cover image Casting in Stone

Casting in Stone

Morgan Smith. CreateSpace, $2.99 e-book (134p) ISBN 978-1-5239-9704-6

Smith’s second Averraine Cycle installment (after A Spell in the Country) is a short, concise journey to self-knowledge. In a tiny mountain village in a remote part of a fantasy world, Caoimhe lives as quietly as she can to escape her past. But even in so remote a place, trouble comes to find her. Though she is the ruler of the area in name, she has taken no interest in leading or protecting her people. Since her infancy, Caoimhe has been hated and rejected by her family, and she only found a home after being orphaned and taken in by a household that eventually gave her a place as a warrior and protector. Now her origins have come to haunt her village, as have outsiders who would force her to take up the fate she has spent a lifetime trying to escape. Smith has crafted a simple, dangerous world and a fascinating protagonist. The pace is a little slow, and in some places unnecessarily static. The ending is sudden and relies on Caoimhe’s good luck and sharp instincts, but Smith has taken pains to establish those as the heroine’s traits. The story never cheats, leading to a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. (BookLife)