Writing up the previous Ethshar book, I talked about how a strength of the series is its ability to jump from the epic to the low-key, and that’s definitely at play in Lawrence Watt-Evans’ Stone Unturned.

As the book starts, we have three plotlines, with three sets of characters, and it’s not at all clear what the relationship between them is. It becomes a bit clearer once you realize that you shouldn’t just ignore those datelines at the top of every chapter—which, quick tangent: I really super-wish writers wouldn’t put chapter-heading dates in books that go in straight linear order, because then I just get used to ignoring them and don’t realize that they’re significant when they’re critical to understanding a non-linear book—and of course eventually they converge, in a way.

Right there, you’ve got an Ethshar book that’s on the intricate and involved side, but it goes on to set up even more puzzles to be resolved, with some large-scale magics in play. The end result is a pretty major book in the series, although not as world-changing as a handful of others.

This is like the mumbleteenth entry in the series, so really there’s not a whole lot to say that I haven’t said before; but yeah, I like these books, and the way they give a kind of light puzzle feel to an epic fantasy world. Recommended.


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