A shadow is spreading across the land. Fear will be your downfall.
When the Prefects of Redmondis discover that their quick minds and quicker fingers hide secret potential, young thieves Wilt and Higgs find themselves unwilling recruits. Wilt’s ability to sink into others’ thoughts, knowing what action they will take before they do, is both a prized and dangerous gift.
The Nine Sisters of Redmondis have sensed a growing threat, and search for the one who can control the power of the blood within the stone. But even their sinister plots are nothing compared to the force that controls them.
As Wilt and Higgs rally their newfound weapons, they discover that the threat to their lives, and their reality, is much greater than they realise.
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The Blood within the Stone starts with a bang as we’re introduced to Wilt while he’s undertaking a test to join Greystone town’s thieves’ guild. I love a convincing rogue and Wilt’s parkour level agility and use of his secret telepathic ability to pickpocket purses in the market place makes for fun reading in the first part of this epic fantasy.
Then representatives of the sole magic institute, Redmondis, arrive in Greystone and take Wilt, his close friend, Higgs, and their rival, Red Charley, to train at Redmondis.
Thompson’s magic system is intriguing. There are several different skills, with a clear division between the schools of more general skills such as crafting and healing, the guards, and the wielders. Wielders use magic in a unique way, forming a mental connection called a weld with another person. There are various types of welds, from the benign to the deadly ability to drain a person’s life force. Another unusual aspect to Thompson’s magic system is the lack of a clear definition between ‘good’ magic, and ‘evil’ magic. This is partly due to the Redmondis political structure. The menacing power of the Sisters and their servants, the Sentinels, controls everyone at Redmondis. It’s almost impossible to practice the old forms of magic, which the Sisters abolished when they rose to power, but this is exactly what Wilt and Higgs must do to survive the competitive environment.
Thompson’s prose is a delight to read and his descriptions strike the perfect balance between nuance and clarity. The Blood within the Stone is an impressive debut novel with a conclusion that promises the second book in The Wraith Cycle will be even better.
Book provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review