Through Stone and Sea by Barb and J.C. Hendee is the second book in the run off series to the Noble Dead. While I can’t say that I liked Wynn, Chane, and Shade more than I like Magiere, Leesil, and Chap. I will say that this was a solid story that left me very entertained.
Wynn journeys to the mountain stronghold of the dwarves in search of the “Stonewalkers,” an unknown sect supposedly in possession of important ancient texts. But in her obsession to understand these writings, she will find more puzzles and questions buried in secrets old and new-along with an enemy she thought destroyed…
The story starts where I assume the first one left off. Wynn, Chane, and Shade have made their way to a dwarven settlement of Dhredze Seatte in order to contact High-tower’s brother Ore-Locks. He is the only one that can help to decipher some ancient texts. The only problem is that Ore-locks is a part of an exclusive society known as the stone walkers, and it’s next to impossible to get into contact with them. Unbeknown to them though, a black smoke/ wraith creature is following them. It wants to be given a body again, and is following Wynn to the texts.
Wynn wasn’t the type of kick ass heroine that Magiere is. She is definitely more on the intellectual side. That being said, she certainly is pretty brave. Especially since she has no real experience when it comes to self defense. I found that I was able to appreciate her brave moments more because they weren’t something that I would necessarily expect from someone like her. That line of thinking brings me to Chane, who has appointed himself as bodyguard to Whynn. I find him to be odd. What I mean by that is from what I’ve read so far in both of these series, vampires aren’t exactly friendly with humans. They don’t keep them as pets or servants, they just kill them. So, that he is willing to keep himself weak by not feeding as often as he needs is a pretty big deal. He seems to just want to be around Whynn, but he’s never alluded to having any romantic interest in her. In fact, the relationship is very big brother protecting little sister and I would be interested to know where this is going between the two.
You follow the trio through out their journey as they try to find the hideout of the stone walkers, and in their travels there are a lot of dwarves that are introduced. I must say that I was very impressed with the depth of dwarven culture that was presented in Through Stone and Sea. Usually dwarves are represented as being comical creatures, that or they are just really gruff little people. Barb and J.C. were able to build a culture with traditions, families, and folk lore. Dwarves have never been my favorite when it comes to fantasy characters, but they certainly would be bumped up a few notches if I kept reading stories that are as rich as this one was.
Overall, I had a great experience reading Through Stone and Sea. My only complaint is that it gave away some spoilers to the first noble dead series. Things that I would have much preferred learning by reading about them. However, the plot and characters makes Through Stone and Sea a valuable addition to the fantasy genre.
In Shade and Shadow
Through Stone and Sea