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The Stone Mage and the Sea (The Change #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  231 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
"The Stone Mage and the Sea" is the first volume in the fantasy series "Book of the Change".
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 27th 2002 by Voyager - AU
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Kat  Hooper
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Sal and his father have been on the run from something for as long as Sal can remember. Now they’ve come to the seaside town of Fundelry and it seems like Sal’s father may finally be giving up. Sal doesn’t know what they’ve been running from, or what happened to his mother, who left them when he was young. Most of the townsfolk are suspicious of the newcomers, but Lodo the hermit and his young apprentice Shilly take an interest in Sal. Under their tutelage
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Oh how I wish I could have read this book sooner, but so many things got in my way. In a way it was a good thing - the book lasted longer - but I could have devoured this in a day if I'd had my wishes.

I discovered Sean Williams in the Legends of Australian Fantasy anthology - something I HIGHLY recommend - and I'm so glad I've started with him.

The Stone Mage & The Sea is the first in a trilogy called The Change. Sean Williams is incredibly visual. Though he writes of amazing, fantastic thin
Adam Blond
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. Very entertaining. Good strong characters and a great introduction to a new world. Looking forward to the next book in the series. Would recommend for YA or adult readers.
Karen Field
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
The Stone Mage and the Sea by Sean Williams has been sitting on my book shelf for a couple of years and I thought it was about time I read it. I’m glad I made that decision.

Sean Williams is an Australian writer and I was pleased to see the Australianisms come through in his writing. In fact, it made for a nice change. The setting is clear and feels so real that I would almost be willing to guarantee that the author did his research by sitting in the Australian desert.

What I especially liked abou
Rose Copeland
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I didn't even know these books existed until I had already struggled through the first installment of the sequel series beginning with The Blood Debt. There are so many allusions to past events that it quickly became difficult to read despite loving the story, so I'm glad to have found these before starting into the Hanging Mountains.

The story follows Sal and Shilly as kids coming into their own, dealing very realistically (albeit more maturely than might be expected of the average fussy adoles
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
The Stone Mage and the Sea was an all right book. It wasn't anything special nor did it bring anything new to the table. It was also a bit slow. That's not to say I didn't like it.

It's hard to judge the first book in a series. The Stone Mage does an excellent job at world building and for setting up the rest of the series. If that's what Williams wanted then he accomplished that. However, since I was hard pressed getting through this book then I'm on the fence to whether I want to continue the s
May 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I picked this novel up before boarding a flight. The writing style is visual, direct and engaging. It reads fast and easy, and reminds me of the juvenlie fiction of Heinlein. I suspect that the protagonist will "grow up" as the story progresses in later novels. The story is fantasy fiction, where the "Change" referred to in the title of the series is an inheritable trait for magical ability. However, this may be "Arthur C. Clarke" magic, as there are plenty of indications that the society portra ...more
Oct 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This, the first Book of the Change, is a quieter and more wistful story than the later Books of the Cataclysm (which I read first), lacking the same epic quality but with a particular charm of its own. Here we meet a younger Sal and Shilly, and it's really the start of a coming of age story for the pair of them. As I would expect from Williams, it's well-characterised, and the (very Australian) landscape lives and breathes more than most do. A really solid starting point to the series, and compu ...more
Mike Hedley
Jul 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read "The Crooked Letter" before this book and despite the fact that "Stone Mage" is more simplistic, as befits a work written largely from the point of view of a pre-pubescent boy, the former work gives great insights into the background of the Change. A well-written novel, with great descriptive language encompassing what is undoubtedly the Australian outback complete with camels and native fauna. A few Americanisms creep in (airplane) to Sean's work, alas, that's Australia these days.
Jul 29, 2011 added it
I didn't know what to expect with this book. I found a rich world with an engaging system of magic. The characters are interesting and everything seems to work together well. I particularly enjoyed references to native Australian animals in a fantasy setting. Doesn't happen often. I would probably classify it in a teen fantasy category.
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopias
I read this book ages ago, so I don't remember a lot about it.
But Sean Williams is a massive fantasy nerd (he wrote a bunch of Star Wars books, just saying) and made a really interesting (if not completely original) magic system. When I read fantasy, I generally look for new or new ways of applying magic systems... because I am a nerd.
But yeah, I remember liking the one in these books.
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Stone Mage and the Sea is a nice change from all the high fantasy novels that are so popular these days.

While it is fantasy, it's original as the main scenery is a coast town and the desert. It also features engine powered buggy's instead of horses. This modern edge to the world gives it an edge above the standard fantasy.
Sep 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This story took me on an adventure I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved the characters and found myself rooting for them all the way. Also, the colorful scenery and variety of characters was great. Sean Williams created a universe with this series that I was addicted to. I am hoping he decides to write more of them!
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing! I could barely put it down once I started. I never considered myself into Sci-fi but as per a review, it "is both eerily familiar and strangely alien" and this familiarity helped bridge the gap of my comfort zone. The ending left me wanting to seek out the next installment of The Change. Congratulations Sean Williams on a well written gripping story!
Daniel Taylor
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy
Before I'd read any of his books, I met Sean through the South Australian Writers' Centre and I liked him. Despite his lofty New-York-Times-bestseller status, he gave a lot of time and support to this fledgling speculative fiction writer.

This was the first book of Sean's that I read. It's fantasy in a landscape uniquely (South) Australian. Captivating and unnerving.
Heather Petersen
Amazing book, fun, lots of adventure

I actually listened to the book and it was amazing!!! Great voice actor!! Have fun either listening or reading because the book is very enjoyable!!
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Turned out it wasn't really my thing.
Mitchell Gage
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the Australian flavour of this one.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really a young adult coming of age series, I still enjoyed the good writing and the premise. Once I realized the author is Australian, the geography of the settings became much clearer.
Karen Chong
Oct 31, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
Just could not get into this book.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good aussie fantasy / sci-fi mash up with some interesting concepts but ultimately feels like it's just setting the stage for a larger story. Will definitely check out the rest of the series.
Oct 18, 2016 marked it as not-finished
Nothing really wrong with this, I just got halfway through and realised I was unexcited about finishing. Probably would have stuck with it if there was more going on.
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Will Canova
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#1 New York Times bestselling Sean Williams lives with his family in Adelaide, South Australia. He’s written some books--forty-two at last count--including the Philip K. Dick-nominated Saturn Returns, several Star Wars novels and the Troubletwister series with Garth Nix. Twinmaker is a YA SF series that takes his love affair with the matter transmitter to a whole new level. You can find some relat ...more
More about Sean Williams

Other Books in the Series

The Change (3 books)
  • The Sky Warden and the Sun (The Change, #2)
  • The Storm Weaver and the Sand (The Change, #3)

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