The Crown of Stones: Magic – Scars by C.L. Schneider

Title: The Crown of Stones: Magic Scars

Author: C.L. Schneider

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

They took it all: his will, his memories, his freedom, his magic.

Imprisoned by his enemies, tortured and drugged to keep his magic suppressed, Ian Troy returns to a world as marred and broken as he is. Ravaged by the reign of her new High King, Draken of Langor, Mirra’kelan’s citizens live in fear. The Shinree, misled by Jem Reth’s promises, are no longer slaves, but they are far from free. Thrust together by necessity, refugees from all realms have banded together and formed alliances never before thought possible. They share a common goal: freedom from oppression. And a common, fragile hope: Ian Troy.

But as Ian struggles to put the pieces of his life back together, he finds he is not the same man as before. Afflicted by an unsettling, personal transformation, he strives to discover the truth behind his connection to The Crown of Stones. He searches for answers among the ruins of the past and uncovers ancient secrets that may have altered the course of his entire race.

The Price of Ian’s magic and his addiction have never been higher.

Review:

C.L. Schneider’s imagination runs wild in her series The Crown of Stones, and her sequel, Magic – Scars, is even better than the first book in the series.  Schneider’s story climaxes in this novel, and it is everything that a great epic fantasy novel should be, while adding in contemporary issues to amplify the story.  The issues of oppression and prejudice against Troy’s race connects to today’s racial issues, and in that way Schneider allows fantasy fans to connect their love of the genre with the contemporary issues going on around them.

As with the first novel, I am still amazed by the new way that Schneider represents magic.  She doesn’t glamorize it in her series, but presents it as a burden that magic doers carry.  The way that Troy is addicted to doing magic makes it like a drug for him, and I think that by presenting magic this way, Schneider clearly wanted to show that sometimes what you are addicted to is killing you.  Troy is reminiscent of Sampson from the bible in the way that he is more powerful than others, but is beaten down by them to be at their level.  They are intimidated of him because of his powers, and it is because of this that he suffers.  Schneider is an artist with her words, and I admire the way that she weaves such intense insight into her fantastical characters.  I was blown away by this novel and her series, and now consider it to be one of my favorite series of all time.  C.L. Schneider has earned a strong spot on my favorite authors list, and it is because of her artistic way with words and her scholarly insight on humans and the human experience.  Epic fantasy series do not get any better than this.

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