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The Stone Mage & the Sea (First Book of the…
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The Stone Mage & the Sea (First Book of the Change) (original 2001; edition 2009)

by Sean Williams

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1004187,672 (3.66)4
The Stone Mages rule the huge deserts of red sand. The vast coastlines are ruled by Sky Wardens. Magic is everywhere but not all have the power to control and direct it. Any child found to have magical ability is sent to the Haunted City to be trained in the Change. On the coast of the Strand, Sal and his father arrive in the small, apparently-normal town of Fundelry, where the locals are suspicious of newcomers and of anyone who stands out or appears different. Sal and his father are on the run from an unnamed someone...or something. When a local bully attacks Sal, he is rescued by Shilly and her teacher, Lodo. Lodo is marked with mysterious tattoos and seems to know a lot more about Sal than Sal knows about himself. Sal's father wants to stay but the Sky Wardens will be coming and Sal needs to learn what connection Lodo had with his mother and what fate seems to have been chosen for him before he was even born.… (more)
Member:Falcon124
Title:The Stone Mage & the Sea (First Book of the Change)
Authors:Sean Williams
Info:e-reads.com (2009), Paperback, 308 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Stone Mage and the Sea by Sean Williams (2001)

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ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Sal and his father have been on the run from something for as long as Sal can remember. Now theyâ??ve come to the seaside town of Fundelry and it seems like Sal├é┬â??s father may finally be giving up. Sal doesn├é┬â??t know what they├é┬â??ve been running from, or what happened to his mother, who left them when he was young. Most of the townsfolk are suspicious of the newcomers, but Lodo the hermit and his young apprentice Shilly take an interest in Sal. Under their tutelage, Sal learns that he has some blossoming magical powers, which might be what his father has been trying to keep concealed. He must learn to control these powers before the Sky Wardens can find him.

The Stone Mage & The Sea is the first novel in Sean Williamsƒ?? young adult series called THE CHANGE. Despite the familiar young-boy-discovers-heƒ??s-got-a-destiny type of YA epic fantasy elements, The Stone Mage & The Sea has some unique qualities to praise. The setting, for one. Rather than the familiar European medieval setting, the world of THE CHANGE appears to be influenced by Sean Williamsƒ?? native Australia. Red inland deserts, where the Stone Mages practice their craft, give way to sandy dunes as we approach the sea where Sky Wardens use seagull spies to hunt for youngsters with burgeoning talent. The technological status of this society is intriguingly unclear. Salƒ??s father has a motorized dunebuggy, but itƒ??s the only one we see, and it seems to be the highest form of technology available in this world.

Williamsƒ?? plot and characters are engaging and his writing is solid, though it lacks even a trace of humor. It will appeal most to its target YA audience. Adults will wonder why Sal, at 12 years old, knows so little of his own history. What happened to his mother? What are they running from? Why, when the children of Fundelry are hoping to be chosen by the Sky Wardens, does Salƒ??s father think theyƒ??re so evil? It would have saved them both a lot of trouble if his father had just explained things to Sal. We get the impression that Sal has just now started questioning his father in earnest. Of course, the reader understands that the tale is being unfolded for us as it unfolds for Sal, but I found it hard to admire a 12 year old whoƒ??s had no idea whatƒ??s going on around him for this long.

The Stone Mage & The Sea is definitely a set-up book. By the end, Sal is just beginning to get a glimpse of his destiny and the book stops as tragedy strikes and things really get going. Most teen readers will be eager to move on to book two, The Sky Warden and the Sun. This is an intriguing world with a unique magic system that weƒ??re only beginning to understand. There are lots of interesting questions left unanswered.

Eric Michael Summerer narrates Audible Frontiersƒ?? version of The Stone Mage & The Sea. He gives a good reading and I can confidently recommend this version of The Stone Mage & The Sea. Audio readers will be pleased. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
This, the first Book of the Change, is a quieter and more wistful story than the later Books of the Cataclysm (which I read first), lacking the same epic quality but with a particular charm of its own. Here we meet a younger Sal and Shilly, and it's really the start of a coming of age story for the pair of them. As I would expect from Williams, it's well-characterised, and the (very Australian) landscape lives and breathes more than most do. A really solid starting point to the series, and compulsively readable. ( )
  salimbol | Jun 7, 2013 |
Turned out it wasn't really my thing. ( )
  SamM4 | Mar 30, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this first book in the trilogy. The Australian background was an interesting setting that drew in the reader. It is an interesting study in the themes of family relationships, coming of age and also how your values can be challenged at the drop of a hat. ( )
  Mimu | Aug 15, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sean Williamsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tan, ShaunCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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