A Saving Stone, by Mark Marks

5_29_17 Saving Stone

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A child’s ability to see the future used for good. A court of lovely, friendly people. A bit of political intrigue. A Saving Stone has the elements of a good story.
 
This one’s a bit of a diamond in the rough. On the one hand, I liked the plot. On the other, the writing style was not suited for the narrative.
 
I adored the characters. Both their personalities and their interactions. Since the narrative focuses on royalty, I expected things to be dry and stuffy between people. They were all so lovely. Don’t get me wrong–there were conflicts. All the characters didn’t get along 24/7. What they did was recognize mistakes, and learned from them. From there the reader sees their character development. While some might find it boring, I enjoyed it beyond belief. There were plenty of other plot elements to keep the story interesting. Not all the characters had to be conspiring anti-heroes. It was nice to see something different.
 
I like how the author lulled the reader into a false sense of security midway through the book. There’s a definitive pace change between the build-up and the climax. After some of the things Arden had to endure, I expected a different ending. Not that I’m complaining about that; books that break stereotypes always get me. Like how the women were treated with respect. Their male counterparts weren’t looking to usurp or belittle them. Things were fun and flirty, but never disrespectful or creepy.
 
There were quite a few things I liked about this book. That being said, however…
 
The writing needs some help. The style fluctuates between adult-sounding and childlike. Sometimes it’s in the wrong spot. Interaction dialogue gets awkward. Narration jumps forward in odd spots, sometimes without warning. It does a whole lot more telling than showing. The entire narrative is almost exclusively written that way. It builds up to some great moments and then sort of falls flat because of the way it’s written.
 
I like the way the plot got executed. The writing for it needs some help. Despite that, characterization continues to keep hold of the reader. There are, of course, ways in which that could expanded as well, but it was a highlight of the novel. I was a big fan of the ending, and I didn’t really have many questions left. I would love to re-read a polished version of this novel.
Buy it here!
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