Book Review: Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn

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Fraction of Stone by Kelley Lynn

Series: The Fraction Series, #1 

Publication: March 21st 2013

by Sapphire Star Publishing 

Genre: YA Fantasy

 

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Fraction of StoneFraction of Stone
Kelley Lynn
Sapphire Star Publishing, March 2013
ISBN 9781938404375
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

There is only one among the Tarmack nation with the ability to wield magic, eighteen-year-old Rydan Gale. He lives like a prince, cherished for his talent to bend the fabric of the universe to his will. In the war against the Liasam, he is their ultimate weapon. 

The Liasam have a source of magic as well, but Akara’s mastery of her power is rudimentary at best. With a brilliant display of fire-rain Rydan’s side wins the war, giving the Tarmack sole control over dwindling resources due to the natural disasters ripping apart the earth. 

When Akara is sentenced to death, Rydan questions the motive, and discovers the leaders of the newly unified nation fear magic above all else. With war a memory, his skills no longer needed, Rydan suspects he is next. Throwing away every comfort, he pulls Akara from the flames of her execution and their lives as fugitives begin. 

Both have a tattoo on the back of their neck, the mark of an extinguished tribe. They discover the natural disasters plaguing the world are due to the tribe’s demise and only Rydan and Akara can save the crumbling world.

But the greatest obstacle for saving mankind isn’t the bizarre creatures and determined men hunting them.

It’s that Akara doesn’t believe the world is worth saving.

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Imagine a tale of two warring kingdoms that each have “possession” of a wielder of magic. Imagine also that one of those magicians, for lack of a better word, is hailed as a conquering hero while the other is no more than a weapon held prisoner for years and forced to do the bidding of her king. Akara has been enslaved for so long she doesn’t even know how old she is and certainly has little desire to keep living. Little wonder, then, that she sees no real value in ending the natural disasters that are tearing the world apart while Rydan has been so sheltered that he has trouble believing how evil people can be.

And then an old man named Phemedes tells Akara and Rydan who they really are.

I like these two very much. Rydan made me laugh when he starts out the morning feeling “important”, “in charge”, “destined to be the saving sorcerer” but a few hours later is feeling not so “high and mighty”. He made me tear up when he came to an understanding of just why Akara is so different from him even though they share the ability to do magic. I felt a small sense of what Akara had lost in her seventeen years when Rydan begins to call her Kara and she has no idea what a nickname is; I felt her vulnerability when she realizes that she’s no longer alone against the world. I also found the secondary characters to be well fleshed out although I would have liked to know more about Phemedes.

The mission ahead of this pair of teens is formidable. Will they succeed or will humanity’s foolishness get in the way once again and forevermore?

There are some construction failings in this novel, primarily a lot of incomplete sentences and the occasional odd word choice, but these did not prevent me from enjoying the story. They did, however, disrupt my reading, the flow of Ms. Lynn’s prose, but more rigorous editing would correct those problems in future books. Despite these issues, I really was intrigued by the concept behind the story, especially the idea that the only two people who can save the world from disaster may not want to. It’s refreshing to have protagonists who don’t rush off willy-nilly to fix things.

The all-important worldbuilding is lacking—I never could get a good handle on the geography of the kingdoms or when this all takes place although it seems to be medieval in nature. Hopefully, the next book will offer more of the elements needed that will allow the reader’s imagination to take flight. On the other hand, thanks to the gods, there’s no insta-love.

All in all, while there are flaws in Fraction of Stone, Ms. Lynn has created the beginnings of an entertaining saga and readers will be looking forward to the next book in the series.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, March 2013.

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Author Information

Kelley LynnDuring Kelley Lynn’s last year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, while pursuing her degree in Chemical Engineering, the voices in her head got the best of her. Surprisingly, they didn’t want to talk about process flow diagrams and heat capacity. They preferred the fantastical. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote.

Come graduation, not only did Kelley have a diploma and, thankfully, a wonderful job, but she had a new obsession as well. Amidst the order and exactness that came with the nine to five, Kelley found a way to create; to determine the rules of a world and take her characters to the limits of what was possible. Perhaps she has a slight control complex.

The first in the series, Fraction of Stone, was born on an airplane and took ten days to write. It probes the question, should the world be saved if there’s no one in it worth saving?

When briefly managing to quiet the voices, Kelley participates in softball, soccer and volleyball. (You probably don’t want her on your volleyball team. Unless you want to laugh.) She lives with her sister and her dog who can attest to the chair that has Kelley’s butt print permanently pressed into it. Depending on the weekend, you might be able to hear Kelley sing for an area classic rock band.

Kelley Lynn is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

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