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The Arm of the Stone
by Victoria Strauss
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It's rate I give up on a book, but I just could not get into this book. It seems like the typical Chosen One story where a boy with nothing emerges as the magical one to lead his people out of darkness and all that. And there are all these excess brothers and sisters I couldn't keep track of. ( )
The beginning of The Arm of the Stone was really rocky for me. Honestly, it got to the point where I thought about giving it up; however, I didn't and I'm glad I stuck with it.
I thought the beginning was rather drawn out and overloaded with characters, history, etc. Also, the conflict didn't seem very interesting to me: Bron's family swears to take back the Stone, which was once theirs and reclaim their power from the Guardians who now hold it. I thought this was too simplistic and it didn't really hold much promise. However, there is a huge turning point in the novel, and that's when the novel picked up its pace and started to become interesting.
What I love most about The Arm of the Stone is the story and the world. Strauss does an excellent job in making the story seem very straightforward, and then she throws a curveball at you, completely changing your perspective of what's happening. Also, the world is extremely well-constructed. When I read the novel, I was completely immersed because of the level of detail Strauss includes.
Another thing I liked was that I felt that the characters showed a lot of growth. The Bron we meet on page one is completely different than the Bron we know on the last page, which I think is one sign of a successful book. The same goes for many of the characters in the novel, including Liliane and Goldwine, to name a few.
There were times when I got confused about jumps in time and it did take me a long time to finish this novel, because it's loaded with so much. I don't think the latter is necessarily a bad thing, but it's definitely not a quick summer read. It is, however, one of the best fantasies I've read in awhile and I'm greatly looking forward to the sequel.
I would recommend this for fantasy fans who enjoy coming-of-age adventures.
The novel is based in a society that is terrified of "Hand Power," meaning that technological advances are heretical offenses. "Mind Power" is where the young are taught the ways of life. It's the story of one man who fights against the powerful religious zealots who rule his world, rising through their ranks and leaning their secrets.
An absolutely fabulous read. I could not put the book down.
In the grand epic tradition of Robin McKinley and Patricia McKillip, here's an enchanting and thrilling tale of a young boy whose destiny is to find a legendary magic stone and heal the rift between two worlds.Long ago, when the worlds of Mindpower and Handpower existed as one, Bron's family was rich and mighty; they were the keepers of the Stone -- the most forceful, sacred, coveted object in the world. But the Stone was stolen by an evil warrior who used it to conquer the world of Mindpower. As young Bron grows to manhood, it is clear that he is the legendary One Who Comes whose fate it is to restore harmony between the worlds.
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Victoria Strauss chatted with LibraryThing members from Feb 28, 2011 to Mar 6, 2011. Read the chat.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999