Two Minute Review: The Garden of the Stone by Victoria Strauss

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Genre: fantasy
Pages: 375
Published: 1999/2011
Source: ARC
Rating: 4/5

At the heart of the Fortress lay the Garden.

At the heart of the Garden lay the Stone.

It was a living entity of power beyond understanding-not even by the men who had used its energies to control the unGifted masses, ever since the wrenching cataclysm that shattered the union of Hand and Mind and split the world centuries ago. Then came Bron, his arrival long foretold, destined to restore the balance between Hand and Mind. But Bron had other plans. He stole the Stone...and vanished.

Now Bron's daughter Cariad, a powerful empath and skilled assassin, must follow the footsteps of a father she has never known, into the depths of the same Fortress. Waiting there is Jolyon, her father's deadly enemy, a man whose thirst for domination is matched only by his taste for blood...and who possesses the power to satisfy both appetites. Cariad must learn the secret of Jolyon's strength before it is too late. For just as her father's arrival was prophesied, so too is his return. And this time Jolyon is ready-for Bron to die.

The Garden of the Stone was sent to me as a goodreads first read. Itwas signed by Vicki Strauss.
This was a very enjoyable book. I hadn't read the first in the series but didn't need to- this one stood alone just fine. The action and pace were good. The main character was deep and had realistic and interesting flaws. At the beginning of the story, she knows she will live to see her father in the Garden. What she fails to understand is that, because of this prophecy, she will rush into danger, not realizing that she would meet her father a changed woman. Not necessarily for the worst, but different.

My only problem with the book was that the villain's character was not realized enough. I would have liked to see some of his point of view. The rest of the characters were fully realized and understanding a bit more about why he was the way he was would have rounded out the story better.
Overall, a recommended read.

This title is also just $4.99 for Nook right now, so if you feel like giving this series/author a shot, now is the cheap time to do it.

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