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The Ourean Chronicles #1

The Misanthrope: Stone’s Story

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Before Stone trained Kara Magari or taught the First Vagabond to master the Blood loyalty, he was nothing more than a slave boy named Terric.

Terric is a curious loner hellbent on reading his master’s forbidden books. When one heist goes wrong, Terric abandons his old life and runs for freedom—only to fall prey to a ruthless man named Niccoli.

Niccoli is an isen—a creature of magic from the hidden world of Ourea—and he awakens within Terric an unimaginable gift. But this gift comes with a catch. Suddenly in control of newfound power he is forbidden to freely use, Terric realizes too late he simply traded one master for another.

In Ourea, a world dominated by the gifted, few isen dare defy their masters. Until now.

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166 pages, ebook

First published May 12, 2015

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About the author

S.M. Boyce

26 books753 followers
Boyce is known for action-packed epic fantasy, powerful heroes, and riveting magical stories filled with twists and intrigue. And, of course, a bit of humor sprinkled through it all. Pick up your kindle and get lost in the journey.

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5 stars
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35 (30%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Tanja (Tanychy).
588 reviews252 followers
September 4, 2015
Review also posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

In case you missed it somehow I'm a huge fan of The Grimoire Saga, which is actually from where the characters of this, and those to come, short story is coming from. So after the original saga ended, Boyce said that she would write the short stories for the three, for me the most interesting side characters. I was thrilled.

That's how we got to the Stone and his story. Now in this short story we see how everything started for him and what he actually was before we get to meet him as Kara's coach in a way. His story is quite interesting one as he started as someone not that important, but his desire to knowledge led him to the place he is when we first meet him. Not to spoil things for you, he goes through a lot in order to become somebody.

Now the thing with me and Stone is that we never had some special connection. Yes he was always an interesting character, but never really someone I couldn't wait to see in the book. So for me it wasn't really a surprise that I couldn't quite connect with him in this book. I did enjoy the story and really interesting world building, though.

But for everyone who has read or plan to read The Grimoire Saga, I recommend to read this story too. It's also a different view on Ourea (I won't say more).

Rating: 3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Valeria.
208 reviews233 followers
August 14, 2015
I absolutely loved this! I simply cannot get enough of Ourea, but I loved to get an insight in Stone's previous life, and I can't wait for the rest of the series. Review to come...
Profile Image for Lana.
2,175 reviews44 followers
July 8, 2019
This is a book which just needs to be read, as it is a book about Stone, and it explains a lot about Stone's character as we know him in the Grimoire series, emotionless, very cold and abrupt. Reading about his life as a young slave child, at the time known as Terric, being made fun of because he was already a loner who preferred to read rather than play. All he ever wanted was to study and discover things and to be free, however this was not his destiny because when an opportunity to escape from his master, the Manor Lord, he went from the fire into the frying pan. All he had done was change one master for another and this one was much worse. Stone was killed by the Isen known as Niccoli and given a second chance of life, in fact he had been made immortal. He was turned into an isen, thus gaining magical powers, and was to live in Ourea! He never stopped seeking his freedom and he hated being enslaved to Niccoli, carrying out his every command without a choice, so he kept on studying and learning till the chance finally came and he took it. This was the man who trained the first vagabond and later also trained Kara Magari the current vagabond. Stone was forced to become who he became through the abuse he received at the hands of his masters. Funny how Niccoli himself wanted freedom from his own master, yet never even considered freeing Stone. I love the character of Stone, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel, which leads us to the final 6th book of the saga by introducing us to the real hero of the whole series the man who started the rebellion. Finally Stone's experiments had borne fruit!
Profile Image for Donna.
1,058 reviews1 follower
November 26, 2019
This gives the background on Stone's miserable life and how he strives to break the bond between him and Niccoli. It seems that all isen resent their masters and seek to free themselves from the compulsion that keeps them in line. The majority of this story deals with Stone's attempts to find out how he can escape.
540 reviews
October 25, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this short story on stone. It was so good to hear how he became the way he was, other than his terrible personality. Very enlightening and gave great depth to the previous novels I just read.
Profile Image for Bec.
506 reviews10 followers
December 22, 2021
I really enjoyed this story which gaves us Stone's background. We learned more about Stone's master Niccoli, and the events which lead to Stone escaping his grasp. Definitely worth reading if you have read the Grimorie Saga.
Profile Image for Angela.
46 reviews6 followers
February 24, 2022
This one was harder to get through than the other books in the series, just because the main character isn't very likeable at all really. However, I realize it was necessary to understand how he came to be and why he acted the way he did later in the timeline.
Profile Image for Maria.
Author 9 books15 followers
September 2, 2015
First, a big thank you to S.M. Boyce for providing me with a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I was sad when The Grimoire Saga ended after four books. Lichgates remains one of my favorite indie reads, really one of my favorite reads, period.

So when The Misanthrope, and the other books from The Ourean Chronicles, was announced, I was thrilled to know that I was going back to Ourea to learn more about some of series’ more interesting characters. Stone was such an enigma in the Grimoire Saga, so I was happy to see his book first.

The Misanthrope dives into Stone’s history taking readers to a time before Stone was Stone. His beginnings were unexpected, yet I could see traits lending to how Terric would “grow up” into Stone. His background definitely fit with who Stone is in the Grimoire Saga, so even though I said it was unexpected, I am satisfied with how well his character grows. His early years were not easy, and I easily empathize with the desire to read and the lengths he went to to get reading material.

Being a history of this character, I figured that not all of the story would take place in Ourea, especially given what Terric/Stone is. This is true, but being the Ourean Chronicles, I would have liked to see more of the magical but dangerous world that has so captured my imagination. I felt as Stone did, hearing about this spectacular place, but having it dangled in front of him, and not getting to see it for himself for so long. This is only a minor issue, however, and what I did see of Ourea was awesome, such a varied world, and I really liked the explanations of the lichgates.

The Misanthrope moves at a steady clip of build up and action, making it a quick read that I finished in one sitting. There were a couple of twists I did not see, particularly with other characters involved in Stone’s life, that I enjoyed. I always like being surprised.

The ending was superb, and overall I loved seeing how Stone’s story ties in with other parts of Ourean history. It made me appreciate his role in Kara’s life that much more throughout her time in Ourea during the Grimoire Saga.
Profile Image for Amber.
1,196 reviews33 followers
September 21, 2015
The Misanthrope is a beautifully revealing and truly inspiring tale of a quiet secondary character in the Grimoire Saga who had a profound impact on its exquisite heroine. This is a story that reveals the inner workings and the hidden past of one who wielded a massive amount of influence. We are now granted the pleasure to see the events and people that shaped and molded him into the man that he became. We see how his passion and pitfalls led him to the one that would forever change his world.

Stone was a teacher to Kara Magari for a time when fear and confusion ruled her heart. She stumbled upon a deeply hidden truth that shattered her world and let her in darkness. Stone was the only one who could lead her back to the light. While he would never have been seen as one who was capable of compassion, he proved that even one such as himself could find a small piece of redemption from his endless misery and regret. Kara found a fierce loyalty and surprising solace within the man who was seen as deadly and irredeemable.

Stone intrigued me more than any of the secondary characters in the Grimoire Saga. It was his quiet and stubborn view of life that hooked me into wanting to see what all happened to him. To learn the details of his life was both devastating and intriguing. He was not at all like I had imagined which fascinated me even more. The revelations brought forth made my heart burn with intense sympathy and made me second guess my hastily made conclusions. No matter what we may see or experience, we need to let our heart lead us forward. Only then will we truly see what lies in the hearts of others.

S. M. Boyce has given us such a wonderful gift in handing us the knowledge of Stone’s past which brings clarity to the struggle and the future of his world. Her characters are always much more than they appear and Stone is no different. He has a haunting past that has shaped him into the harsh yet lethal man that others see. I can never get enough of her brilliantly incredible world, and I would truthfully love to go back again and again and hope to see the astounding land that Kara longed and sacrificed for it to become.
Profile Image for Robert Zimmermann.
Author 6 books165 followers
February 10, 2017
S.M. Boyce has done it yet again. The Grimoire Saga may have ended with the release of Illusion last year, but my adventures through the world of Ourea are far from over. The Misanthrope is a welcomed return to the magical, dangerous world that Boyce created, and I couldn't have asked for a better story to read.

Like the read of the books I've read from Boyce, there is no lack of genius writing. Each setting is written beautifully. Whether it's on Earth or in Ourea, I felt like I was there standing beside the characters, taking in the scenery, sounds, and scents. That's one of the things that drew me in early on.

Strong, well fleshed out characters are also offered up in this book. Stone, the main character, was able to develop more in this book compared to when readers first read him in the later Grimorie Saga books. I felt like I was able to understand and sympathize with him even more having read his story, now. The side characters, while not the main focus of this story, were also brought to life to the point that I would enjoy reading books focused on their lives, as well. Each character has something to hook me in and make me curious about what makes them tick.

Another thing that I thought made me enjoy The Misanthrope just a little bit more was that, while being part of a spin-off series to the Grimoire books, it felt like a book all its own. The was much shorter in length, yet packed just as much of a punch. it was a bit faster paced, and I think the story benefited its brevity in certain sections. For a book that covers many decades of Stone's life, it didn't feel like it was jumping forward too fast, nor did it feel like it was bogged down on any one time period.

As with my reading of Boyce's previous books, I'm already getting impatient about her next release. Credric's story will be the next in The Ourean Chronicles and I have no doubts as to whether or not it'll end up at the top of my tbr pile once it's released.
Profile Image for Rabid Reader.
959 reviews13 followers
June 27, 2016
An unusual tale of servitude, soul stealing and doing what you can to survival. It tells the story of the life of a boy born into servitude, who trades one master for an even worse master while choosing to become an almost immortal being. It is an interesting and very unique story that is expected narrated by Tim Cambell. He seamlessly navigates the different accents and brings life and personality to the various characters. The characters pull you into the story, even though the main protagonist is a rather uncaring, self cantered guy, but you still want to follow his life to see what happens. The author did a great job of creating sympathy and attachment to a character that really has only a few redeemable traits. She also created some very likeable secondary characters and a "villain" you really do want to see beaten. Even though this can be read as a stand-alone story, in this first book in the series the author has set the threads of what I think will become a complex and intricate story, not only with parallel worlds and different races but also with the multiple consciousnesses within the individuals. I will look forward to the next audiobook in the series. I received this book from the author at no cost in a giveaway
Profile Image for Lorena.
607 reviews12 followers
July 19, 2016
This was an intriguing story about a not very likable character. I wasn't all that fond of the main character, Stone, because he was too much of a loner, too morose and single-minded. However, I certainly didn't hate him, and it was easy to understand his motivation and why he did what he did. Some of the supporting characters were much more appealing, and I wish we could have gotten to know them a bit better, but this was very much Stone's story, as the title indicates.

Both the story and the world it was set in were interesting and kept me wanting to find out what would happen next. I particularly liked how the author incorporated all of the different senses in her descriptions to help draw the reader in.

I haven't read The Grimoire Saga yet, so I can confirm that this book is easy to enjoy as a stand-alone. However, there may be context I missed by not reading the previous series first. I do intend to read or listen to the other books now, since I'm curious to learn more about Ourea.

Tim Campbell did a great job with the audiobook narration. I could easily distinguish between the different characters, and I enjoyed listening to his narration.
Profile Image for Dawn.
1,511 reviews18 followers
April 23, 2016
I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

S.M. Boyce’s Grimoire Saga was a delightful adventure and I enjoyed learning Stone’s history. I don’t think I would have liked this book as much if I had read it as a stand alone before I’d read the Grimoire Saga. It’s more like a piece of the puzzle falling into place.

Although his character is well developed, Stone is not one that the reader can connect with. He cares for no one and he doesn’t care who or what he hurts (or kills) in order to get what he wants. His only goal is to free himself from his master, Niccoli, who is ruthless and evil. There is one isen Stone does care for but he won’t even allow himself to think about it.

I liked the ending of Stone’s Story and look forward to reading the next book about Cedric.
Profile Image for Becky .
378 reviews7 followers
August 10, 2015
Once again S.M. Boyce has turned out a great story! I am a fan of any of her work. I was sad when she chose to end the Grimoire Saga but was thrilled to hear she would continue to give us stories about our favorite characters from that series and The Misanthrope hit the mark. I wasn't a big fan of Stone but know, knowing his back story, I can understand and cut him some slack. Still don't love him but I understand him better. I am excited for the rest of the 'backstory' books.
Any of her books could be read on their own, are great stories within themselves, but as a series it is such a pleasure to read from beginning to end.
I highly recommend any of Ms. Boyce's books because she know how to write a riveting story!
Profile Image for Daisey.
156 reviews
January 3, 2016
I found the Grimoire Saga absolutely fascinating, and as soon as I heard about this prequel story I was interested in reading it as well. I enjoyed it, but it just didn't draw me in the same way that the rest of the books about the world of Ourea have. Stone is an interesting character, but I didn't feel the same connection to him or the compulsion to know how he would succeed in his fight to be free from Niccoli. I also missed some of the detail of the magical world of Ourea because Stone doesn't get to travel or explore it much. It is still an interesting piece of the story of Ourea and I'm glad I got the chance to read it and learn more about this character.

*I received an electronic copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laura.
560 reviews22 followers
September 12, 2015
I received a free ebook copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Terric--later calledStone--is an unawoken Isen who is violently brought into a world of magic by the cruel Isen Niccoli. Unbeknowst to Terric, he's just traded one world of servitude for another, one that involves stealing souls in order to survive. All the while, Stone seeks a way to be free.

As always, it was a pleasure to read this story. It shed light on the origins of one of the characters in The Grimoire Saga. Stone is an interesting protagonist, morally grey (can you blame him, though?), and definitely not your "good guy" by any stretch. All the same, I could sympathize with his struggles against Niccoli. Can't wait for more from Boyce!
Profile Image for Emerald Barnes.
Author 21 books122 followers
August 27, 2015
I'm a huge fan of The Grimoire Saga, so when I was approached about reviewing Stone's Story, I jumped on the chance. And I liked it, but I wasn't in love with it.

Stone was very annoying and whiney, and although I enjoyed reading about his beginnings as an isen, I just couldn't get past how annoying he was. Although, I could understand why he would be so, I just wasn't a huge fan of his in this book. I do love him in The Grimoire books, though, so I definitely suggest you read this book.

It's a great idea of how and why Stone is the way he is and all. It's a good book, but it wasn't my favorite.

**I was provided a free e-copy in exchange for a fair, honest review.**
Profile Image for Jean.
912 reviews35 followers
July 9, 2016

This book has a little bit of everything: Magic, Shape Shifters, Plans of Escape..

I liked the main character, Terric, I felt sorry for him when he traded one form of slavery for another.

The author is very descriptive and she does well with the imagery of her world.

All of the characters were written well, even the Side Characters.

This book was a good edition to the series and I can't wait to read or listen to the next book in the series.

Tim Campbell did really well with the narration.

"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
Profile Image for Bobbi.
728 reviews24 followers
August 28, 2015
I love reading the side stories where a character gets their start and this one is no exception. Terric is put through a lot of things through his young life which continue into his adult life. He is brainy smart and has a very dry sense of humor. He plots and plots his adventures until one day he finds an opportunity to finally free himself. Niccoli is a very strange, ruthless man that only wants one thing and will stop at nothing to get it. S.M. Boyce really brought me into her story and held me there.

I received this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for NancyMagaly.
100 reviews5 followers
August 25, 2016
I enjoyed learning more about Isen and Stone's background. The insight helped tie things up going into the 4th book in the Grimoire series. It was funny to learn Stones's personality is the way it is from the get go, not something that happened during his lifetime, hence the nickname Stone. By the way, I was pleasantly surprised with the ending. I do want to know more about Vivian. The writing was great, I felt there were a few areas that could have been developed or covered a little more-Andor. Otherwise, fast paced and enjoyable.
50 reviews8 followers
August 13, 2015
If you're like me and you enjoyed the other books in the series, but you're looking for a new perspective and a completely different kind of character, definitely check this one out. Boyce's writing has steadily improved over the series, and in my honest opinion it shines through better than ever in this new and unapologetic addition to the story.
I highly recommend any of Ms. Boyce's books because she know how to write a riveting story!
Profile Image for Jan farnworth.
1,310 reviews83 followers
October 5, 2015
First off thank you to the author for letting me read and review this wonderful character story. I love this story i may not like Isen all that much but seeing how stone was created and the kind of life he had to live actually made me feel sorry for him. I love how we get to see this side of this character and maybe now understand him more in the world of Ourea. The story is nice and short can easily be read in a day.
October 2, 2015

As always, fabulous, quality content. It was an interesting pov and Stone is such a great character. This book gives access to Ouros and how it's beings view their own reality. Great character development and helped to delve my imagination further into Miss Boyce's magical literary creation. I adore the Grimoire Saga and can't get enough. Don't want to spoil it but is a must read! :-)
Profile Image for Malerie.
11 reviews9 followers
July 22, 2015
Great book! Boyce did not disapoint at all with this one.. she seamlessly takes you back to Ourea, and even though it is a different time and different character views, you will feel like you are returning home! Can't wait to read the next two books! As always, great character development and vivid scenery..
1 review
September 28, 2015
I absolutely LOVE the Grimoire saga...cant get enough of Ourea... I really liked this "before" short story... I liked everything about it... cant wait for more... Im addicted to Ms. Boyce's writing style, characters plots ..everything.. never boring always want to see what happens next.. thank you Ms. Boyce for adding excitement to my life thru your books
Profile Image for C.J. Santiago.
405 reviews4 followers
September 28, 2015
Stone's story is very interesting. Although he's a bit whiny, this tells us how he finds an opportunity to free himself. You feel like you have returned to the place it all began. Stone's story is a new perspective and quite different. I enjoyed the book immensity. Keep reading my friends.
Profile Image for Houston Gordon.
1 review4 followers
September 29, 2015
This was so good!!! I read it in three days!!! Couldn't put it down. I loved hearing about Stone and his story!!!! S.M. Boyce is an excellent author. I love her work! I am so sad Heritage and Illusion aren't on IBooks! Can't wait to read more of her work!!
214 reviews
August 14, 2015
Awesome book have read all the Ourean books and am waiting for more to be written
Profile Image for Tiffany.
253 reviews9 followers
August 15, 2015
Excellent novel, with all kinds of magical and alluring events. Good read!!!
15 reviews
April 9, 2017

Great story but disappointing ending. I wanted more. Hopefully there'll be a second book on stone as there is to be with the first vagabond. Or maybe that part 2will cover both of them.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

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