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Within the Shadow of Stone
by Sheri L. McGathy

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
199 pages; ISBN: 1554040957

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Within the Shadow of Stone
Sheri L. McGathy
Double Dragon, Apr 2004, 199 pp.
ISBN: 1554040957

Twelve years old Bree of the Skye people worships the nearby stones. While the pre-teen visits the stones, Alric intends to force Bree into declaring she is his.He wants her “gift” as a “Shroud born” and ultimately the lands she will inherit. Desperate, Bree prays to the stones that legend says will provide warriors in a time of need; her pleading is answered freeing Bree from the assault.

Years later, the Reformers consolidate power around a new religion. They outlaw worship of the stones, destroying most of them. One circle remains so Bree goes to the stones that saved her from Alric as the world seems in trouble. She learns that Chief Reformer Lord Blight is coming; only renewal in the belief of the stones by Skye clans can stop the destruction. Bree is the last hope but Blight already knows that. The mystical Hertha keeps her safe if her belief does not linger, but only Bree can save the Skye people if she can get them to believe in the Pact their ancestors made when they believed.

This is a terrific allegorical fantasy that provides cautionary warnings on several paths besides the obvious religious overtones and the eco-environmental plea. The key cast members including Alric and Hertha seem genuine so that the audience understands motives of the good, the bad and the greedy. Bree is a female Moses filled with doubts about her self-worth to lead the flock back to the Promised Land yet her faith makes her the obvious one. WITHIN THE SHADOW OF STONE is an excellent cautionary fantasy.

Harriet Klausner


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