#SPFBO Review : Stone Magus (Hidden Gems Saga #1) by Stephanie C Marks


Stone Magus by Stephanie C Marks is the second book from my Second Batch of books that I’m aiming to read and review this month.  You can find feedback from my first batch of books here and further information on SPFBO here.


This is going to be a difficult review to write and quite possibly a short one because it will be difficult to really elaborate on either the plot or the characters without giving spoilers away which I don’t intend to do.  This does however make it tricky to discuss likes or dislikes

As the story begins we meet Opal, travelling back to her childhood home (although not happily given bad memories).  Travelling with her mentor/master Olog the two are part of a religious/magical Order that retrieve and care take magic artifacts, they’ve been sent on a mission to retrieve an item of importance. Unfortunately something nasty still lurks within Opal’s former home, a shadow creature with a particular design in mind, and things don’t go as well as planned.

Next we meet Ruby, Opal’s sister – a scholar as opposed to a warrior/fighter.  Ruby is a gentle female, less assertive than Opal, in fact Ruby was traumatised by the events at the childhood home and has retreated a little.  That is until she struck up an unlikely relationship with a Dwarf called Baerdun – unlikely because Ruby is half elf and many others consider such a coupling beyond unnatural.  In spite of such prejudices though their relationship has blossomed into love and the two are unhappy about the likely split that looms when Ruby will be required to return to the Order – surprisingly, Baerdun decides to accompany Ruby leaving his blacksmithing behind.

Both Opal and Ruby are strong mages but during the course of their travels they encounter an illness and, without spoilers, their magic is traded for a cure.  From there onwards the story involves the return to the Order, accounting for what has happened and trying to find a way to return the girl’s powers.  Understandably both of them are seriously unhappy about this strange turn of events.

Now, I would say that Stone Magus is paranormal romances or fantasy romance if you prefer.  Basically though, I would say that although this is a fantasy setting with elves, dwarves, mages, etc, the real focus of the story is Opal, Ruby and Baerdun and the relationship that the three of them share.  In fact although during their journey they encounter hardships and prejudices along the way, I would say their personal journey is the real purpose here.

 I don’t tend to read a lot of romance but it’s not unknown for me to pick up the occasional book here and there and I have no problems at all with the romance elements here.  However, I did feel like the fantasy side of things played something of second fiddle and, to be honest, I’m not totally sure, even at this point, how much I enjoyed the main concept.  Of course, I can’t really discuss that element further because there is a twist in the tale – and it certainly is a very unique twist indeed – I’m just not really sure at this point how I felt about it.  On the one hand I think its very original and it certainly surprised me, but, on the other hand, it just felt a little awkward in some respects.

In terms of the romance I would mention that things become a little bit hot and steamy as the relationships progress although this is towards the last third/quarter of the book.

To be honest, although this one didn’t totally work for me I wouldn’t discourage romance readers who enjoy a fantasy setting.  

My thanks to the author for providing a copy.  The above is my own opinion.

Books already reviewed for SPFBO :

  1. Deathborn by CE Page
  2. Graves Robbed, Heirlooms Returned by Ashley Capes
  3. Stranded by Rosalind Tate
  4. One of Us by ML Roberts
  5. Berserker by Dimitrios Gkirgkiris


19 Responses to “#SPFBO Review : Stone Magus (Hidden Gems Saga #1) by Stephanie C Marks”

  1. Tammy

    I’m curious about the twists!

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