Magic-Price (The Crown of Stones #1)

Write on: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 by  in SPFBO 2018 6608 comments Read 144528

“I was a weapon. Somehow, I’d forgotten that.”

Ian Troy is a Shinree, the only one among his once glorious race that is not drugged and kept docile in order to suppress his magical powers. Still, he is a slave in his own way. Kept on a leash by the kingdom of Rella, compelled to protect her when the need arises, Troy is a weapon. Until that fateful day came, and the world tasted the might and disastrous effects of his magic. Now a sword for hire, he hunts bandits and brigands until the same war he stopped at a terrible price erupts once more, this time more cruel and devastating. The enemies are savage, bent on conquering the continent through massacres and magic long forgotten. Amidst chaos, nightmares, questionable alliances and slaughters of the innocent, Ian must determine his place in the power struggle, enhance his abilities and choose what he is fighting for.

 “I’m not a hero. I never was.”

Ian Troy is not a hero. His story is not an epic quest of a noble man trying to help those in need. He has his moments, but mostly Troy’s head (and life) is a really dark place. Magic-Price is an adult, raw fantasy read that narrates exactly what the title promises: the aftermath of choices that resulted in devastation, and the price of using an infinite amount of magic, a price that haunted Troy for years and shaped him to the person he is. Troy was not easy to like; he kept making rash and foolish decisions and feeling bound by attachments what were not well-founded. Personally I preferred Malaq with his hidden agendas and Jarryd with his devotion, they were great secondary characters and have the potential for exciting storylines.

However, I can’t help but admit that Troy’s story was a gripping one. A curious thing happened with Magic-Price; there were times I was rather bored, and then there were times I couldn’t put it down. C.L. Schneider with her deft hands crafted a solid world, without gaps and holes. With the exception of the magic system that occasionally confused me, the war, the politics, the inner demons that haunted Troy and ravaged his sanity were well-depicted. His world was a bleak one, reeking of desperation, fear and power abuse. It was mature and brutal, with a heavy dose of action and sinister villains, and I must commend the author because while reading Magic-Price I couldn’t tell that it was a debut, it seemed like the work of an experienced writer.

My biggest issue with Magic-Price, though, was the treatment and representation of the female gender. The women had only three uses: pleasure, rape and backstabbing. On the one hand there were several occurrences and mentions of rape or/and attempted rape that made my stomach twist, and on the other hand every single female character lusted over Troy. I wanted empowering women, I wanted strong and independent women who were not overridden by carnal desires or chose the wrong side for misguided sentimental reasons.

All in all, Magic-Price, with its perks and flaws, is an interesting, solid story that leaves a lasting impact on the reader. I wish C.L. Schneider all the best in the competition and her future endeavors.

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 November 2018 08:09

There are two things Katerina can't live without; books and chocolate. And since she needs money to acquire them, she decided to become a lawyer (and she still wonders whether this was a good idea). When she's not reading, she keeps wishing she was reading, about wars, wizards, dark princes and great romances. Her favorite genres are Fantasy (both YA and Adult) and Contemporary Romance.


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