Title: Sage Stone: The Magic Between the Worlds
Author: Darcy Deming
Genre: YA / Adventure / Spirituality
In this unique coming of age story, Darcy Deming tells the tale of Sage Stone, his extraordinary family, and the equally extraordinary journey he must take to become the man he was destined to be. Chosen by the mythical Thunder Beings and having closely survived a brush with death, Sage’s life is irrevocably altered, as he must now battle the darkness in order to bring light into the world with the aid of his twin sister Hannah.
This book started off with a bang, plunging the readers straight into the action with Sage’s near-death experience and subsequent return to life. The sense of urgency evident in the writing, as well as the teasers of intrigue, betrayal, and family secrets, provided just the right level of interest and anticipation for the rest of the book.
The excitement of the opening salvo was balanced by the careful pacing of the book. Ms. Deming took time to lay the groundwork and basic bones of her story by using a combination of flashback and storytelling scenes, as well as by allowing readers into the characters’ memories. This added nuance to the story and gave readers a better insight into what drives and motivates each character.
The traditions of the Tachi tribe to which Sage belonged were seamlessly woven into the narrative. No detail was spared in the description of healing rites and morning rituals: the beat of a drum, the use of words, the movement of the body, and the sense of oneness with the world at large–the close attention to the minutiae of life within the conservation added an air of authenticity to the book.
As a coming of age story, it was only understandable that a greater part of the book would focus on the lessons Sage needed to learn in his journey to fulfill his destiny. While these were an integral part of the plot development, there were moments when it threatened to overwhelm the actual story. In some chapters, the lessons were prioritized at the expense of moving the narrative forward.
Dialogue was also not the strong point of the book. Some of the conversations between the characters felt stilted and less than natural. However, where the author’s talent shone was in her ability to set the scene and to make the landscape of the story come alive. There was a lyrical cadence to her phrasing that gave the book an almost poetic rhythm, and this was done without having to oversaturate the prose with metaphors.
Vivid, brimming with imagination, and filled with adventures at every turn, this book served as a good launching point for a series that will be eagerly anticipated by fans of the fantasy genre. It blended Native American traditions with the all-too-relevant themes of tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of preserving nature. Ultimately, this is a positive, family-centered book of courage and redemption that readers of all ages will enjoy.
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