- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 4207 KB
- Print Length: 366 pages
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00L5JN5SE
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #451,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Ruins on Stone Hill (Heroes of Ravenford Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
There are four heroes, a Halfling, more than capable of slitting the throats of monsters twenty times his size by using his brain, a human, an elf, and a gnome. The challenge is to protect Ravenford from the numerous assorted villains. How the heroes attempt it, and whether they succeed… read it and see, but if you’re in charge of the cooking, send somebody out for a pizza.
I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
The book reminded me of Dungeons and Dragons (which I will admit I played once or twice many, many years ago). But Spirit brought the characters to life with wit and humor.
I saw some reviewers wished for more romance, but I thought The Ruins on Stone Hill was exactly as advertised—a fantasy adventure. Much like Tolkien, Spirit does not concentrate on romance, although there are few hints of it here and there. That suited me just fine; I didn’t feel romance would add anything to the story.
Another reviewer mentioned the lack of strong female characters. Now I am a big fan of books with strong lead female characters. But to be honest, I prefer that type of book when written by a female author. I had no problem with any of Spirit’s female characters—they weren’t simpering, wimpy idiots by any means. They simply weren’t a part of the band of warriors (his main characters). I didn’t miss having a woman in the warrior group. His characters, male and female, were rich and multi-dimensional.
At times, I felt the word choice and speech patterns were inconsistent with the medieval fantasy setting, but overall this didn’t detract from the engaging story. He hooked me enough to want to read the rest of the series. (And as busy as I am, that’s saying a lot!)
If you like clean, action, fantasy adventure with elves, wizards, orcs, and a variety of other less familiar fantastical creatures, you’ll love this book.
To me, fantasy novels offer the potential of placing a hero (male or female) on a quest that we as readers can identify with, allowing us to cheer those heroes on and celebrate when obstacles are overcome. The quest should involve something of moral or ethical value. A grail. The destruction of an object that could allow the baddest guy around to rule the world. Something worth fighting and dying for. In this book, the first quest to map a keep and potentially recover a scroll for a probably good wizard is taken on with a promise of payment in the end. To me, money doesn’t quite meet my criteria for a quest.
In addition, there doesn’t seem to be much of a plot. Jumping from one adventure to the next, with little or no connection between them (save for the fact the two most important people in the town—the mayor and the wizard—are the ones sending them out) does not a plot make. Which leaves me thinking that the only plot in this is what it takes to pull this group together. And for a story about adventures, we sure skipped the third one fast. They started out, and then they were home again.
As a woman and a writer of fantasy myself, I found the stereotypes of the few female characters a bit too much to handle. Kailay, the barmaid at the local establishment, has doe-eyes for Lloyd, the big, strong, handsome human in the group. She is “buxom” and referred to twice in three paragraphs as she is introduced as a “young girl.” That really got to me. She’s not a child (I hope). And then, when Kailay recognizes that Lloyd has eyes for another, she completely falls apart. Be still my feminist heart (and mouth). Three other women of minor prominence have equally boxed-in roles—all of them noble, beautiful, well-educated and practically perfect. And then there’s the half-human, half-orc warrior woman who shows up briefly, fights valiantly (a little Xena warrior princess there), but, being on the wrong side, cannot be allowed to survive. Now, she was interesting.
On the picky side, I found some of the language to be a little too modern. To me, a fantasy set in a typically semi-medieval world should watch the modern clichés and metaphors. I was jarred out of the story several times with phrases such as “picture perfect” (which to me implies a camera being involved somewhere).
The story, as I already said was very fascinating. I got to meet creatures of different natures binding together to work together for the good of all. In a world populated by the good and the bad, where the bad is constantly looking for ways to do the good in, it was a pleasure to see how these creatures, both big and small, humans included, combined and complemented their different skills to root out evil. I was warmed mostly by how Seth was always the one that dispatched the wizards. These dark spirits never saw him coming.
I enjoyed the read, even if I would have liked the story to be compressed a bit to shorten it. In other words; say what you have to say without stretching the story.
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