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A Spellmason Chronicle, #2

Mr. Strout’s ability to weave a story based on a simple premise of family and friends takes this story to the next level. And while this novel is in a series, it provides enough background to allow a reader to jump into the series with little effort. Mr. Strout goes beyond the provisions of a basic story by the depth of the issues (family, friends, etc.).

Alexandra Belarus can create living beings using magic and stone. She is the last in a line of practicing Spellmasons. The family retainer, a gargoyle named Stanis, chose to save Alexandra’s beloved friends and things by trading all for her with himself as the bargaining chip.

Ms. Belarus and her friends band together in an effort to forge and expand Lexi’s gifts. Now is a desperate time as Lexi watches the forces and factions swirling around her as she puzzles over Stanis’ disappearance. Time is swiftly marching by and as Stanis’ disappearance expands, Alexandra’s gift for Spellmasonry weakens. Never as so much depended on so few as does the stakes of survivability continue to skew.

I like this series and I’m already looking forward to the next novel. There are many factions and some are religious/political which afford a sense of drama in this series. This story is told through many eyes giving a richer background to this tale. If you’re thinking this is an easy read, it isn’t. In fact, readers should take their time mining this nugget of a novel as it is worth every word.

Book Blurb for Stonecast


Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business?until she discovered her true legacy?a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. And as her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. But when a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear.

With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry?even with the help of her dedicated friends?are faltering. Hidden forces both watch her and threaten her, and she finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world.

But the question of Stanis’s fate haunts her?and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2014 3.50