Tonight’s review is of Bonnie Wynne’s new #LoveOzYA fantasy novel The Stars Beyond the Stone, which is book three in her The Price of Magic series. We all know how I feel about reviewing subsequent books in series- I don’t want to give away any spoilers! So here’s the blurb for book one of the series, The Ninth Sorceress – you can check out the blurb for The Stars Beyond the Stone here (if you dare/aren’t afraid of spoilers!), and read on for my views below.
In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?
Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.
But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.
Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name…
But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.
I read The Ninth Sorceress when it first came out (you can see my review here) but somehow hadn’t managed to get to the next book (The Wind from the Rift), so I had a little The Price of Magic marathon over the past few weeks and it was fun to revisit Gwyn and her world. I think the story and writing are both really finding their groove as the story goes on.
I am enjoying seeing Gwyn sort of grow into her power and responsibility. In The Stars Beyond the Stone we see Gwyn travel outside of the Clockwork City and come into contact with new people, place, and magic. Wynne manages to keep expanding Gwyn’s world, without ever making it feel info-dumpy.
As well as continuing world building, this book is absolutely packed with action as Gwyn meets challenge after challenge on her way to the bigger confrontation. We also learn a bit more about the side characters as Gwyn gets to know her companions better – there’s even a bit of romance in this one!
As in the previous two books, I really love the way that we get snippets every so often from a different time/place to where the rest of the story is unfolding. I feel like this works so well to build tension.
This is definitely a fantasy series worth checking out, and if you’ve read The Ninth Sorceress or The Wind From the Rift you’ll absolutely want to keep up with the latest from Gwyn and pick this one up!
***I am a judge for the 2021 Aurealis Awards. This review is my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinators, or the Aurealis Awards management team.***
The Stars Beyond the Stone by Bonnie Wynne
Out now from Talem Press
Source: I received a free e-copy for review from Talem Press (thank you!)
Category: Fantasy YA series