A few months ago, I met local North Carolina author Jason Barnette and bought his debut epic fantasy novel, The Ruux Stone, on Kindle shortly after. I’ll preface my review by saying that I’m not the biggest fan of fantasy (or the most accurate judge of the genre), but I found Jason’s novel to be enjoyable.
What I Liked:
Three Stores in One and Interesting Twists
The Ruux Stone follows three stories throughout the book, and all the plots end up intertwining in the end. For the sake of spoilers, I won’t mention how the story lines combine, but it does make for some interesting revelations and plot twists.
The most interesting characters to me were the mage brothers, Pyrian and Lojapheth. While Pyrian is a Gandalf-like figure of sorts, Lojapheth is just the opposite, a psychotic kind of evil that floored me by how cold-hearted he could be. This made for interesting conflict between the brothers.
That being said, I did have a bit of trouble telling Hew and Val apart, but I feel they’ll become more differentiated as the series progresses.
Method of Storytelling
Jason is a talented storyteller and has crafted a great debut novel, but I often found the storytelling method in this book to lean more on the side of telling rather than showing. Nevertheless, I foresee the author improving this aspect of his craft over time.
The Ruux Stone is an interesting first installment of The Fields of Aratek series, and I’m excited to see what Jason has up his sleeve for the remainder of the series.
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
What is your favorite epic fantasy series? Drop some recommendations in the comments!
In case you missed it, I interviewed Jason last month for February’s edition of Authoring Arrowheads’ 2020 Author Interview Series. Be sure to check out his interview here!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.