on July 28th 2016
Source: Author Provided
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In the land of the great red sun, dogs sing, wolves kill, humans serve, and wolf-shifters rule with magic and menace. Pietre is a human boy who has spent the last thirteen years afraid of the sunset, the Blodguard, and the wolf-shifting masters who rule his world. Wittendon is a werewolf prince who has spent the last nineteen years afraid of his father, his inability to do magic, and the upcoming tournament he's sure to lose. But when Pietre finds an orphaned pup in the woods and Wittendon is forced to arrest the boy's father soon after, both of them begin to realize that keeping the rules might be just as terrifying as breaking them. Now serf and master must learn to cut through their own prejudices and work together in order to turn their world before it turns on them. Grey Stone is a story of dogs who talk, wolves who kill, and a stone that-for better or worse-can change all that.
-I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review-
I went into this book with not very high expectations. I’m given copies of books from new authors from time to time for reviews, and sometimes…they’re just not very good. Good news: This book was an exception!
The book starts out in a fantasy land where there are four different races of creatures: humans, dogs, wolves, and werewolves. The balance has shifted so that the werewolves are the ruling class, the wolves and dogs somewhere below them, and humans are no better than foul creatures. I normally have a hard time with anthropomorphic animals (see: Redwall, Watership Down, The Warriors series), but I really enjoyed the story.
I loved the world building the author did- every place from the dirtiest human hovel to the palace of the werewolf king and in between had a rich texture to it. She describes the setting so well, you can actually see it. She also has a great way of imbuing each setting with history without making you feel like you’re reading an entire history book (see: Tolkien).
I really enjoyed the characters as well. I loved the character of Wittendon. At first I kind of thought he was a wimp, but the way Pace writes him, he grows up a long with the story. At the end, he’s a thoughtful and sympathetic character, who contains bravery but also has flaws. Very relateable. I loved Sadora. Because she’s smart. And she kicks serious butt! Pietre and Humphrey were also very sweet characters and I enjoyed their stories, but they didn’t seem to be as fleshed out as Wittendon. However, my favorite character was Zinnegael. I loved her spunkiness, her quirkness, her love of baking, and the cats! I am entirely a cat person so they appealed to me a little more than the dogs 🙂
The story was rocking, from the very beginning. As I said, I did not have high expectations and was pleasantly surprised to find myself sucked in, staying up late to read just one chapter more!
So why not five stars? Some of the writing was a little stilted and I had a hard time with the descriptions of the werewolves- what did they look like? Human form? Wolken form? And they talked and walked around on their back legs? Doesn’t that seem a little…I don’t know…Ninja Turtle-ish? Eh, not the author’s fault…I just have a hard time taking a talking animal seriously.
Overall, a great book and a really fun read. I’m pretty picky and for me to have enjoyed it this much, means it’s something special. I think fans of the Redwall, Wings of Fire, and Warriors Series especially would really enjoy this book.
I plan on putting my copy in my school library and recommending it to all my students!