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Journey to the Fringe (Stone Mage Wars #1)
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Journey to the Fringe

(Stone Mage Wars #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  380 ratings  ·  104 reviews
Long ago, all of Lyria revered the Stone Mages. These magical men and women used powerful tradestones to harness their unique gifts of wind, rain, and earth to help those around them. But war with the Southern realm has threatened the mages with extinction. The truth about the tradestones has been lost,, and the remaining magic is dwindling.

When Princess Ivy, the beloved d
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Shadow Mountain (first published April 18th 2012)
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  380 ratings  ·  104 reviews

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Erin(and Hannah)
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tired of Vampires, werewolves and dystopian books? Here's a refreshing new author weaving an exciting adventure. While it started out a bit slow for me, I think it mostly was so because of introducing so many characters at the outset. It never left me confused, though, with the author keeping pace with the reader. Just when I thought it might be too slow for me, it picks you right up and gallops you through a fun, almost "swash-buckling" adventure. I dreaded the ending knowing this was the first ...more
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I Loved it! I am so excited for the next two. The characters are well developed, I loved each of their individual stories, loved the adventure, the bravery, stories of redemption (not sure if that is the right word for it) with a touch of romance (but not sappy). I want to be suave and cool like Saffi, feminine and brave like Ivy, and powerful like Mara. Well done Kelli Swofford Nielsen. Bring on the next two.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I know the author's parents and I was excited to read her book. I liked it a lot. It is a fantasy geared toward young adults. It is a well thought out book, the characters are developed and the plot is intriguing. It's about magical men and women who use powerful tradestones to harness their unique gifts of wind, rain, and earth to help those around them. There is a war against those who use their powers for evil. The good ones are called Stone Mages and are all but extinct. An unlikely band of ...more
The Lady
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Book review coming soon on All Things Purple
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
I would give 3.5 if I could. It was good, but not great. The story was original, but it felt familiar. The characters were interesting to read about, but not deep enough to feel attached to. I liked it, but wasn’t excited about it. it’s probably best for younger teens.

I liked that it was low on angst. And the original world was a good concept.

It’s marked as a book #1, but it felt more like a stand alone. Which I actually prefer right now. Maybe other books will just be in the same world? 🤷🏼♀
Benjamin Fisk
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
It felt like the author tried to cram two books into one short volume. The characters did not have much depth to them. The story line with magic in this reality and how it worked was lacking. I would not get the second volume. On the bright side it is a clean, simple story, maybe some one younger would enjoy it more.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a fun read. Their magic reminded me a lot of the bending from Last Airbender. The plot was a bit predictable, but it was still well written. It didn't fully grab me and pull me, but it was enough to make me want to keep reading it.
Jodee Clark
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
good clean book with adventure and problem solving. happy ending. easybread. 3.5 stars.
Debra Salas
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun read.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lds-fiction, ya, fantasy
This was a refreshing change of pace. I enjoyed the characters and the world and look forward to reading more about them.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This says it's book 1, but I can't find any follow up. I hope so, because this was an awesome read!!
Oct 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I originally got this as a book on tape for a trip to help pass the hours of driving...It was not a normal genre that I would have chosen, but I enjoyed it.There is the elements of magic, danger, suspense in good verses evil, and the unlikely relationships the develop because of good banding together. It is a great combination, except for the part about the cliff hanger at the end. Good prevails for now, 2 will let you know what happens next and now i am invested and interested in th ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic, fiction, three-star
It was a decent book and it was fun to read, but the plot was very predictable. Sometimes it felt like the characters were following archetypes exactly to a T.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it
On the whole, I enjoyed Journey to the Fringe. The plot was well thought-out, the magic system worked, and the characters were interesting, but I found it somewhat hard to connect to the story. Nielsen uses the third-person omniscient style, but rather than focusing on one or two characters, she introduces many characters. You’ve got Ivy (the kidnapped princess), Simon, Gilda, Burr, Merrick, Hastings/Laith, Medwin, Princess Mara, semi-villain King Than, and the main baddie, Abaddon. Because you’ ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Journey to the Fringe was a very well-written and captivating novel. After I read it, I was amazed when I learned that this is the author’s debut novel. It’s about a fantasy kingdom called Lyria. Long before Lyria existed, there used to be what were called Stone Mages. These men and women had power over the elements, and each of them had tradestones that helped them use their powers. In current-day Lyria, the princess Ivy—the hope of the people—was kidnapped, and a motley crew of Lyrians want to ...more
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Journey to the Fringe is a fantasy with a very interesting world. Though it took me a few chapters to get into the story, after I became acquainted with all of the characters, the story took off for me. A unique aspect of this book is how many different POV's (points of view) are used in this novel. I felt that this allowed more story to be told. If this book had only been told by one point of view, I don't think it would have been as rich and bold. I loved many of the characters such as Prince ...more
Feb 24, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: couldnt-finish
I'm sorry, but I just could not get into this book. The chapters were SO SHORT. As in ANNOYINGLY short. It wouldn't be so bad if it was all one story, but every chapter switched to a different person's story. So here you are reading about someone's story line, you are just getting into it, and then the chapter ends. And then the next storyline starts up, you read 10 paragraphs (not even enough to get into the story line) and then the chapter ends. It just kept repeating this process over and ove ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
War is threatening in the kingdom of Lyria, the Southern realm is trying to take over Lyria. Things look especially dark when Princess Ivy, the most beloved to the Lyrians is abducted. None of the Lyrians are sure just what to do, so it takes a while, but eventually a small number of them set out to save her from the Fringe, a far distant and dangerous place for them to go. Our heroes for this adventure are Simon, he's a fool, Gilda, she's a witch who's just had her witches trade stone revoked b ...more
Michael *Windrunner*
I'm writing this review after 3 years of having read the book. so... I may not remember things perfectly. But, if memory serves:

This book started out somewhat slow, but still held my interest. The story revolves around several characters who have control of a particular element (I'm using the term used loosely here since "time" isn't exactly an element). However this magic requires a specific gemstone (e.g. Ruby for fire) in order to harness their ability.

I found this to be an interesting check
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Despite a rough start, I really enjoyed this book. I liked that the story wasn't just a princess story or only focus on the princess and what she does to fight for her country. But instead, it takes a collective group of dynamic people from Lyria that work together and at the end you feel that you followed each one through a different journey together. However, that structure does cause VERY choppy chapters at the beginning that were annoying, and the battle at the end was drug out, a bit predic ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me start off by saying this is one of the best stories I have read in a long time, besides Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn Trilogy ;) The book starts off a little slow while introducing many characters, but you'll realize the amazing effect the lengthy character introductions have on the rest of the story. Awesome characters, great plot, and overall...a very exciting adventure. If you like Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series, you will enjoy this story; so many different key characters who poss ...more
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: young-adult
Ask anyone who writes fantasy what the hardest thing to achieve is and the answer you'll receive will be magical realism.

Magic must make sense in order for it to (1) work and (2) be believable. The most base of all magic, and the hardest to write (and get right) is elemental magic; not because it is difficult but because the nature of the elements and the pervasiveness of it in every human culture. Break the rules and it stops working. Twist the rules and you add disbelief.

Debut author Kelli S
Jul 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing first novel! When treachery, war and magic threaten the kingdom of Lyria, an unlikely group of citizen undertake a dangerous journey in hopes of saving their kingdom. Their quest tests their courage, their strength, and their friendship. But it also teaches them much about themselves and the value of standing firm for a common cause. I enjoyed the story line, the character development, and the heroine. If Kelli Swofford Nielsen ever writes another book, count on me to read it.
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It just became a new favorite. I'm excited that its a first in a series. There's great character development and the story line is fast past. There isn't a lot of build up, the authors style of writing kind of gives things away as you go, but I still enjoyed it. There is enough description and depth that you follow the story. I'd love to see more background on Ivy's mother in the other books. I didn't feel like there was enough explanation on her. I can't wait to read the next ...more
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoy many books written for young adults and I thought this was a great first novel. I actually listened to it as we drove across country and I enjoyed the narrator's performance. It started out a bit slow for me. You are introduced to all the key players in the first few chapters but I felt the author did a fine job of setting the scene for the story.
Although the overall themes of the book seemed familiar (if you enjoyed Harry Potter, you will enjoy this), I was caught up in the story and fo
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow, what is it with me and reading books with rotating perspectives lately? Seriously, I think this the fifth book in a row that employs that writing style. Anywho, although it took a little while to really get going, Journey to the Fringe was a fun, easy read. I loved Burr and Hastings most. This book is the first of a trilogy, but the book concludes strongly enough that it can be read on its own. I would recommend it to young teenagers with a penchant for magic and adventure.
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I just can't say anything else! This book is completely clean. I don't even recall any swearing! Honestly, books of this quality are so hard to come by anymore. I also enjoyed that the plot was not driven by romance. It was good to have a change of scene. The plot was complex and difficult to explain, but I loved reading it. This Kelli Swofford Nielsen has got herself a new fan. I look forward to the next book!
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
While it may be fun read for a middle schooler, this book quite honestly infuriated me. Aside from some rather annoying characters, there were a lot of comparisons that were extremely confusing, and a bunch of big words speckled throughout the text that didn't match the style of writing whatsoever. But a few redeeming qualities are that it does have a decent plot, as well as a good overarching message.
Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
Hmm, I was just lamenting the style of modern high fantasies a few hours earlier, and look what I just found! A high fantasy I'm actually looking forward to reading! What sold me is the fact that it's published by Shadow Mountain, one of the only publishing houses I (view spoiler)
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a first time author Nielsen did an excellent job of creating an entertaining story- Many of the characters and their back story are well developed while others characters are not as clearly defined. The story as well had some parts that were told masterfully while other story lines felt rushed and glazed over. In all I did enjoy this book and found the overall story itself interesting; I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
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Kelli Swofford Nielsen graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in teaching English. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Chicago, Illinois, with their two sons. Journey to the Fringe is Kelli’s debut novel.
“Learn from the past, he said. Remember it and realize that in a way it is responsible for making you who you are. But also realize that the only you who really matters is who you are right now. That is the you who has the ability to act, to change lives, to do something monumental, and to influence the future you.” 2 likes
“The problem is you make the tricks look good. You are a brilliant acrobat, and a witty comedian. You are skillful. People want a fool to be foolish--trip on banana peels and grin and spout nonsense. These men want fools to make them feel better about themselves, not to remind them what they lack.” 2 likes
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