12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
An unlikely hero,
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This review is from: Riddle in Stone: The Riddle in Stone Series - Book One (Kindle Edition)
I stumbled upon Riddle in Stone during my wanderings on Goodreads and when I saw the cover, I just could not resist. Yes, I am ashamed to admit I still choose a book for its cover and I could never ignore a hooded cloak. And it is as well, Riddle in Stone is a fantastic debut book.
Edmund is an unlikely hero. He is not an Adonis with a six pack and smouldering eyes but a fat, middle aged and stammering ordinary man. He likes be referred as a scholar, not a librarian.
When one day, after being publicly humiliated due to his stammer, he decides he has enough of being downtrodden, ignored and used. After debating with himself, he knows it is time to go for an adventure, before it is too late, otherwise, he will regret the rest of his life. On his way, he finds an edit from the current king to search for the lost star of Iliandor, a king of old. So, Edmund starts his quest. He will brave many dangers, will experience sorrow and losses at the hand of the Undead King, the Goblin King, but he will plod on.
We find here that the goblins hate being called goblins because the name has evil vibes. They also have a dry sense of humour and are educated. The two that captured Edmund, Kravel and Gurding, are very well spoken and their feelings get hurt when Edmund does not appreciate their seemingly good nature. In fact, they remind me of the FBI ''good cop, bad cop'' routine.
Riddle in Stone is a long quest but it is also the arduous journey of one's discovery. Edmund, a bit pedantic and a coward at the beginning of the story, slowly changes as his adventure develops. He loses weight, obviously, but this is not the most important change. He becomes less selfish, even brave. He does things that terrifies him but he does them nonetheless because if he does not, then he will die. He realises that he has a strength of character that he never dreamt of. This change enables him to save Pond Scum from the mine pits and develop a strong friendship with him, thing he would not have done before his departure from Rood. I think he used to use his stammer to prevent him from doing things and have it as an excuse, but once he was out of his comfort zone, he did not lose the stammer but he could no longer hide behind it.
All along the book, Edmund talks to himself in his head. It is a different kind of narration, but one that I have enjoyed, because I am sure I would do the same, if I was going on an adventure on my own and had to make choices. Indecision, indecision and arguing in my head, just like Edmund. It was quite fun and well done.
My only criticism is that even though the story is set in another time and another realm, it does not have this feel of mystery and quest of old. It is possible that the language is too modern. There are some gory scenes too, so, be aware if you are of delicate composition. But the story is so good that this can be overlooked.
If you like fantasy, then get Riddle in Stone. It is not a stand alone book, there is a second one coming, and I will get it as soon as it comes out. After all, the quest is not yet finished.