Stone Bound, the first novel in the Chaos and Retribution series by Eric T. Knight follows the stories of Fen, Aislin, and Karliss as they discover the powers inside of them and what that might mean for their futures.
I fucking love a good young adult fantasy adventure book. I love it even more when there are no love triangles involved! Eric T. Knight did such a good job at building this world. I found out after I read this book that it is actually involved with another series of books he wrote and I am thrilled to say, you do not need to read that other series.
This book starts out with such a unique intro. There are three different prologues, one for each of our main characters. What I found most interesting about these prologues is they were so vastly different, and yet so eerily similar.
Right after the prologues you are thrust into the middle of a war, and a city under siege. This happened so fast and I appreciated that the author did not take the time to focus on the fighting of the war, but instead took the time to focus on the aftermath. This storyline specifically follows Fen and we are also introduced to another new character named Barik (who eventually ends up becoming The Fist). Barik is established rather quickly as a leader and you actually find yourself rooting for and hoping he does end up to actually be a good leader. There are definitely undertones of his character development that could easily have him going either way.
After Fen and Barik talk for a while, Fen mentions that he wants to become a soldier. Barik immediately latches onto this idea and how it would be an excellent idea to train children from a young age to be a soldier. It is not quite Stockholm syndrome that we are seeing, but it is interesting to see how “The Fist” does manipulate Fen into doing what he wants. Fen is barely more than an orphan of war trying to find a place to belong. While Barik does give him this, it is not entirely selfless.
Fen does become a soldier, along with a few other boys, under the strict eye of Flint. I appreciate how calm and kind Flint is to the boys while still teaching them. There are times when I could not help but grin at seeing how Flint slyly convinces the boys to continue in their training. And speaking of the boys, I happy that the author was able to write six different children and give each of them vastly different personalities. So often when an author includes extra characters, they have a name and no personality for us to remember or care about.
As we got further into this book, and we got closer to the end, we did end up exploring just a bit of the origin story for both Aislin and Karliss but I will be honest, I was kind of irritated. We had gone so long without any mention of them I was kind of hoping the entire book would be about Fen. While the parts were written well and I did enjoy the story, they did feel rushed in compared to Fen’s and I ended up getting a bit confused as to what was happening.
Overall – I really enjoyed this book and I am so happy with where the author took the character development of the characters we get to see. I am sure book two of the Chaos and Retribution series is going to be just as thrilling.
Plot – 10/10
Characters – 9/10
Originality – 10/10
General Joy of Reading – 8/10
Overall Score – 37/40
Stone Bound: A Coming of Age Epic Fantasy Adventure (Chaos and Retribution Book 1) – Eric T. Knight
Cost* – $.99 for Kindle. Paperback is $9.99 This book is included with Kindle Unlimited
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published