My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Riddle in Stone is a fantasy that is for certain- but I was definitely unsure what audience it was being written for. I was kindly given an e-book for review after a request to read it. So thank you Robert for that!
Now I have finally finished it, I have very mixed thoughts and feelings about it.
The names for some of the characters reminded were very childlike and easy to remember – and yet the graphic scenes were incredibly graphic – more so than I liked.
I feel this book was a 2.5 really for me – I felt it was a mash up of The Hobbit, Holes, Hunger Games and LOTR. I saw actual scenes such as Bilbo running out the shire to Edmund running out of Rood- I did feel though that in most instances instead of standing apart from them, it looked like a underdone copy cat.
Edmund as a character was designed as that side-character- port bellied, always doubting yourself sort of man who stuttered and liked books. Now I like that that was different, but I found Edmund didn’t grow until the last ten chapters – which felt rather quick considering everything that happened to him. I did like how we had his inner thoughts the entire way, as we were in third person anyway – this really helped to show that Edmund had the main insight and that most of his worries were realistic and practical to how a regular human being would worry. His powers were very convenient though. Oh, hungry? Here’s a biscuit. Hurt? Don’t worry he can heal.
I liked the element of a dog companion – Thorax, I thought she added a nice dynamic in the story.
Chapters wise, I felt they were very short and didn’t carry on as nice as I would have liked- we jumped considerably and sometimes the only justification was literally saying about the time jump.
Overall, I feel this is a child-like fantasy with graphic elements, I wouldn’t put it near Patrick Rothfuss in comparison.
If you’ve just read The Hobbit – yes you will like this. But the graphic element makes me not want to recommend it to fourteen year olds- you either read it as an adult and feel babied and confused, or you read it young and feel scarred.