The Written is an action-packed tale full of tropes and monsters. It features a solid central character whose motivations drive him to chase down leads and unravel the far-reaching implications of the theft of an ancient grimoire. I give it high marks for a robust setting that feels like it has the depth and history needed to sustain a hefty epic fantasy narrative.
Ben Galley’s The Heart of Stone matters. It shows that chains can be broken, that stories have a profound effect on how we humans perceive the world and what actions we take, and it has something to say about vengeance, justice and mistaking one for the other. This is a genuinely touching story, thanks to several memorable protagonists.