Title: Isle of Blood and Stone
Author: Makiia Lucier
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Page Count: 405
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
Isle of Blood and Stone, the first in a duology, is a sweeping historical fantasy full of intrigue and schemes, romance and friendship, and fearless explorers searching for the truth.
Ulises asked, “How can I look at these maps, see this riddle, and do nothing? They are my brothers.”
Elias reached across the table and flicked aside two shells with a fingertip. The map curled into itself. “It’s bound to be a goose chase. You know that?”
“Or a treasure hunt,” Ulises countered, “and you’ve always been good at those.”
Nineteen-year-old Elias–a royal mapmaker and an old friend of del Mar’s newly crowned king, Ulises–is eager to explore uncharted waters. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, Elias must put aside his next voyage and join forces with Ulises’s cousin, Mercedes, on a quest to solve a mystery that began eighteen years ago with the disappearance of Ulises’s two brothers. Following the clues hidden in the maps, Elias, Mercedes, and Ulises uncover long-held secrets and unimaginable betrayals.
Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier is the first book in the Isle of Blood and Stone duology. This series is a young adult historical fantasy with a touch of romance involved.
The story starts with the royal navigator Lord Antoni out on and excursion with a group including two of the young princes. As everyone in the group is setting down to eat and rest Antoni is gathering supplies to show the boys how to make a compass. After the wine is passed around however everyone in the group begins getting sick and the sounds of someone approaching can be heard.
Fast forward the story eighteen years where a young girl, Reyna, who is studying to be a map maker herself has come across maps that look like the work of Lord Antoni. The problem with this discovery is that it looks as if the maps were made after the horrific massacre eighteen years ago.
Little Reyna takes her discovery to King Ulises who approaches his friend Elias who has just become a master mapmaker himself with the discovery. When a hidden clue is found Elias and Ulises’s cousin, Mercedes take on the quest to uncover the mystery of just what happened that day eighteen years before.
Isle of Blood and Stone is a slow building story that felt very heavy on the historical and lighter on the fantasy side. It takes a reader back to the time of Kings, courts, politics, spies and intrigue. It becomes known that after the poisoning where everyone out that day was thought to have died that someone confessed to the crime which started a war with a neighboring kingdom but now the question comes up as to whether or not they were even involved.
As it jumped the eighteen years it was a tad confusing to join in on new characters as it slowly established who everyone was and slowly came back to what had happened at the beginning of the story. It was a tad slow for my own taste as I’m always looking for more action but despite that I still enjoyed what the author created and will certainly be curious as to how it all turns out in the next book.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Makiia Lucier grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam (not too far from the equator) and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her debut novel, A Death-Struck Year, was called a “powerful and disturbing reading experience” by Publishers Weekly. It was a finalist for Germany’s top book prize for children, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, as well as Japan’s Sakura Medal, and was named an ABC Best Books for Children Selection by the American Booksellers Association. Her second novel, Isle of Blood and Stone, will be available in Spring 2018.
Visit her at http://www.makiialucier.com