I received this book for free from blog tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Aurelia is the princess of her kingdom, and with her responsibilities as princess she has to wed someone her father wants for her. Not only does she want to be Queen for her people, she wants to decide things for herself. When things start to descend into chaos, she realizes she can only depend on herself because the kingdom is at stake from an unlikely enemy.
I really liked the fantasy world that Jessica built upon. Basically I imagined a renaissance era where the castles are big and drafty nestled between a valley so they’re pretty protected from invaders at almost all sides. Fantasy and magic go hand in hand and this book is no exception. I was constantly trying to figure out what their intentions were. These magic people of the world, and I still couldn’t really understand it. Different story-lines all weave together to make one cohesive story that all tie together by the end. I ended up having a lot more questions instead of getting answers. Probably my favourite part is the journey that tied Aurelia to make her own fast and hard decisions that led into a larger character arc that I admired because she always seemed to look to men for help. She seemed so lost in the beginning, but really grew a lot as the book progress. I found Rycen to be so mysterious, but at the same time he’s super annoying. I didn’t find the chemistry between them to be anything but a filler for romance which I promptly ignored. The one thing that I noticed about the dialogue was the modern day swear words when a character would be exasperated. Some of the sentences seemed to be too contemporary, and I had to take note that this was set in the past. Or at least that’s how I imagined it to be.
Overall, a good story with magic and adventure starring a girl just trying to save her kingdom from ruin and finding the strength within herself to face it.
A signed paperback of Stones and Finger Bones and 4 prints of hand painted, original character portraits.