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The Heart of Stone

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  438 ratings  ·  142 reviews
Mercenary. Murderer. Monster. Task has been called many names in his time.

“Echoes of Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch.”
– SFF World

“Grimdark with heart and soul.”
– Anna Smith Spark, author of The Empires of Dust Trilogy

“A very, very good read."
– Fantasy Faction

“A brutal delight with thrilling action and heart, rowdy and wise, bloody and tender at the same time."
– Dyrk Asht
Kindle Edition, 406 pages
Published March 30th 2017 by
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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ARC provided to me by author Ben Galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Heart of Stone is a very addicting read, with very heart filled characters that will make you question your empathy. It may also be the only book I've ever read that's main protagonist is a Golem.

“A knight. A girl. A lord. A golem.”

Task is a Windcut Stone Golem, the last of his kind, and was solely made for killing, destruction, and war. Yet, Task has a soul, a heart, and feelings, no matter how hard he tri
Petros Triantafyllou
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Heart of Stone is the first book of Ben Galley that I ever got to read, and oh-boy do I ache for more.

Task is, and was for all of his life, a war machine. Build with stone and magic more than four hundred years ago, his only purpose is to serve. Bought and sold between Kings, Generals and Warlords, Task doesn’t pick sides - he kills everyone instead. But just because he is good at it, it doesn’t mean that he likes it. So when he’s given a chance for redemption, he is willing to sacrifice eve
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can find this review and more at Booksprens.

I would like to start by thanking the author for providing a copy of the Heart of Stone in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to mention that I alternated reading the ebook and listening to Adam Stubbs's amazing narration (via Audible).

Nine feet tall, four hundred-year-old and made of stone and magic, Task is one of the last Golems in the Realm and a powerful, nearly invincible war machine. Task is bought by the Truehards of Hartlund
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-heroic
I had the great pleasure of meeting Ben Galley through Mark Lawrence's inaugural Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off contest. While the coming-of-age element in Bloodrush didn't work for me, there was enough imagination and narrative flair that I was definitely open to reading more of his work. So, when he offered me an early glance of his latest work, I was happy to give it a read.

The Heart of Stone is a much darker, more mature story than my introduction to Ben's world, and that's precisely what I
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was excited to read this one, I knew a little bit about it before I picked it up, I knew that it had a golem as one of the main characters which is what got me so interested - I love non human POV's. I'm so glad to say this didn't let me down and I absolutely loved it.


**Bingo: Self Published, 2017, Non-human protag**



* **Task** - Task was meant to be the star of the show in this novel, and man did he deliver. He's such a complicated character, he's over 400 years old a
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo
This was my first read of the #SPFBO (Self Published Fantasy Blog Off) books. I was definitely hoping for good things as I've previously read a book by Ben Galley, and enjoyed it, but as this is a new series I wasn't sure what to expect.

I would describe this as a fun, military-focused story which centres around the Fading and the Royalists. Basically the Fading are a fracture group who have broken away from the throne becuase they believe the young boy-King is being ruled by his advisors and is
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
A land is torn apart for ages historically by political powers. The Truehard’s army is seeking victory against the vengeance of opposing forces. Their new weapon is a stone golem, created to wreack havoc via a path of destruction alongside the brave soldiers.

Task is his name. He is the main character, the golem that was created by the architect to obey his current master. And many of those he has had in his lifetime.

“There are three rules I am bound to. I cannot disobey my master, I cannot
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books-own
What a wonderful book and how much I liked the main characters! I'll write a review but I'll cretainly read more by Ben Galley! ...more
Nov 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was a while since I read a fantasy book. Maybe that;s why it took me some time to read this. At first I was a little afraid it would be focusing only on war and I’m not the biggest fan of that kind of books. But luckily I worried for nothing because there is a lot of adventures in The Heart of Stone with some unexpected plot twists and let me tell that I’m the person who is rarely surprised while reading book.

The main character, Task, is a 400 year old Windcut Stone Golem who was created as w
Kitvaria Sarene
3,5* I was lucky enough to get an arc of this one!

Let's start this off with a quote to set the tone:
"People don’t like the reflection of what I am to them. I may be different, all stone and dust instead of skin and blood. But they still see themselves. Copied. Faked in stone. They see their Architect’s work in something that isn’t flesh, and they can’t help but be offended by it, scared by it. Fear breeds hate."

So this one felt quite a bit more serious in tone, than Bloodrush, which is the last
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
5🌟 😍😍! My first Ben Galley and I am hooked! It is a standalone novel about a Golem, a magically made creature that is forced to obey a master. Built for war. They can be made of wood, bone and in this case stone. Task is his name, and he is not a machine. He has feelings and thoughts of his own but is forced to obey cruel masters through the years. He longs for change. So we slowly get to know Task, a small glimpse into his making and then back to current moments where is meets a new master. Aga ...more
Laura Hughes
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a solid, competently written novel that fantasy fans can appreciate and enjoy. Galley has created memorable characters you’ll want to read more of and breathed life into an unconventional hero you probably won’t want to say goodbye to.

Read the full review on Fantasy-Faction.
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘Survive or die. That’s a peasant’s war, my stone friend. That’s the cause we’re fighting for.’
Heart of Stone by Ben Galley was such a captivating and utterly impressive fantasy standalone, and one that I had such a pleasure reading.

The story follows, Task; a nine foot tall, more than four hundred year old golem. Yes, that’s right, our main protagonist is a golem, made of stone and old magic, and I freaking LOVED that! Task, and others of his kind, were built for war. They were an ultimate weap
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy

Task is a 400 year old Golem, amongst the last of his kind. He was built with old magics as a tool of war, bound to the bidding of his human master. But something went wrong in Task’s creation that gave him the ability to think and feel. Weary of the ugliness and chaos of war, over the years he has deadened himself to the destruction he is forced to wreak on humankind. That is, until he meets a fearless young stable girl who awakens feelings in him that have long lain dormant.

Dangerous feeli
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Task is a war machine built to win wars and follow orders of his masters. During long centuries of existence he’s seen it all and he doesn’t have a lot of esteem for skinbags (humans). Sadly, because of magic binding him, he can’t just run away to paint, read grimdark books and live in peace.
He is thrown amidst a kingdom's civil war between royalists, the Truehards, and the capitalist factions under the Last Fading. His master, as many before him, turns out to be a petty and cruel man and a cowa
Dyrk Ashton
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The opening chapter of The Heart of Stone had the 15 year old kid in me cheering and the author in me applauding. I was hooked, and that enthusiasm for the story never abated throughout.

I mean, it's a golem, a monster, a war-machine made out of stone. It's like 400 years old, 9 feet tall, and it's name is Task. What more could I want? Extremely well drawn and memorable characters arranged in a rounded and wonderful cast, maybe? Well it's got that. A really interesting alternate world? Check. Cha
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Imagine, if you will, a scenario where an unprecedented weapon turns the tides of war. There are many instances over the course of our history where this is evident: a longbow, gunpowder, and the atomic bomb have all been instrumental in providing the decisive blow. But what if this weapon had a conscience? A name, a soul? Meet Task, a 400-year-old stone golem, hero protagonist of Ben Galley’s Heart of Stone. He is such a weapon, and this is his story.

If we can look at humanity through the lens
Anna Spark
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I’d recommend it.

There we go. Don’t need to write anything else.

No, damn it, Ben interviewed me a while back and made way more effort. Okay, here's a review:

It’s nicely written – and I know these things, trust me, I’m very particular about people's prose. Densely plotted with some nice, neat little plot twists and lovely nods to classic fantasy tropes (actually, thinking about it, I’d possibly not recommend it if you’ve never read a fantasy novel in your life before).
Trevor Sherman
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My full review with my "amazing" Goblinized™ art can be found at

The main Character is a 400 year old Stone Golem. His name is Task and his “task” is to kill people. He is bound by the magic that made him to serve his master. So for 400 years he has been moved around and sold from one master to the next. And since he is thought of as a war machine that means he was sent from one war to the next.
Like I said before the world is a pretty Grimdark place with
The Nerd Book Review
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A podcast review of this book is available here The Nerd Book Review

Some details.
Task is a 400+ year old golem who was created to be a machine for war. He’s always been a bit broken as far as golems are concerned because he thinks and feels and doesn’t enjoy killing. Unfortunately he is unable to disobey his master.
Task is then thrown into a civil war that has been raging for 9 years. He makes a friend in a teenage girl who isn’t scared of Task. Lesky, The girl, is clearly special in some way
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Having already read and enjoyed Bloodrush by Ben Galley I was delighted to receive an arc of Heart of Stone.

As ever with Ben, the books he produce feel like a quality product — you know as much effort goes into every aspect of the book as the actual writing of it.

Sadly I cannot give the book the 5 stars so many other (much more qualified and renowned) bloggers and reviewers have, for a few reasons, but mainly it is the beginning. The story just didn’t hook me as quickly as I’d like, 50 pages i
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was the timing, or maybe it was just the nature of this book itself, but for some reason The Heart of Stone took me a long time to read. That said, I really enjoyed it. The story is not just about war and fighting, as the description had initially led me to believe. Amidst the action, we also have a lot of adventure and intrigue, as well as a number of unexpected twists in perspective and m
J.P. Ashman
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Genuinely the best standalone novel I've had the pleasure of reading!

Completely unique protagonist as far as I'm aware. Used to tackling golems as mindless automatons in D&D and so on, it was completely refreshing, intriguing and exciting to read a well planned and thought out world and story from a golem's point of view.

The supporting characters are fantastic and important in the progression of Task as a character. They made him as much as he made them.

Twists and turns and laughs and sobs, T
Review also published here

Disclaimer: The author contacted me via email to ask for/offer a review copy. I accepted the request and have not regretted it. Since then I've also ordered a print copy for my shelf off Amazon.

The Heart of Stone is already a strong contender for my favorite books in 2017. Not just because it is still early in the year, mind you, but because it had an incredible blend of emotion, action, philosophy and compellingly complex characters. I'm honestly still amazed b
Michael Britt
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

I really enjoyed this novel. It had some really great action scenes and quite a few POV characters I liked. The only problem I have with this novel is that since it is a stand alone, there was A LOT that the author had to cram into this book. I also really enjoyed that ending!
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
I’ve just finished Heart of Stone and what a brilliant book.

Task is a five hundred year old wind-cut golem, a purpose built war machine capable of tearing men in half, crushing cannons and rerouting entire battles in his favour. He is also an abomination. Whilst bound to a master and his orders through old magic, unlike others of his kind he is entirely self-aware, capable of doubting his own actions and the actions of those around him. This makes him a question mark but one that for some reason
Twerking To Beethoven
"The Heart of Stone" is yummy stuff. Also, needs to be said, this is a self-published book BUT it's been more satisfying a novel average over-hyped, Hugo-awarded load of wank mainstream publishers would love to ram down your throat. Oh, it's a stand-alone, and that's definitely another plus, right there.

Great story, great characters, jolly good job. 4.5 stars. I'll definitely read more stuff by this chap.

BTW, on a personal note, I can't help picturing Task like The Thing off th
Rebekah Teller
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Task is a stone golem hundreds of years old. But something went amiss in his construction, and he has a sense of conscience independent from following his given master's orders. We begin the story with Task arriving at his newest master, purchased as a weapon in yet another war. The war experience in this story feels authentic, including down time between battles, getting to know soldiers, cleaning up the aftermath of skirmishes. These moments in between the conflicts lead to more character insi ...more
Hiu Gregg
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thought-provoking story with some heartfelt character work, a tonne of shit-your-knickers battle scenes, and a fantastically narrated audiobook.
Graham Austin-King
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first of Galley's books I have read and I have to say I was impressed. The concept alone is enough to pique anyone's interest. A golem, long established in myth and fantasy as being a semi-mindless automaton, yet with a soul and the ability to care.

Used as a war machine for centuries and bound to the will of its master, the golem, Task, has seen enough bloodshed to horrify a generation. Yet despite his skills at warfare, Task is unable to refuse the orders of his masters.

Galley drag
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Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut Emaneska Series, Ben has released a range of epic and dark fantasy novels, including the award-winning weird western Bloodrush and standalone novel The

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