Reviewed by Sarina
This is a Series Review of For Whom the Heart Stone Burns Series (Books 1 – 2)
AUTHOR: Kari Gregg
PUBLISHER: Self Published
Even though I’ve read several books that revolve around someone from our world somehow ending up in a world that relies on magic instead of technology, its always a pleasure to find a new twist on an solid concept. So far this series has managed to be both unique and engaging and I found myself thoroughly enjoying both books; I will be eagerly awaiting the next release to see what this author comes up with next. If you enjoy a fantasy story that isn’t reliant on elves or a lot of flashy magic to be enjoyable, I’d seriously consider giving this one a try.
TITLE: Act One: Safe Travels
LENGTH: 99 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 1, 2015
Becket built his life around unbelief in the magic Theo, his uncle and guardian, had devoted his all to…until Theo vanished. Grief-stricken, Becket followed Theo’s clues, sending him through a stone grid to Ket. With no magical ability, Becket must find Theo in a land where dragons roam the lowlands and magic evolved in men and women who aren’t apex predators and have settled in high aeries to survive.
Locating his uncle, however, is the easy part. Becket is a bibelot – non-magical. And Theo is recovering from a wild magic storm that hit his expedition to the lowlands. He can’t control his power.
They can’t go home.
Elders will permit a second expedition and Theo’s sole hope of obtaining frequency stone to stabilize his magic, but only if he allows seers to scry Becket’s sentinel first. Too bad the protector scried for Becket is Theo’s rival in this strange otherworld, another caster named Kellan Fik. And Kellan knows Theo and Becket aren’t what they seem.
Handfasting his enemy may be Becket’s best and only chance.
This was really good; its so rare to find a fantasy book that doesn’t idolize those with magic and that made for a really nice change. The story starts with Becket sorting out his uncle’s estate; missing for over a year, Becket figures him for dead and blames his uncle’s preoccupation with magic as the reason why. Not one to put any sort of faith in the ‘woo-woo’, as he calls it, Becket nevertheless prepares to perform the same ritual his uncle did before he disappeared so that he might finally get some peace; the way he figures it, the magic works and he finds his uncle or it doesn’t and he’ll grieve and try to find some closure. Waking up in a summoning circle with a strange man asking if he’s a demon certainly wasn’t part of the plan.
Like I said, this was really good! I was given enough information to understand the situation Becket found himself in but was otherwise left to figure things out alongside the main character. I thought it was great that those without magic were considered precious and to be protected rather than the mages being the ‘special’ ones and I liked how each of the ‘aeries’ were different and had their own unique characteristics and specialties. The entire story was interesting from beginning to end and I really felt as though I was taking the journey with Becket.
TITLE: Act Two: New Beginnings
LENGTH: 100 pages
RELEASE DATE: September 15, 2016
Who is seducer and who the seduced?
Kellan Fik raced to Nitcha when a master seer scried his rival’s fosterling as his destiny and his mate. Becket was a bibelot—devoid of magic. But the man wasn’t the shy, submissive virgin Kellan expected. Ponderously tall, outspoken, and a shockingly skillful lover, Becket intrigued Kellan and inflamed his desires. Becket was also the key to unraveling the puzzle of Becket’s guardian and Kellan’s chief competitor, Theodore Douglas.
Kellan courts Becket with powerful charms and the dizzy wonder of their every caress. His hope? Convincing his wily lover to share his secrets and cement their bond. Becket isn’t what he seems, but neither is Kellan. Together, they must learn to trust despite the lies and intrigues… before it’s too late.
Continuing directly from the previous book, Becket is now preparing to go through an engagement to a man from a rival aerie in order to help secure a way back home. Things are more dangerous than ever, however, as Becket’s future fiancé is already suspicious of his uncle Theo and if anyone finds out where they’re really from, neither Becket or his uncle will be making it home at all. Surprised by the instant attraction, Becket is wary but not unwelcoming of his new beau and the feeling is mutual. Though the men man be from different places, their connection can’t be denied and when startling news about Becket’s uncle is brought forth, Becket will need to rely on that connection even more if he doesn’t want to end up as a political pawn or worse, a prisoner.
This was every bit as satisfying as the previous book; Becket is slowly learning more about the world he now finds himself in and while floundering, he is at least willing to try. Kellen finds that Becket is everything he ever wanted in a mate even though he didn’t know it; he embraces that which makes him different and makes plans upon plans to keep his new lover safe. I liked the two men together; they each managed to teach the other something unexpected and while slow, the trust is steadily growing between them. The end of the story was totally unexpected yet makes for a great lead in to the next book, whenever that gets released. All in all this was really enjoyable and just made me want to read more; I’m looking forward to getting that chance! I rated this as a 4.3* but rounded up to work with our rating system.