Octobercountry's Reviews > Bound in Stone: Volume One

Bound in Stone by K.M. Frontain
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's review
Jul 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle-lending-library

Eh, the official blurb for this title doesn't provide the greatest description; doesn’t really give a hint as to what the book is like. The text begins with an author’s note; she said the idea for the story came to her when she was wondering what would happen if an ancient god was incarnated into human society, born as a regular child. What would such a child be like if he had no memory of his past existence, nor any awareness of his inherent skills and powers?

And that gives us Kehfrey, who as the story begins is only seven years old but already impossibly precocious and with a tremendous amount of charisma. Now, how to describe him---he’s more than just mischievous; the words “imp” and “rapscallion” and “hellion” come to mind. But he also has a personal charm that’s quite irresistible; the reader can’t help but like this kid. As a member of a low-class family of professional thieves, early in the story he is caught while breaking into the house of an incredibly powerful---and more than a little evil--- sorcerer (Tehlm Sevet, the Shadow Master) and from there all the drama ensues. Tehlm is intrigued and strangely disturbed by the youngster, and decides to take him on as an apprentice---and at the same time takes on Kehfrey’s older brother Vik as a lover.

Before you know it, Kehfrey’s entire family is wrapped up in the sorcerer’s affairs and living at his manor with him. Tehlm is on a quest---and more than willing to use them all to recover a vitally important and mysterious object that has been stolen from him…

I found I not only liked Kehfrey, but most of the members of his family, despite the fact that they have many less-than-admirable qualities (and that’s putting it mildly). The character I was most interested in was Vik---but what a mess he’s in. His relationship with Tehlm cannot be considered healthy in any way whatsoever. Tehlm himself is an interesting villain, in that he’s not a purely two-dimensional character like you’ll find in many fantasies. Oh, there’s no question he’s evil, and has done many horrible things. But on the other hand we get a glimpse as to how he became so twisted, and little bits of wry humour and charm shine through occasionally. So he isn’t completely black-hearted---though I still want to warn Vik to stay as far away from him as possible!

While I simply couldn’t put this book down in my hurry to find out what happened next, it’s odd that I enjoyed the tale as much as I did. As a rule I enjoy fantasy stories that are considerably lighter and more upbeat than this one. Some really horrible and gruesome things happen in this story; unpleasant and disturbing in the extreme. And I really do prefer to focus on material that has a more positive and life-affirming feel and message than some of what you’ll find in this book. But---now I’m hooked. This is the first part of a trilogy (and the first of nine books that the author has written about this world so far), and I definitely plan on reading part two. I don’t think the character of Tehlm can be redeemed---he’s just too evil---and so I’m wondering if Kehfrey will have to destroy him in the end. Well, I guess I’ll find out if I keep reading!

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