I had heard good things, from a fellow book blogger, about novella A Reaper of Stone by Mark Gelineau and Joe King. So much so that I downloaded the first and second book from this new fantasy series, and then returned for two more books based in the same fantasy world.
Lady Lliane of Last Dawn has died and with this death her noble line ends. Now across the marches comes the King’s Reaper with a host of knights and engineers to claim the late Lady’s land for a new lord and to pull down the ancient keep; an unwanted reminder of the old world. The King’s Reaper, Elinor, is clear about her duty – the old must full to herald in the new. However in this land, out on the fringes of the kingdom of Aedaron, the old magic and tradition is still alive and Elinor finds herself dangerously drawn to it.
Elinor is a strong, brave and very likeable character. We first meet her in the prologue to this tale, when she is just a young orphan, where she faces a deadly monster to prove herself in a world full of privileged and brutal nobility. In that battle and this new one Elinor is aided by Conbert; a young noble who is brave, fair and goes on to become the Royal Engineer. Elinor has worked hard against danger and prejudice to become the King’s Reaper in this new world, however it is the magic, tales and traditions of the old world which inspired her. I found I backed Elinor in her rebellion and it wasn’t hard when the new lord and his head henchmen are so very horrid.
Mark Gelineau and Joe King are both new authors for me however I found their style comfortable, engaging and highly readable that I sped through this novella as if I’d always been reading them. I love how Gelineau and King say they came together to write this set of series in homage to all the classic, epic fantasy tales and great heroes of their childhood. For such a short book I was pleasantly surprised by how they managed to give the story that epic fantasy feel. With a well built world and magic system that had a sense of age to it and good character description and development. My only criticism would be that I wanted more! Luckily for me I have three more books from the kingdom of Aedaron waiting on my Kindle for me.
A Reaper of Stone was a quick and engaging fantasy read for me and I look forward to reading Broken Banners next – I doubt I’ll wait too long to pick it up. Good read.
Thank you to the authors for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read this? Any other fantasy novellas you’ve enjoyed?