Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path #1) by Michael R. Fletcher

Write on: Thu, 30 Apr 2020 by  in Gary's Reviews Read 1934

Black Stone Heart is my second venture into the madness that is Michael R. Fletcher's imagination, the first being Smoke and Stone, and like said book, I was once more captivated.

It tells the story of Khraen, a man with a literal broken heart, on a quest to find the missing pieces and restore his memory. What follows is a dark and twisted tale that is as much a romance as it is a story of restoration. And that is what makes it so compelling. 

The worldbuilding is an interesting one. Considering Khraen's 'amnesia', it makes sense that we learn only so much about the world and its peoples and cultures as he does. It's vast with plenty of interesting and mysterious places from floating mountain-fortresses to demon-run villages to cities run by wizards. I was just as awed by it all as Khraen. However, the worldbuilding takes a backseat to the characters which is one of the book's strengths. 

Khraen is one hell of a fascinating individual. At the 'heart' of his story is the conflict over whether or not to continue to evolve into the man he is becoming since waking up or embrace the man he once was. Each time he finds a shard of his heart he is granted new powers and visions of his past self. This is where Fletcher's imagination runs wild with some breathtaking and terrifying scenes that had me mouth a 'holy fuck' more than once. 

Other characters such as the hardened warrior Shaylan and the necromancer Henka are central to the story but to say too much about them would be spoilers. Just know that they both play pivotal roles in which man Khraen chooses to become. My favourite supporting character is the demon, Nhil who has one of the weirdest and funniest character idiosyncrasies I have come across in fantasy. You will have to read for yourself to find out. 

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, devouring it in two sitting across a weekend. The sequel will be a day one buy. Fletcher continues to surprise me and he is fast becoming one of those authors whose books I know I just know I will enjoy reading. even before I know what it's about. 

5 / 5


Gary is a small town Irishman with a love for all things historical and fantastical. He works as an English and History teacher at post-primary where he endeavours to instil and nurture a love for reading and writing in students. Tea is his weakness. Reading is his passion. His one goal in life is to buy a castle when he retires.