Okay, where to start, where to start...I think I'll start by telling you what I didn't like, and then I'll move on to the good stuff, because, well, nobody wants to end on a bad note. But before I start all that, I'll give it my rating:
And I give it....
Upon saying all those bad, or rather, criticizing, items, The Stone Kingdom had by far the most eloquent, quirky and one of a kind voice I've ever heard. The author, while focusing more on narration than dialogue, description than character feelings, makes up for everything she lacks in the very voice she speaks with. While I did say previously that the beginning was rather dry, I pushed through not necessarily because I felt I had to, but because I was so intrigued by her writing that I couldn't help it! And her characters! Once I got to know them, which took only a short while, I fell in love with them. Without saying too much, of course, I can honestly tell you that Rosalba is the most interesting young woman I've ever read about in a story like this. The tales such a story is based on are about young women who need saving or who must become nice, respectable princesses. Rosalba, on the other hand, is a strong young woman who will become a nice, respectable princess...but not until after she's made sure her opinion on any subject is very clear and also made everyone in the room understand that while she may ask for help, she is a strong, independent woman. She stands out from the story because of this strength. And I think I've already said too much, but here's my take on Edgwyn, the tailor who she travels with: he is the kindest and most unselfish character I've ever met. And can I just add in, here, that if Edgwyn were a real person, I'd have dibs because I've been searching for a guy like that all my life.
So while The Stone Kingdom had its outs, the ins of it were so much stronger that it had me hooked. Did I mention I read it in a night? Its fast pace and its quirky voice make it hard to put down once you've picked it up. I highly recommend picking up your copy of The Stone Kingdom, book two of the Wilderhark Tales by Danielle E. Shipley when it releases on September 20, 2013!