not go off anywhere with some random guy just because he is hot and (2) he drugged and kidnapped her and she is just kind of like well that's cool where are we heading? It seemed farfetched to me that she wouldn't have put up more of a fight after she was in the woods considering how scrappy she was when Rycen was first in the process of kidnapping her. Otherwise, she was a good character and the only reason I enjoyed the story. I am excited to see how she will grow and how her magic will develop.

I was hoping for more though. More plot, more time spent developing characters, more everything but we didn't get it. There was a lot of foundation of what is to come, but it is basic building blocks and not much more. I feel like I missed out on something vital because there was no travelogue, which as much as I hate, would have been helpful here. It definitely would have helped explain the budding relationship between Rycen and Aurelia because it went from 0-100 real quick in my opinion because there was barely any mention of it throughout the novel.

There were some plot points that I don't think I really understood and I don't know if it was because I wasn't paying close enough attention or if they weren't explained. But I'm going to say it was the latter. The entire temple scene made zero sense to me because it felt really rushed. I wasn't quite sure how Kostadin appeared there and how he wasn't tied to Marel even though his "pet" was. All of the pieces to that puzzle are still extremely scattered to the point I don't even have the edges put together. The other thing that confused me was the bromance between Marel and Einar at the end of the novel since there was so much tension between them. I do hope Carra gets the hell out of dodge because she is not going to survive the tug between the two.

Overall: 3.5/5. Interesting start but choppy plot made it difficult to follow the progression of the story and what will happen next.

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