C.L. Schneider – Magic-Price (The Crown of Stones #1) Review

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Ian Troy is a skilled warrior and has magic he can wield but with dire consequences.  His magic requires him to draw energy from any living form around him, human, animal or plant life.  In a fierce battle that cannot be won he makes a choice that he knows will cause damage he cannot undo and will have ramifications he will not be able to escape.  The once wide and vast forest that separated the cities is now a dead and unforgiving desert after Troy used magic to put a stop to the war.  This is Troy’s past and the reason he is a broken and tortured man who feels the weight of the magic he has given into.  Ten years have passed and he’s left magic behind, it’s too dangerous to consider using again but the choice to use magic again will made for him.  C.L. has created the wonderful world of Mirra’kelan that I immediately feel into when I read the prologue and as the chapters flew by I found myself really liking this character.  Troy is brash, sarcastic, witty and broken, all characteristics I can relate to and this makes him easy to connect with.

The variety of magic in the Crown of Stones is really unique and I loved discovering all the various spells and being a fan of fantasy books for as long as I can remember I was excited to see magic spells that I’ve never seen before.  The creativity of Mirra’kelan is unlike any I’ve encountered before, there are various cities all with rich history that make up this realm.  The desert separates Langor in the north from Rella along the south with Keal far to the east and Kabri has been built on an island of the southern coast.  The world of the restless lands is wide and wonderfully constructed, each race has its own place and they all struggle to survive after the war from ten years ago.  Ian along with his companions Jarryd and king Malaq must retrieve the crown of stones to avoid another war that will end at least one of the races.  The Langorians will stop at nothing to turn all Shinree like Troy in to slaves again and rule the entire realm.

C.L. has given us a multi-layered story that is revealed to us as Troy learns the history of the Langorians, the Rellans, the Kabri and his own race, the Shinree.  At every turn Troy finds what he thought was truth is just another well disguised lie, a lie designed to crush his spirit.  But it’s more than lies he will discover, his true personal history and with it more despair than he thought possible.  The Crown of Stones Magic-price has good vs. evil, deceit, lies, tricks and anguish in a character that I haven’t felt before.  I could feel the torture, sadness, and desperation Ian felt in his decisions.  Troy must prevail through an endless number of personal struggles and trials to save more than just himself, he is on a quest to save all the races and set right the wrongs.  The fantasy world C.L. Schneider gives us is nothing short of great and a real treat for me as I return to the genre I haven’t read in a very long time.  The world created felt very real with vivid descriptions and emotions in our characters that I could feel.  The story moves quickly and the fighting is excellently described and as I finished Magic-price and didn’t look back, I closed the book and immediately opened Magic-scars to continue the adventure.

Rating 4.5/5

Book Info

Length:  503 Pages

Release date:  January 4, 2014

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races.

Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price.

A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end.

With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.

Magic-Price is the first installment in The Crown of Stones trilogy.

C.L. Schneider, biography

Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river,I grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. My first, full-length novel took shape while I was still in high school, on a typewriter in my parent’s living room. My main focus is adult epic fantasy, but I also dabble in urban fantasy, and the occasional science fiction or post-apocalyptic story.

Though I have been writing all my life, The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price is my first published novel. Magic-Scars, the second book in the trilogy, was released early this year. I am currently hard at work on the third and final installment in the trilogy.

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