THE STONE OF SORROW: RUNECASTER, BOOK ONE, By Brooke Carter, Orcabooks, Orca Book Publishers

In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir is not the rune caster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Sýr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient rune casting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.

Out April 2020

292 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Norse Mythology… how can you go wrong. Having Viking ancestry, I was quick to request this book. I will confess, even though Canadian, I’ve never read any of Brooke Carter’s other books (forgive me Brooke) eh? So this book was my first with the author’s writing style.

Set with an Icelandic background and Rune casting, magical elements, witches and quests fall into place quickly–Not to mention saving a sister with a mysterious “sickness.”

The book quickly sets up character goals, mysteries and missions unlimited. Quick are character introductions–their goals hinted at, and developments begun. Fast-paced and action-filled but not exactly huge on world-building… yet. Normally, this would happen in the beginning for readers, but this author focuses mainly on plot and goal-twists. Magical system is basic so far, customs and battles are minor, and overall many elements that make up a fantasy book series, especially the first are not the main focus with this book.

That being said, I still enjoyed this book. It moved quickly and the amount of characters introduced were kept at a minimal so confusion wasn’t created surrounding them. They too held mysteries that I’m certain will be revealed as the series continues. I intend on requesting the next book to see how the rest of the fantastical elements are built and if the setting improves. There is a great possibility to this series that only time will reveal.

I gave this first book:

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