Review: Stone of Tymora

2009 November 9
by Stupid Ranger

I recently read the first two books in R.A. & Geno Salvatore’s Stone of Tymora series.  This fairly new series is written for a young adult audience, telling a coming of age story and including cameos of Salvatore’s beloved Forgotten Realms characters.

A Brief Introduction

The first book, The Stowaway, begins in medias res, with Maimun imprisoned in a cave somewhere.  He begins telling his story to one of the pirates, which lets us as readers catch up on his story.  In The Shadowmask, the second book in the series, Maimun continues telling his story.

Maimun is a young man is suddenly caught up in a series of crazy, confusing events.  He finds himself alone in the world, trying to avoid a powerful enemy he never knew existed and trying to figure out the mystery of the stone that’s been his from birth.  As readers, we follow along with Maimun’s story, waiting to see how Maimun ended up in that cave in the first place and how the whole story ends.

Thoughts on The Stowaway

The Stowaway is an intriguing book, and I very much enjoyed stepping into Maimun’s story.  The structure was a bit difficult to follow at times, though; there’s a little bit of back-tracking to fill in Maimun’s history, and the back-and-forth nature of the story-telling was a little confusing at times, but all the confusing wrinkles were ironed out by the end of the book.  The book ends with the introduction of another antagonist, who leaves Maimun with a difficult situation to address in the next book.

Thoughts on The Shadowmask

The Shadowmask picks up immediately where The Stowaway ended.  We learn more of Maimun’s story as he continues telling his tale to the pirate.  We see a little bit more character growth in this book, especially as Maimun tries to unravel the mystery introduced at the conclusion of the previous book.  The Shadowmask ends fairly abruptly, leaving readers waiting for the next book in the series to find out what happens to bring about Maimun’s imprisonment and if he can escape.

Thoughts on the Pair

The books share a similar structure: three sections, which are introduced by Maimun’s conversation with the pirate.  I like the conversations as a way to foreshadow the upcoming story, though, as I mentioned, it was a little difficult to follow in the early part of the first book.

There’s a good combination of light-heartedness and drama throughout both books, and the balance of action and story-telling moves the plot along without dragging.  I did find some of the story to be a bit predictable, but considering the young adult audience, it was not overly annoying; I would advise mature readers to be prepared for obvious plot devices and predictable behavior from Maimun.

Both books are set during the time of R.A. Salvatore’s The Pirate King, and there are cameo appearances by Drizzt, Bruenor, Wulfgar, Catti-Brie and Regis.  The cameos from are lightly handled and do not take over the story too much.  In The Stowaway, the encounters between Maimun and Drizzt feel more casual than they do in The Shadowmask, mostly due to the differences in plot surrounding those encounters.

Overall, I enjoyed both books as light, quick reads, and I am looking forward to the future release of the third.  The Stowaway is currently available, and The Shadowmask releases Tuesday, Nov 11.  For those who enjoy a good, young adult fantasy story with a bit of swashbuckling action thrown in, I recommend these books.

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