This is a review of Cornerstone by Kelly Walker
I gave this book 3
I got this book from Amazon in Kindle format.
Published: 1st Oct 2012
Review by: Catherine
It wasn't easy for me to decide exactly what to rate this book as I have so many mixed feelings about this book. I think if I could I would have given it 3 1/2 stars if I could. There were parts of this book I really liked but there were also parts that bugged me a little.
This story is set in an unknown time, no year or even century is given though they have a formal way of dress and formal customs of times past. The story revolves around 16 year old Emariya Warren, known to her friends as Riya. Her family holds the High Seat of the Great Council which rules over Eltar. Her brother Reeve has sat in the family seat ever since their father went missing a few years ago.
The book starts out with a scene from before Riya's 1st Birthday, the death of her mother, Lady Valencia Warren. Her mother knew what was going to happen and ordered her handmaiden to hide herself and the children into a celler and then concealed its location keeping them safe from harm. We then jump to present time and Riya's story begins.
The land known as the Three Corners is broken up into 3 areas. Thalmas, Eltar and Sheas. After the death of Lady Valencia, who was originally from Sheas, trade between the 3 areas was very limited. Sheas deciding that Eltar was to blame for her death has started to prepare for battle by having ships outside of a fjord in Eltar waiting for spring when they can land. Eltar lacks the weapons or experience to hold out for long if it does become a battle so when a letter comes from Thalmas requesting Emariya's hand in marriage to Prince Torian Ahlen of Thalmas, Reeve sees it as a wonderful opportunity to form an alliance between the 2 areas. He can gain the weapons he needs and in exchange he can send food which is needed in Thalmas.
Emariya isn't so keen on the idea of marrying some she has never met and resists the idea. When a man is found on a trade route badly injured, he is taken to a local healer. He is dying but keeps saying that he has something he has to tell Riya about her father. When Riya arrives he can barely stay awake but manages to tell her what they suspected all along, that her father was in a Sheas prison cell. When Riya finds out about this she changes her mind about the marriage seeing it as a way to get the things she needs to rescue him. She sets off almost at once with only her handmaiden Jessa and a guide and protector Khane.
On their journey they face many dangers including being shot at, and kidnapped. She also learns more about herself and discovers she is no ordinary girl, she is a stone. One family from each of the areas is given a gift and it is passed down through the family. Not only has Riya got one gift but she has 2 making her and her brother really special. When she is kidnapped she learns of a really old prophesy and begins to question Prince Torian's motives.
Lots of other things happen but I don't want to spoil the whole book.
At first I found this book a little hard to get used to especially with it jumping from formal to relaxed speech depending on if they were in the company of other people or friends. I also found it a little confusing trying to work out where all the places were but as the story went on I began to get a better idea.
The story is told from several different characters views and I found it pretty frustrating trying to work out who we were hearing from in the beginning but towards the end of the book the reason becomes clear, it adds to the mystery of who is trying to bind the lines of the stones. Although I liked most of the characters well enough by the end of the book I still didn't really feel as though I really knew any of them.
Once I got past all the little things that annoyed me, I quite liked this book. I liked where the story was going towards the end and will definitely be interested in reading the next book when it comes out in February 2013. I wouldn't say it is a must read book but it is still worth the read if you like YA Fantasy novels.
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