The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price
by C.L. Schneider
Reviewed by JMD Reid
Ian Troy is haunted by his past and his abilities. He is a Shinree, a race who can use magic. But magic always comes with a price. To cast a spell, something living has to die. When Ian Troy decides to end the war between his nation, Rella, and the Langorians using the fabled artifact the Crown of Stone, magic’s price goes two far killing both armies and his lover, Queen Aylagar.
Ten years later, Troy has vowed to never use magic again. Fear and reviled as the man who killed so many people, he exists as a bounty hunter, staying on the fringes of society trying to forget his guilt. But events are moving again and Troy finds himself embroiled in a plan that will affect all the nations of the world.
Once again, Troy will be forced to use magic to protect Rella and his friends as he faces against a Shinree who wants to restore the glory of their enslaved people. A people addicted to magic fed off living creatures’ deaths.
Schneider’s writes a fast-paced plot, zooming from one catastrophe to the other as Troy has to react to the machinations of his enemy while trying to protect those around him. He fights against the call of magic, battling it like an alcoholic battling his demons. The only problem—the alcoholic doesn’t need to drink to have the power to protect Rella and those he cares for.
Schneider explores the moral question of what to do with a race of beings that has to kill living creatures to fuel their addictive magic. Especially when said magic is so useful from oracles, to healers, to soldiers capable of fighting with more skill, and even teleportation. Should they be enslaved by drugs? Set free? Or exterminated? With magic’s price so high, there are no easy answers as she explores this dilemma through the unfolding plot.
The use of first person for a fantasy novel was interesting. It is not often done, but it works great here. She keeps the book entirely from Troy’s perspective and since he is at the fulcrum of the enemy’s plans, it keeps his character right in the heart of the action. If you’re a fan of fast paced writhing, exciting action, and romantic encounters then you’ll enjoy the first in the Crown of Stone trilogy.
You can buy Crown of Stone-Magic Price from Amazon!