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The Singing Stones of Rendor by Neils Knudsen

book review

The Singing Stones of Rendor by Neils Knudsen, follows a family of weavers pretending to be tinkers in order to keep their very special child, and a very important family heirloom, safe from a multitude of people that want it. Because what they hold, a tuning fork and a voice that resonates with it, is believed to be one of five forks that will change the world as they know it.

So the magic system behind this book was a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around as it’s musically based and I’m not musically inclined. At all. But from what I understood, tones, pitches and notes could all be used to weave magical strands. With those strands, you can do all sorts of things: create boundaries, hurt people, track someone. Really, there wasn’t much you couldn’t do, most people just can’t see more than one weave that corresponded with their pitch and tone. The book also mentioned things like scales and how different scales were important, which was where they lost me a bit. I wish the author had had the mother, B’tris explain all this to her son, K’las as she was teaching him, as it would have benefited the reader as well. That being said, I did find this magical system interesting.. For some reason, children are imbued; their magical abilities magically inhibited which is an unsafe practice, but necesssary, due to a previous magical war between wilders and weavers that ripped the land apart. Wilders are folk that weren’t imbued as children, and usually go mad. Weavers are allowed a certain number of tones awakened when they’re older. I found the history fascinating and reasoning behind the logic mostly sound. The ending of the book turns everything on its head and makes me wonder why that wasn’t happening to begin with. Vague, I know, but spoilers!

Now for the characters. Since this is an epic fantasy, there are a lot of them, and a lot of backstory to go with each. I thought that all of the characters were well-developed, and I kept hoping a certain one named Rat Hole would show up. Maybe he will in later books.We also get to read a lot of backstory, and the only one I found a bit unnecessary was A’Wyn’s. Sure, it made me sympathize with her a little bit, but overall, it didn’t add much to the story. I liked seeing K’Las grow up surrounded by two parents that loved him. I also liked reading from Willim and B’tris’ perspective as they worry and struggle to train their unimbued child that has access to all chords and weaves, some of which they didn’t know were possible. I did think that reading from some of the secondary characters, while interesting, muddled the names for me while at the same time, showed too much plot and plans from the bad guys, and took away from the suspense overall. Still, even the secondary characters were interesting reads, they were just hard to keep track of.

I didn’t find many grammatical issues, but there were quite a few formatting issues that detracted from the reading flow and overall look of the book as well as some punctuation issues.

Overall though, this book is fairly good, but due to my lack of musical knowledge and the book’s lack of better explanation, I found it easy to put the book down for a few days when I can read a book of this size in a few hours, or a day at most.

My Rating: 3.6/5

Plot: 3.5/5

Characters: 4/5

Dialog: 4/5

Writing: 3.5/5

Entertainment: 3/5

If you’re interested in this book, it’s currently free on Amazon!

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Thanks for reading!

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