Review of The Stone Kingdom by Danielle Shipley

2 09 2013

I was lucky enough to get an eARC of Danielle Shipley’s second novella in the Wilderhark Tales, and I simply ADORED it! Fantasy buffs will go nuts for The Stone Kingdom!

Stone Kingdom Cover, front Finished: August 31st, 2013
Published: September 20th 2013 by Ever On Word
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
POV: Third Person
Number of Pages: 179

““Love and prince,
Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;
For blood begins,
But naught can be put right by blood alone.”

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

The Stone Kingdom
Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales

~ ~

An enchantress’s curse turns a spoiled royal into a beast; a princess’s pricked finger places her under a hundred-year spell; bales of straw are spun as golden as the singing harp whisked down a giant beanstalk – all within sight of Wilderhark, the forest that’s seen it all.

You’ve heard the stories – of young men scaling rope-like braids to assist the tower-bound damsel; of gorgeous gowns appearing just in time for a midnight ball; of frog princes, and swan princes,and princes saved from drowning by maidens of the sea. Tales of magic. Tales of adventure. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew them as fairytales. Know them now as Wilderhark’s.”

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THE STONE KINGDOM was a whimsical tale filled with romance, adventure, and a twist on many well known fairytales. As I read, I kept silently pointing out all the different fairytale references. From Rapunzel to Sleeping Beauty with hints of Cinderella, this book was full of them! I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy the ending as much as the first one, but the story itself was a fun read! And the fact that it was a fairytale book had me hooked!

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THere were only two amin characters throughtout the book with a few minor princes, so I’ll focus on the two MCs.

Rosalba: She’s a princess who was unlucky enough to be cursed by the witch who cursed her mother. Much like the SLeeping Beauty story, she was cursed on her christening to have somethnig terrible happen on her 15th birthday. Poor Rosalba takes her curse in stride and is determined to break it and save her family and kingdom from their stoney prisons. She takes her duty her kingdom very seriously and puts her own feelings aside in order to save them.

Edgwyn: He’s a lawyer turned tailor/dress maker and is the one who befell the stone kingdom and found Rosalba trapped in a tower. He helped her down and promised to help her find a prince to break the spell on her kingdom. He’s kind and a bit flirtatious but knows his place with her. He puts aside his own feelings in order to help her, even if it means watching his lovem arry another man. He’s very noble and charming. 😉

The Princes: The two princes that Rosalba comes across are both very different. One of them has a crazy mother who tries to use the Princess and the Pea trick on Rosalba *(spoiler: she didn’t feel the pea) and because the mother said no, he didn’t fight back. He was a real Mama’s boy who didn’t have his own balls. THe other prince was pretty much a playboy. He fell for Rosalba when she entered his ball (much like Cinderella) but he refused to marry her right away at her own kingdom, caring more abouth is pride than helping the distressed princess.

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Rosalba is cursed at her christening, where it is said that on her 15th birthday a that something terrible would happen. As it turns out, that curse was to have the entire kingdom trapped in stone for 100 years. I loved the whole idea of the curse. The witch didn’t just put the curse on her because she was evil, but because she was angry that Queen Ursula didn’t so much as invite her to the princess’s christening after she used magic to help the Queen conceive the child. I can understand her anger and she did make teh curse somewhat painless. Instead of being trapped for 100 years and feeling it, the curse made it seem like only a few minutes had passed instead of 100 years. That’s what I call nice.

So anyways, the adventure and story kept me reading as Rosalba tried to find a prince ton help her break the curse while ignoring her feelings for Edgwyn. It was refreshign to see the characters interacting with different courts and people (which did not happen much in the first book).

The only thing I have mixed feelings about is the ending. I mean, I liked the ending but it didn’t have the OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED type of ending that the first book had. The ending seemed a little fast for me (then again it was a novella), but I think the rest of the book made up for it.

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THE STONE KINGDOM was a fast, wonderful read that fantasy lovers and fairytale lovers will simply enjoy! I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!

4 stars

Support the author and buy the book wherever books are sold (or borrow it from your library).




2 responses

2 09 2013

Yaaaaay, you liked it! ^.^ I didn’t figure the conclusion would shock an expert ending-guesser like yourself, but this particular story is far more about the “getting there” than the destination, so I’m very glad to hear you enjoyed the journey!

3 09 2013

That makes more sense! Thr journey was the best part!

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