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ISle of Blood and Stone

Eighteen years ago, two princes vanished. Now a riddle hidden on a mysterious map could chart a course towards the truth and the missing royals in this historical fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Rachel Hartman and Tamora Pierce.

Eighteen years ago two princes of the island kingdom of St. John del Mar were kidnapped and murdered, a deadly plot by the rival kingdom of Mondrago. Everyone knows the story, but for Elias, Mercedes, and Ulises, the aftermath of that tragic day is deeply personal. Elias grew up without his father, who was killed trying to protect the princes. Mercedes is half-Mondragan, leaving her to grow up in the shadow of del Mar’s hate. And Ulises, as the youngest and only remaining prince, inherited the throne meant for his older brothers. Now, the three friends just want to move on with their lives. But when two maps surface—each with the same hidden riddle—troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young princes? And why do the maps look like they were drawn by Elias’s father, whose body was never found? To discover what really happened that fateful day, Elias, Mercedes, and Ulises must follow the clues hidden in the maps, uncovering long-held secrets and unimaginable betrayals along the way. But the truth is dangerous, and not everyone wants it to come out. Isle of Blood and Stone is a sweeping fantasy full of intrigue and schemes, romance and friendship, and fearless explorers searching for the truth.


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Fly Girl’s Review:

I saw the description of this one on Netgalley and really was intrigued.  When I signed up I hadn’t read any Young Adult stuff in a while, I had only been listening.  I was expecting a fast paced adventure with a dramatic island type landscape.  This was far from it.  Although I loved the story, it was very slow, like epicly slow.  (I just made that word up.)  I would say this novel teaches friendship, follow through on promises, and perseverance. The one item I don’t like for kids is the revenge part.  That comes later in the book, but there is quite a bit of it.  Some of it gives the main character introspection and personal development, but not all of it.

Some of what I did love was she described the society and environment very well.  There was lots of rich detail, emotion from the characters, and a sense of being there.  The plot is great too.  Who doesn’t want to solve a mystery from hand painted maps found throughout the kingdom.  It is a wild tale that kids will enjoy.  Also, as slow as it is you can assign reading at bed and they will probably still be able to put the book down when it is lights out.

I’m only giving this a 3.5 of 5 propellers because of the pace of the novel and it was a little choppy.  It didn’t grab my attention and keep it.  The story moved too slowly.  I will say if this were going to be a series I would have been able to understand the pace so she could really describe the world, but it really does have an ending that works.  Is there a HEA, uh mm,  sort of I think.  There is some resolution for the mystery and the main characters come to some understandings that make for a nice tidy ending.

3.5 of 5 Propellers

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Makiia Lucier grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam (not too far from the equator) and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her debut novel, A Death-Struck Year, was called a “powerful and disturbing reading experience” by Publishers Weekly. It was a finalist for Germany’s top book prize for children, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, as well as Japan’s Sakura Medal, and was named an ABC Best Books for Children Selection by the American Booksellers Association.