Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Staff in the Stone, by Garth Nix

★★★★☆ Nice characters, fun plot

(Fantasy Thriller) The villagers find a wizard’s staff sticking out of an ancient stone obelisk, but only Colrean knows just how dangerous it is and what sort of dangers it may attract. (11,314 words; Time: 37m)

Recommended By: πŸ“™JStrahan+2 πŸ‘RHorton.r+2 πŸ‘RSR+1 (Q&A)

"The Staff in the Stone," by (edited by Gardner Dozois), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2018.646 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: Colrean’s a nice guy, very protective of the squabbling villages, kind to animals, etc. It’s so easy to love him that the scenes where he’s in danger are full of tension, particularly as he uses up his magic items one by one. The setting is interesting as well; with all the details about the magic system I’m surprised this isn’t part of a larger series.

The author does a masterful job of teaching us everything we need to know about how the world works and the backstory of the protagonist without ever inflicting an info dump on us. Well done!

By the time we reach the big conflict with Naramala, we’re eager to see Colrean’s virtue rewarded but anxious that he’s out of power, which adds enough tension to make this critical scene both fun to read and very satisfying.

He definitely earns his reward at the end, and I’d be happy to read his further adventures.

Con: Although I thoroughly enjoyed it, it didn’t touch me emotionally for some reason.

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