Magic-Price is the first book in the Crown of Stones series. I picked it up as part of a “12 days of Christmas” book buying event to support Indie authors at the end of last year — I’ve mentioned this before on the blog. Put on by Rose Montague, the gist is that Indie authors put their books up for consideration and readers commit to buying a book a day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. I participated as both a reader and a writer (my first review from the event was for The Rose Thief).
Back to The Crown of Stones: the series is set in a world where wielding magic is both addictive and comes at a great cost. Running from his past, tortured by the things he’s done and the love he’s lost because of his magic, Ian Troy lives in semi-exile from a society suspicious of his abilities. Ian himself is unwilling to use his magic but, when it’s reawakened, he’s unable to resist it.
I devoured this epic fantasy, consuming it much faster than my normal plodding reading pace. It’s engrossing and enticingly adult, with a seam of darkness running throughout. The characters are rich and multidimensional, and felt so real. The story had a great balance of action and intrigue interwoven with deeper themes.
One of the things I love about the story is that not everything is tied off in a nice bow at the end, much like life. It raises the question: how do you deal with a power that can save lives but comes as a great cost to yourself and others? And how do you answer a question like that in one book…maybe over the course of the series.