Monday, January 19, 2015

Stonehill Downs by Sarah Remy | Fantasy Book Review

Mulluane | Monday, January 19, 2015 | Be the first to comment!

Malachi is the last of his kind—a magus who can communicate with the dead, and who relies on the help of spirits to keep his kingdom safe. When he's sent to investigate brutal murders in the isolated village of Stonehill Downs, he uncovers dangerous sorceries and unleashes a killer who strikes close to home.

Avani is an outsider living on the Downs, one of the few survivors from the Sunken Islands. She has innate magics of her own, and when she discovers the mutilated bodies of the first victims, she enters into a reluctant alliance with Malachi that takes her far from home.

But Mal is distracted by the suspicious death of his mentor and haunted by secrets from his past. And Avani discovers troubling truths about the magus through her visions. She could free Malachi, but first they must work together to save the kingdom from the lethal horror that has arisen.

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Stonehill Downs by Sarah Remy | Fantasy Book Review

| Source: Requested From Netgalley
| Author: Sarah Remy
| Genre: Epic Fantasy
| Content: Necromancy, Ghosts, Magic, Mystery
| ISBN-10: 0062383434
| ISBN-13: 9780062383433
| Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (December 30, 2014)
| Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
| Rating: 3/5 Stars
| Affiliate Links:
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Stonehill Downs

♥ Mini Review ♥
This is a story of two souls who were tailor made for each other. Though if you were to ask them, they would vehemently disagree. One is Malachi, who is the last known magus. A man who deals with the spirits of the dead. Then there is Avani who is a refugee witch, a loner and who, as it happens, can see both ghosts and visions.

Together they must fight off a great evil. One that threatens their kingdom. But first they must discover its source.

Fantasy Book Review by Mulluane

♦ My Thoughts. Sometimes it is hard to write a review of a good book. One that is not great but one that is not horrible either.

When you loved, or hated, the book you can't wait to pour out your feelings, impressions, accolades or complaints. There is passion involved. That passion gives your words wings.

This is a good book by a talented author. In my opinion, an author worth watching, but it isn't a book that elicited much excitement for me. Instead it was a laid back sort of read. One you might chose if you are not in the mood for a complicated, multilayered Epic Fantasy.

♦ What I Liked. This story tries to be several things and while it is focused on one thing or another, it does them extremely well.

When it is focused on being character driven, the characters come to life. Worldbuilding, for the most part, is the same. When the focus is on the plot, the story is mysterious, chilling, and riveting.

Ghostly companions, witchly familiars, gruesome murders and 2 unlikely detectives must find the source! via @mulluane

♦ What I didn't like. What this story doesn't do is combine all of that wonderful focus into a seamless story. It was alot like trying to take in a panoramic view. You never know where to focus your attention. And the sad thing is, I ended up wishing for more answers than I got.

The characters were great but incomplete. I got a taste of who they were and where they came from but only a taste. Why is Malachi the last of his kind. And how did he end up with his ghostly companion. Why is Avani all alone. She survived the destruction of her homeland at an age that was too young to have completed training in her craft. However, even though there are other survivors of her race, she lives apart. What is her raven and why does it spend so much time watching over everybody but her.

I got a glimpse of their world. Enough of one that I was intrigued but only a glimpse. I wanted to know so much more. What exactly happened to Avani's homeland. How do the local religious beliefs mesh with the practice of necromancy. What are the social, economic, and cultural traditions of this civilization. What is its history. The list goes on.

It is even possible that some of the answers were there but due to the way the focus kept shifting, I lost track. Often concepts -- like religious icons for example -- need to be subtly reinforced from time to time. That way you can stay in the moment without thumbing back through the chapters trying to remember what god was mentioned where or what tenet of faith is being applied currently.

It left me feeling a bit disconnected at times.

♦ Conclusion. In a way, the fact that I wanted so much more from this story is a compliment to the author. She did create characters and a world I was interested in. The ending was every bit as surprising as I had hoped. Once it is all said and done, I look forward to reading more of her stories.

Like I said. This is an author to watch...

Ratings, Reviews, Similar Reads, Buy Books, Affiliate Links

Kindle: Stonehill Downs

Audible: No

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Amazon: US ~ UK ~ Canada

About the Author:

In 1994 Sarah Remy earned a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Pomona College in California. Since then she’s been employed as a receptionist at a high-powered brokerage firm, managed a boutique bookstore, read television scripts for a small production company, and, more recently, worked playground duty at the local elementary school.

When she’s not taking the service industry by storm, she’s writing fantasy and science fiction. Sarah likes her fantasy worlds gritty, her characters diverse and fallible, and she doesn’t believe every protagonist deserves a happy ending.

Before joining the Harper Voyager family, she published with EDGE, Reuts, and Madison Place Press.

Sarah lives in Washington State with plenty of animals and people, both. In her limited spare time she rides horses, rehabs her old home, and supervises a chaotic household. She can talk to you endlessly about Sherlock Holmes, World of Warcraft, and backyard chicken husbandry, and she’s been a member of one of Robin Hobb’s longest-running online fan clubs since 2002.

On The Web: Website ~ Blog ~ Twitter ~ Tumblr

Already read the book? Please share your own opinion in the comments below!

Fantasy Book Review of Stonehill Downs by Sarah Remy
Reviewed by Mulluane on January 19 2015
Rating: 3 of 5

Mulluane is a 55-year-old proud grandmother of 4, who is passionate about her pets, blogging, traditional fantasy, and tinkering with webdesign. She is obssesively photo shy but she uses an avatar that accurately represents her dreams. ♥ You can also find her on:

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

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