Evvy is a young stone mage; someone who can communicate with and control stone. Her mentor is a nature mage, and their less-than-welcome traveling companion is a water mage. These three have powers that frighten and impress most people they meet, but they might not be enough to stop what’s coming to the island of Starns. Strange deaths and earth shakes are only a hint of what is to come, and Evvy will need all the help she can get if she is to survive.
Melting Stones is a wonderful stand-alone novel. Evvy is not a people person. She would rather be alone with her rocks than talking to people, but she has a beautiful soul. This is a story of a traumatized girl learning to be a better and more caring person. Placed in an intriguing world of mages and spirits, this story will be enjoyed by kids of many ages.
- ” ‘Bored is the last thing we’ll be!’ The man laughed. I suppose they were talking about fooling around. People always think they have to discuss it like I don’t know what it is. That’s grown-ups for you. I let them do their sideways joking about sex, while I let my power trail along the ocean floor.”
- Evvy disarms and beats up a couple of boys. “I had a problem with some rich boys . . . They were bothering some of my friends. I said I would hit them with my staff if they didn’t stop, and they drew swords and daggers on me. It wasn’t as if I actually broke any of their bones.”
- Evvy has a flashback from a war she was in. She panics and accidentally hurts a companion. “Terror flooded me. I forgot where I was. I thought I was a captive . . . Was I back in Gyongxe? . . . They beat me last time! They’d beat me again to make me tell on my friends. I screamed and slammed my head forward, hard, into the soldier’s nose. Then I lashed sideways and bit deep into his arm.”
- Evvy talks about a war she was in. She says, “I knew where people were hiding. The soldiers tried to make me tell by hitting the bottoms of my feet with a cane.”
- Jayat confesses that his master used to beat him, and Evvy thinks, “My owner had beaten me when I was a slave, after all. Joobe-Hooba . . . would have beaten me. I bet he would have smiled as he did it.”
- Nory is upset and hits Evvy. “Even if I could have moved, I wouldn’t have been fast enough to escape the hard slap she landed on my cheek. Then she slapped me again. She was crying . . . Then she punched me in the eye and walked off.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Evvy’s mentor drinks a medicinal tea, though it is not said why. ” ‘Did you drink your medicine tea?’ I asked her. ‘The kind that smells like boiled mule urine?’ “
- Evvy complains that people aren’t grateful for mage services. “They should half-kill themselves in the service of this, this beetle-spit village next to its chicken-piddle lake on its donkey-dung island.”
- Mages can commune with certain elements of nature, like growing things, rocks or water. “Alongside the ship came a long arm of seawater with Rosethorn’s hat on top of it. It passed the hat to Myrrhtide, who patted the tentacle as he’d pet a good dog.”
- Luvo is the heart of a mountain. He appears as a small crystal bear who can talk and walk.
- Evvy has a spirit self that can travel through stone. “In my magical shape I swooped through a vein of rock-water, the indigo crystal cooling me as I passed . . . My magical body was all ideas and power, controlled by my mind, but I was certain that if my magical self burned to ashes, my real body would die, too.”
- Evvy senses magma spirits. Their energy is so enticing Evvy appears as though possessed while pursuing it.
- Evvy meets magma spirits. “When they’d first grabbed me they were like a pair of comets, gripping me with long, molten stone tails. Now they were shifting, their bodies getting shorter . . . Flare was sapphire blue, still with his trailing flame of hair. He had blacked-rimmed eyeholes around flame eyes.”
- Local mages can’t control nature, but they can do some small spells. “Jayat and Tahar drew spell designs on the floor. Their lips moved as they called on the rocks to show where they came from.”
- Luvo makes contact with the spirits of several islands. “I didn’t know this great, female voice, but it was familiar. I knew the stones in it, from mica to obsidian to basalt. It sounded like . . . Starns. It sounded like the island.”
- Slavery is looked down on, but is legal in some places. Evvy says, “my mother sold me as a slave when I was six. It was because I was one mouth too many, and only a girl.”
- Evvy says she would leave the villagers to deal with the volcano. “It’s their island, they have to solve getting off. They’re lucky I could warn them.” Her mentor asks, “You would abandon even the babies, Evvy?”
- Evvy says, “Heibei, take this bad luck and bury it . . . Heibei’s the god of luck back home in Yanjing. I asked him for help. He’s a good god, not undependable, like your Lakik.” She mentions a few other gods as well, for example, “Kanzan the Merciful smile on me.”
- After the volcanic incident is resolved, Evvy says crossing the island, “was like a journey through the hell of those who defy the Yanjing will of heaven. I thought I’d stopped believing in those hells, but they hadn’t stopped believing in me. They had followed me all the way here. This one had, anyway.”
- “Gods of all stones be praised,” Luvo says. “We are not too late.”
- A young boy tells Evvy that, “You mages is god-touched.”
by Morgan Lynn