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The Arm Of The Stone (The Stone Duology #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  160 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Long ago, when the worlds were one...

So begins the Tale, the ancestral legend Bron's family has guarded for a thousand years. Once, they were the keepers of the Stone, the most sacred object on earth, from which all the powers of Mind are drawn. But when the conflict between Mind and Hand split the worlds apart, the Stone was seized by an ambitious sorcerer. To keep the ne
Paperback, 358 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Phoenix Pick (first published 1998)
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Fantasy Literature
Jan 28, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it it was ok
Long ago, after a battle for dominance between the power of mind (what we’d call magic) and the power of the hand (technology and tools), those with mindpower left for another world using the Stone, a magical talisman of great power. But after generations of peace, Percival stole the stone, killed the family that had wielded its power, and set up a new system of rule, with power strictly held by the Guardians, who enforced the rules against handpower of any sort.

The Arm of the Stone, by Victoria
Aug 31, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, fantasy
Originally published at

The world has been torn asunder. Originally held together by disciplines of mind and hand, devotees of the powers of the mind have been pushed aside by the technological innovations of the devotees of hand power. As belief in the power of magic fades, the last enclaves of magic users simply disappear. But they are not actually gone. They have formed a second world, accessible only by a few Gates that bind the two worlds together. This new world is
Alyssa Archambo
Aug 11, 2011 Alyssa Archambo rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
The beginning of The Arm of the Stone was really rocky for me. Honestly, it got to the point where I thought about giving it up; however, I didn't and I'm glad I stuck with it.

I thought the beginning was rather drawn out and overloaded with characters, history, etc. Also, the conflict didn't seem very interesting to me: Bron's family swears to take back the Stone, which was once theirs and reclaim their power from the Guardians who now hold it. I thought this was too simplistic and it didn't rea
Conan Tigard
Nov 16, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like The Arm of the Stone. I became very attached to the main character, Bron, and wished to see him succeed in this quest. Be warned, this is not one of those happy little fantasy tales with elves and dwarves.

This is a story of a young man growing up in a totally oppressive world that would seem to parallel a time in European history; the Spanish Inquisition. The Arm of the Stone is so powerful that no person in the world of Mindpower is allowed to vary from what is written. No change
Jean V. Naggar Literary
Aug 09, 2012 Jean V. Naggar Literary rated it it was amazing
“An intelligent, fascinating novel...the complicated politics and social structure of this world give it a depth most fantasy novels lack.” --SF Site

“A rich story about human nature, this fantasy is a thought-provoking page-turner....A thoroughly enjoyable read.” --Kliatt

“A really brilliant novel...Most unusual and fascinating...Exceedingly well done.” --Anne McCaffrey, author of THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN

“Involving fantasy, treated with unusual depth.” --Locus
Julie Davis
This was this week's free offer from Phoenix Picks (via Amazon for Kindle). It is the third one they've had and the first that I've liked enough to go on past a few pages. I'm interested to see where this story leads. I generally find stories with this many standard fantasy elements to be retreads, but this one feels different and I hope it keeps it up.

The basic story:
Long ago, when the worlds were one... So begins the Tale, the ancestral legend Bron's family has guarded for a thousand years. On
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kay Iscah
Nov 28, 2011 Kay Iscah rated it liked it
Overall the writing was solid. The pieces of plot fit together. There's a prophecy plot and a whole wrestling with fate that's classic fantasy. But there were a few issues that keep it an okay rather than a great or good book.

Imagine the wizarding world has subjugated the rest of the world and blotted out technology to Dark Ages level, then imagine that Hogwarts is sadistic and legalistic and Professor Snape is the nicest teacher on staff. Keep all the legalism of the Catholic church, but remov
Apr 17, 2011 Helen rated it did not like it freebie of April 2011

Having real trouble getting into this - i just can't work out why the "bad guys" are nasty and evil. Yes, there is corruption and nastiness in general - but why is the institution of baddies worthy of being taken down :S

I've seen tech = evil done so very well by David Weber in Off Armageddon Reef where the protaganist has a very understandable reason for causing change (and introducing tech back again). So here it's really falling flat for me.

It's a very eas
Tristan Gregory
Pretty good. Interesting world and plot, though it felt a bit disjointed at times. I feel like there was a lot of story the reader should have gotten between the beginning and the end that we ended up missing out on because the writing style bloated the length of the book.

By that, I mean that the paragraphs are all behemoths. There are no moments of rapidly-flowing narrative. Several sentences describe, and re-describe each moment, and close one eye and squint a little and re-examine it again.
Oct 14, 2015 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great throwback read that reminded me of the fantasy I read in high school (which makes sense, since this was first published in the 90's).

Though part of a duology, I feel like the book could stand well enough on it's own, and would be a great pick for fantasy lovers looking for a break from the onslaught of series these days.
Apr 15, 2012 Nemi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite fantasy books from a long time ago. I remember back when I first read it I had problems getting a copy of the sequel because it was out of print (now that I've remembered I found a copy on ebay). This story is a bit slow at times, but the overall writing is good. I love the way the world is woven together and the build up between the two main characters. I also enjoy the lack of cliche in regards to the ending between the two.
It's rate I give up on a book, but I just could not get into this book. It seems like the typical Chosen One story where a boy with nothing emerges as the magical one to lead his people out of darkness and all that. And there are all these excess brothers and sisters I couldn't keep track of.
Travis Dalke
May 05, 2011 Travis Dalke rated it liked it
Loved it. Didnt think i was goign to enjoy it in the begining but one i got about 30 pages in, it had me hooked. I couldnt put it down. I enjoyed the unraveling of the the story and the melding of the different characters lives. I am looking forward to reading the sequel to this story.
Jul 17, 2009 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well maybe 4 stars is a little high but the whole background "world" for this fantasy book was fascinating and totally new. I "think" I might look for the next one in the series-but maybe not. It did seem a little ponderous at times. We'll see. At least it's just a duology.
I liked how Ms. Strauss took a classic fantasy trope and turned it on its head; however, the time jumps, while perhaps necessary to covering so much story time, left me disconnected from the characters, making this an OK, but not stellar, read for me.
Jun 09, 2011 C.S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is the kind of fantasy that pushes past my general distaste for fantasy. While I wasn't happy with the pure fantasy elements (I never am), the quality and depth of the writing kept me reading.
Jan 10, 2013 Hannah rated it liked it
Unique, intriguing fantasy. Focuses more on characters and situations than magic and myth, and poses some interesting points. I enjoyed it for it's divergence from the mainstream fantasy.
Deranged Pegasus
Mar 18, 2011 Deranged Pegasus marked it as to-read
I am so thankful for Goodreads First Reads for allowing me to get this book. I have not yet had a chance to read it but once I do I will be sure to update this review.
Apr 14, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Very slow-paced book. None of the characters were particularly enjoyable. Very little action, and I found myself unable to care about how the story played out.
Kayla Ashley
I won this book from a firstreads giveaway here on goodreads. I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing it soon!
Apr 17, 2012 AH marked it as to-read
Kindle free download 4/17/12.
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Michael Turner
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Nicholas Smith rated it really liked it
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I'm the author of nine novels for adults and young adults, including the Stone duology ("The Arm of the Stone" and "The Garden of the Stone"); the Way of Arata duology ("The Burning Land" and "The Awakened City"); and "Passion Blue" and "Color Song," a pair of historical novels for teens. I've reviewed books for SF Site, Black Gate, and Fantasy magazine, and my articles on writing and how to get p ...more
More about Victoria Strauss...

Other Books in the Series

The Stone Duology (2 books)
  • The Garden of the Stone (The Stone Duology, #2)

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