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Book Review: Curse of the Lyrestone

Review: May 31, 2007

By Will Kalif

One of the big problems with fantasy and epic fantasy is cookie cutter syndrome. If you read epic fantasy you know exactly what I mean. Take any hundred epic fantasy books, switch the names of the characters and the creatures and you can't tell them apart. Write eight door-stoppers in a series and voila! you got yourself an epic fantasy main stream profit machine. You can almost hear Joseph Campbell and JRR clucking at the lack of real originality.

And this is something that I lament about often. But this rut is something we as readers, and me in particular, afflict on ourselves. Yet it isn't wholly true. There are some really wonderful "not so typical" fantasy books out there. And Curse of the Lyrestone is one of these books. Let me explain why.

I am a moderatey big guy. six foot two, two hundred plus pounds; martial artist and ex military. From that you can probably guess what kind of epic fantasy I read! Yup, for me, when a Dark lord rears his ugly head and wants to ruin a beautiful world I am reaching for my axe and heading straight for his lair. Gather up some brave men and let's go! Battles along the way? Darn Right! And a lot of them! Battle scars? Bah! Mere flesh wounds!

Curse of the LyrestoneNow this takes me to the book Curse of the Lyrestone and the story of Ainsley who is a ten year old she-elf. Her parents are killed and she is burdened with a piece of the lyrestone that is strapped to her wrist. The lyrestone drains all magic from an elf so it can be controlled and sold into slavery. And this is what happens to Ainsley; she is drained of her magic and sold into slavery. But this is only where the story begins.

Now, knowing what you know about me, and what I like, you can see why it took me several weeks to get around to giving this book a try. It just isn't what I usually read.

But... once I started reading it I literally couldn't put it down. It is downright remarkable. I found myself very much empathizing with Ainsley and her plight and this book turned into one of those books that I dreaded finishing. You know how that goes. As you get toward the end of a book that is just so good you start to slow down so you can savor it. You spread out the readings so you can remain in the remarkable world a bit longer.

I don't know how the author (Susan Carpenter) did it but she cast a spell on me and I found myself oft glancing down at my wrist to see if maybe she had secretly attached a lyrestone to me!

The book is flawlessly written and has received the editors choice award from the publisher (iUniverse). If you are looking for some really great fantasy that is not so typical then I highly recommend you give this book a try. It is available at:

Amazon.com Curse of the Lyrestone: A Kingdom of Zhavahn Novel

Or at the publisher iUniverse:Curse of the Lyrestone

Visit the authors book site at curseofthelyrestone.com