Stones of Light Review

E-ARC, 356 Pages
Adult/ Fantasy
By: Zack Argyle

โ€œThe only difference between the living and the dead is that the dead are done changing. The moment you die, your life and your legacy are fixed in stone. He told me that the best way to grieve the dead is by using the gift of life to make yourself a better man.โ€

If you talk to my friend David, he would tell you that I never give 5 stars rating. And if you check Goodreads you will see that I read 677 books up to the moment I am writing this and I gave 55 books of these 5 stars which is 8%. (Including the 4.5 stars that I round up) I think it is a pretty good percentage and I confess that I am not the easiest to please but the reason I don’t give 5 stars easily is because I save it for books like Stones of Light that I think are perfect or as close to that as possible.

As I mentioned in my previous review, the reason why my interest in this series increased is the cover change it got and specially the cover of this book. I am in love with the style, the colors and that cool chromawolf on the cover. It even enhances an already good story in my opinion. So hats off to ร–mer Burak ร–nal who is the cover illustrator. I can’t wait to see the cover of book three and I think it is gonna be Alverax cover so I am very excited for that!

I don’t want to get into the traditional publishing VS self publishing discussion. I am a big supporter of self published books and many of my 5 stars are for books belonging to this category. I think it is up to authors to publish whatever way they see fit but readers who don’t read self-published books are really missing out a lot of hidden gems! I also mentioned in my last review that this is a simple book and I meant it as a praise because the story is complex and it certainly has a depth into it but I meant that the way it was presented makes it easy and simple to read so kudos for Argyle for achieving that!

“Accept it or not,” the old man replied. “Truth is not dependent on your acceptance of it.

Guys, I am in love with Argyle’s writing! I am not kidding but this is one of the books that I highlighted the most paragraphs in -Specially given the fact that it is under 400 pages-. I think the way things are presented or foreshadowed and even how we get to discover the world is very smart and the prose is beautiful. I don’t know how to explain this but there were some really nice quotes, some wisdom there without being preachy and without going purple. I am gonna add more quotes to this review and I think you will understand what I mean then.

I am gonna dive into the character section next and I think it will contain spoiler for the first book so if you haven’t read it skip this section if you don’t wanna be spoiled! But in short, I loved the characters growth in this book, I loved how they started in book 1 and ended by the end of it and then change again in this book. The story still retains the three main point of views but we also got some minor views such as Iriel, Alabella, Luther and others.

โ€œChrys was a husband, a father, a threadweaver, a warrior, but in each of these things he had fallen short.โ€

๐Ÿ’‰ Chrys: The way book one ended Chrys was left the total opposite of what we know him as. Controlled by the Apogee, going berserk and unable to protect what he cares for! So there were a lot of challenges for Chrys in this book from the beginning and he continues to grow throughout this book. There was a certain moment that had a lot of build up but felt underwhelming to me when it happened because I expected it to pack an emotional punch but it kind of didn’t!

โ€œ No one is made for motherhood. Motherhood is made for you. Some of us aren’t so lucky. โ€

๐Ÿ’‰ Iriel: We get more characters to discover in this book and Iriel was one of the best POVs added. With a new born baby, a husband that disappeared and death threats to her family, Iriel is not having an easy time. I liked how humane and nice she was and she is like a mother figure to Alverax which I thought was very cute! We also see her get into the action in this one and see that she is a real badass!

Alverax smirked. โ€œTo be fair, my irises are black, not my soul.โ€โ€œEyes are the windows to the soul, are they not?โ€โ€œNot mine. My lips are my windows.โ€

๐Ÿ’‰Alverax: I love Alverax and he gets to shine more in this book, I think he is kind of traumatized from his childhood and he is trying to do better. There were very heart-melting moments for him in this book and I am most certainly invested in his story line! Don’t you dare Zack!

“Accept it or not,” the old man replied. “Truth is not dependent on your acceptance of it.

๐Ÿ’‰ Laurel: I felt sad for her after the events of the last book, she kind of find herself in a moral dilemma in this book but she refuses to give up, our hot-blooded girl certainly has more tricks up her sleeve and she is as cool as ever! Also she has the best Chromawolf in the world so what more can she ask for!

” There will always be casualties in the path that leads to greatnessโ€”I know this. I only hoped that there would be less.”

๐Ÿ’‰ Alabella: I am mentioning her because I really liked the fact that it is not good vs bad guys kind of story and that Alabella is convinced she is doing the right thing for the greater good, it makes things very interesting in my opinion!

Argyle took a page out of Daft Punk’s book and made this book harder, better, faster, stronger that it is predecessor. The world building gets much more explored, many things get an explanation and the magic system despite its simplicity proves to be wonderful and creative! Even the title of the book makes much more sense now that I think about it.

I did not have problems with the pacing of the last book although I can understand the risk the author has taken when introducing a certain character late. In this one, things were much more balanced, it was fast and there were surprises and explanations and myths explored throughout the book so there were no dull moments. The second half has more chapters so it may give the illusion of being faster but I thought it was perfectly based!

I don’t think I have criticism this time, many of the things that I wished would happen already happened and everything else I really enjoyed. I thought this was a duology but it is a trilogy which before reading this made me kind of sad (We need more duologies in the bookish world) but after finishing the book makes me super excited because I want more of this world. The problem is that I have high expectations now and I really want book three to keep the level of this one or even top it. The author tweeted that book three will be more epic and I can’t imagine how things will go but I know I am super excited for it!

โ€œMocking othersโ€™ appearance is the lowest form of humor. If a man is cruel, speak of his cruelty. If a man is vain, speak of his vanity. Physicality plays no part in the morality of men.โ€

Summary: I really enjoyed Stones of Light and I am so glad I was one of its first readers. I loved the writing and I wished my family members were readers because I wanted to gush to someone about it but couldn’t. Most of the characters are left the opposite of what we knew them in the first book so it was great seeing what will do in this book and they all showed immense growth. The plot and pacing and the stakes were bigger in this one. I don’t have criticism and that’s why it deserved its place on my 5 stars shelf. I can’t wait for book three and I hope it lives up to my expectations.

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