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Isle of Blood and Stone

Review

Isle of Blood and Stone

Eighteen years ago, the kingdom of Del Mar was at peace. When the two child princes were kidnapped and murdered along with their entourage of servants and teachers by a mass assassination attempt from the neighboring Mondrago, peace was no more. A brutal war ensued between the two island kingdoms, leaving both countries with countless casualties but Del Mar winning control of their enemy. But that is not where the story ends for three friends Elias, Mercedes and Ulises.

Elias lost his father at the same time the princes died, and followed the footsteps of the man he never knew to become a great explorer and mapmaker. Mercedes is constantly tormented by hateful Del Marians because of her half-Mondrago blood. Ulises lost his brothers and, as the only remaining prince, ascended the throne.

"Once I started reading, I could simply not put it down until I finished. Seemingly simple details end up with monumental gravity, as the plot builds piece-by-piece through every chapter."

For all three friends, that fateful day appeared to be a tragedy of the past until two maps show up promising clues that there was more to the princes’ murders than was previously thought. With maps made by a skill that was thought lost, the three friends search to unravel the puzzle hidden in the charts. Together they go on a treasure hunt that may reveal what really happened to the princes and the mapmaker, but will inevitably end in danger and betrayal that they may not be able to handle.

In a time where my wanderlust and drive to explore is stronger than it ever has been, Lucier delivers a captivating tale of explorers and dreamers. Despite the trio never leaving their home kingdom of Del Mar, Lucier still managed to make me feel like they are going on an adventure to find secrets beyond the stars. Del Mar is a kingdom of many wonders, and they are recounted in exquisite detail and mind-spinning action. Elias, the main narrator, lives life at a fast pace, and that is reflected in the way the story is told. Once I started reading, I could simply not put it down until I finished. Seemingly simple details end up with monumental gravity, as the plot builds piece-by-piece through every chapter.

Elias’s desire to see more, discover distant lands and immersive himself in new cultures relates to the dreams of so many readers. His rash decisions and quick thinking makes every twist and turn the story takes somehow seem like the logical procession. His loyalty and care for everyone around him eases his instinctual reaction to jump into a fight. His changing friendship with Ulises, the new king, and his dance with his beautiful best friend Mercedes builds a character of strength, kindness and a mind a sharp as a knife.

Mercedes manages to excel in the man’s world she is forced to live in. As a talented diplomat and spy, she seems to put on a PUT TOGETHER front until we delve into her narration and realize just how similar to us she is. Despite her cliché love for her best friend, she shows her affection in odd ways that make her unique. Her endless royalty to her king, and cousin, is unwavering, even in a kingdom that hates her.

ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE takes a mystery from across a lifetime into a search that grows more pressing and dangerous as more is uncovered. With each new clue and piece of information, the three friends grow closer to a shocking truth that they may never learn if they won’t survive to see the end of the treasure hunt of a lifetime.

Reviewed by Caitlyn K., Teen Board Member on April 26, 2018

Isle of Blood and Stone
by Makiia Lucier