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Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite
Herlot of Alonia by Maria Rosestone is without a doubt a classic tale reminiscent of the wondrous adventures of The Lord Of The Rings. Steeped in the small kingdom of Eraska, we fall under the spell of Herlot, her family, friends, and the magical creatures that surround her, as she grows up in a land where riches are measured by the contents of souls, and gold is taboo to all. This is a land where the breath of mystery kisses the chill air, open hearths glow in the reflection of homely hearts, and the magic of times lost touches those worthy. Only evil can shatter this paradise, and it snakes into Eraska, driven by King Felix of the kingdom of Isolda, who is twisted by a desire to overthrow Ipta, the most powerful empire known. When this plague descends on Herlot’s village of Alonia, her life is inexorably changed as she is carried through despair and horror, on a journey to save her people and restore the freedom of her country.
Maria Rosestone’s Herlot of Alonia is one of those rare gems that instills in the reader a rarefied state of paradox; torn between wanting to discover the story’s secrets and equally not wanting the tale to end. The pages of this book literally crackle with wonder, gripping you in a vice you will be unable to shake. The flow of the plot is spot on, with perfect subplots that will allow you to experience the full scope of emotions. All of the characters are superbly molded, and rich in their differences and depth. I loved so many of them, and their relationships, particularly the potential triangle between Herlot, Movo, and Seum, which planted the seeds of infinite possibilities. There were other elements woven into the story that truly enhanced the atmosphere, including but not limited to, the introduction of Benyamin, the mystery surrounding Manni, and even the Rite of Passage. Ms. Rosestone has created a world that evokes a feeling of awe in me, incredulous that such words could emanate from one imaginative mind.