ISBN #: 978-1-60264-588-2
Page Count: 306
(Taken from Amazon)
The desperate race to save a world continues. Washed up on a distant shore on the unknown side of her planet, together with the Chandara Boxx, the orphan Kelanni named Shann must uncover the fate of her companions, whilst searching for an artefact hidden there in the distant past. As she journeys farther into this new land, she will encounter strange sights, come up against new enemies and meet new friends, until finally coming face to face with the truth of her own past.
(Taken from Amazon)
A low snarling sound. A pair of yellow eyes appeared in front of her; then another, and a third. Shapes moved in the darkness, jostling each other impatiently, regarding her with a malevolence colder even than the bitter air. The snarl grew into a chorus of deep throated growls from every side. Saccath's staff was already in her hands, her tendons stretched white against the darkwood. "Boxx, stay close," she commanded. Glancing beside her, she saw that the Chandara had transformed itself into a ball of chitin. You'll have to teach me that trick.
Shann whirled around. The creatures were circling her, probing her defences, testing her resolve. She strained her eyes, but their forms were elusive, melting into the anonymity of the starlit night. If she were on her own, she would have flared her cloak and scanned for lodestone, so as to effect her escape, but there was no way she was going to leave Boxx at the mercy of these...things. She keened her Kelanni senses, bracing herself for the attack.
The attack erupted in a flurry of fur and fang-of horn and claw. Shann sliced, slashed and stabbed at anything that moved; her diamond blade flashing in the starlight as if the heavens were lending her their power. She brought her staff down on the head of one of the beasts and heard the crunch of bone; then pirouetted, cleaving phantoms and sundering shadows. Bass growling was now becoming interspersed with higher pitched yelping. The creatures backed off. Regrouping. Thinking.
As she stood, breathing hard, braced for the next onslaught, Shann's mind went back to the battle with the sand scarags of the Great Southern Desert. The sand scarags were like automata. They had one tactic-swarm and overwhelm-which they pursued with a mindless compulsion. These creatures were different. There was a collective intelligence here-the cold unyielding logic of the implacable hunter.
Shann felt a sudden sharp pressure in the small of her back. Before she could react, she was propelled forward and sent sprawling, face first onto the ground. She twisted on to her back. The stars were blotted out by a huge shape, looming over her. Xanthic eyes bore into her and hot, fetid breath washed over her face.
This looks to be a copy of a painting done specifically for the purposes of this book. While the graphics are not sharp and distinctive, it does give you a picture of a scene in the story. And, I may be reading too much into this here, but perhaps the cover is slightly blurred because this is a sci-fi fantasy novel and what person's fantasy isn't a blurred around the edges ... ?
Mark has done an extremely wonderful job on this plot. The introduction of important new characters while maintaining the integrity and depthness of the characters we're already familiar with is a skill some authors have not mastered, but Mark has.
The story was suspenseful yet humorous and engaging. There was enough action to keep you interested and wanting to read more, but not so much that you tired of reading. It was wonderfully balanced.
Shann is the orphan girl introduced to us in the first Lodestone novel. She is young and small, but quick in both intellect and agility.
Keris is a former follower of the Prophet. She has military-like combat skills and wit. She is arrogantly confident, but is loyal to the group she's a part of.
Lyall is the leader of the group that is trying to stop the Prophet. He is the one every body looks to for answers, to confide in and to trust with their life.
Alondo is the quirky musician who is extremely intelligent, but hides his intelligence behind humor. He is a loyal friend to those within the group.
I loved this book better than the first. There are so many positive things I could say, but I'm sure you don't want to see me gushing all over the place! =) So, I will just say that this is a series that I will gladly read over and over again. I also plan on gifting this series in the future. I like it that much.
I would recommend this series to those that like sci-fi and fantasy novels. I would also recommend this author to those who don't like indie authors. I promise you that Mark Whiteway is of such talent he should be signed with a book publishing company ... you'll never know by his stories that he's an indie author.
I cannot wait to read Lodestone Book Three!!!!