Shadows and Starstone (The Immortals, Part One),
by Cheryl. S. Mackey
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Today, I’m reviewing Shadows and Starstone (The Immortals, Part One), by Cheryl. S. Mackey
So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, let’s begin.
Emaranthe, an immortal, has been sent to protect the village of Stone Hold from a coming evil which is after the starstone being mined there. It is said to be the last of the starstone in all of Ein-Aral, able to permit the use of portals by the immortal’s greatest foe. With the help of her three immortal companions, Emaranthe must protect the starstone and deter any would be enemies from laying claim to it.
As this was a relatively short story, the characters weren’t described in too much depth.
Emaranthe, an immortal master of fire views immortality as a cruel joke and deep down, she feels like a monster. She hides a tragic past behind a seemingly young body, actually being more than 300 years old. She has no past memories and doesn’t truly know who she is.
Her companions Jaeger (master of seas and rivers), Ivo (master of wind and sky), and Jadeth (an Elven healer) are all loyal and caring, each with their own brief backstory mentioned in the story.
The enemy they encounter when fighting on a mountain-side, Alarandia, bears the title of necromancer, possessing the ability to reanimate the dead. A servant of the immortal’s worst enemy, Alarandia secretly longs to be free of the burden placed upon her.
There were several positive elements to this story, which I have detailed below:
- I liked how the author dove straight into the story, explaining the main character’s core goal and giving us a glimpse into her backstory.
- The story is short yet detailed, and easy to read in one or two brief sittings.
- I liked how we got a glimpse into all of the immortal’s pasts, to learn where they came from and how they each came to be an immortal.
There were also some negatives to the story which I’ve included below:
- A lot happens in a short space of time. As a result of this, it became difficult to keep up with the information being thrown at me.
- Even though it was a short novella, I thought more would have happened than one fight and lots of backstory. To me, it didn’t feel quite like a finished story, more like one main event.
Overall, Shadows and Starstone was an intriguing start to a new fantasy series, however, I would have personally liked more to have happened.
Themes included immortality, duty, and war.
My Rating: 3 stars.
Recommended to: lovers of short fantasy novellas with interesting character backstories.
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