Lander's Choice

Stone Sovereigns Book 2

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
315 Pages
Reviewed on 11/09/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Lander's Choice (Stone Sovereigns Book 2) by Chris Wachter is a riveting young adult fantasy novel. If you like stories about people journeying into the center of the Earth but with a twist, this may be the book for you. You are about to enter The Core, which lies deeper than the liquified center and is a collection of huge, alluring, deadly caverns. This book has Stone Sovereign Lander forcibly escorting Aurelius Hunt and company into The Core by way of The Vortex, a vicious whirlwind of tornado proportions. But what he finds is surprisingly light and beautiful. But could its attractive veneer be a front for something more sinister? The Stone Sovereigns are the chosen ones of the politicians, not the Ungifted, who are basically slaves. This imbalance of power is not conducive to the peace that Lander's mother talked to him about. Can peace ever be a reality now?

I really like the internal, heroic struggle Lander has to endure, and Wachter pulls it off well, showing a conflicted protagonist wanting to be true to his mother's wishes, but return home to his friends in one piece. I also like how Wachter carries over some characters and family memories from the first book. The author has crafted an amazing plot--a science fiction fantasy/coming of age drama that begs to be filmed. It's really a simple story but told with layered conflicts and complex emotions--the best kind. You really feel for Lander, you're pulled into the world the author has built, and the stakes are high as he tries to maneuver himself and his friends out of the situations they're in. The descriptions are stimulating to the senses, the characters and dialogue full of life, and the idea of a Christian fantasy novel is fresh and compelling. Lander's Choice (Stone Sovereigns Book 2) by Chris Wachter leaps from the starting gate and doesn't let up.

Vincent Dublado

The second book in the Stone Sovereigns Series, Lander’s Choice, now has Lander realizing the truth of his legacy. Chris Wachter brings us to the center of the earth to witness Lander fulfilling his destiny and facing a challenging moral choice. He had to transport Aurelius Hunt and his men as prisoners through the Vortex and into the Core, where he discovers a world far more enchanting than the world he knows. Yet he discovers that this world is not what it seems back when his parents emerged from the surface sixteen years ago. The political landscape in this world has changed since those in power now favor Stone Sovereigns over the Ungifted that they treat as slaves. Hunt becomes a privileged citizen once again. The beauty that Lander sees is merely an external appearance that conceals true sinister sentiments, and it is up to him to make his mother’s vision of peace become a reality.

Much like the first installment, Lander’s Choice not only delivers a good premise but great world-building as well. The vast caverns of the Core can house cities, and you can feel the surface and texture of rocks by simply reading about them. Moreover, Lander’s prowess as a hero is tested by the formidability of enemies he faces, for the antagonist is often the measuring stick of how much sympathy and support you will give the hero. Lander grows with every experience that leads to his maturity. He used to be a loner; now he is trying to save an alternate world. This is a good young adult fantasy that is action-packed yet manages to retain a degree of wholesomeness that everyone can enjoy.

Gail Kamer

C.S. Wachter’s Lander’s Choice, Book 2 in the Stone Sovereigns series is a wonderful read. Lander, along with others, travels beneath the Earth’s surface to the Core. There they find a beautiful underworld filled with intrigue and danger and the need for bravery. Lander’s desire to explore the mysterious stones of power left to him by his parents leads him to make some heartrending decisions. With every step Lander takes, his decisions create problems for the inhabitants of the Core, as well as for the people he loves. How will he handle the difficult choices he has to make and will the choices be the right ones for all the people Lander cares for?

A magical read is found in Lander’s Choice, Book 2 in the Stone Sovereigns series by C. S. Wachter. It’s a coming of age story for the Young Adult audience. However, as an older reader, I enjoyed it too. The world-creating for the setting held great beauty and was appropriately described to make it easy to visualize. The mysterious disease that filled the air connected to today’s virus world and added a note of believability as well as intrigue. The addition of tying the story to Noah’s flood was a brilliant idea and one I truly enjoyed. I also enjoyed the friendship and the romantic elements incorporated within the plot. If you’re looking for a refreshing storyline, Lander’s Choice is a great choice for you!