Pilgrims of Stone and Saber

The Lodestone Chronicles

Christian - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
242 Pages
Reviewed on 02/16/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Pilgrims of Stone and Saber is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure subgenres. The opening novel of The Lodestone Chronicles, this work is suitable for teen and adult readers alike. Penned by author J.B. Wagner, this enchanting story unveils the reluctant journey of Pilgrim, an Anointed, who has fervently avoided her destiny. Trusting in the protective power of the Lodestone, she has sidestepped the life her mother led and her father's wishes for her to ascend the throne. Hiding in the Emerald Hills for a decade, her peaceful existence crumbles when her guardian's beacon vanishes. After she is faced with a forced marriage attempt, the Lodestone's magic propels her into an unexpected union with General Gershom.

Author J.B. Wagner deftly weaves a tale of destiny, choice, and the interplay between magic and human desires, crafting a novel that envelops you in its powerful atmosphere and worldbuilding right from the off. The character of Pilgrim is both relatable and complex, with close attention paid to her speech and thought presentation so that we get a deeply emotional look at her experiences, making her journey all the more captivating. The Emerald Hills, with their rich cultural details and the looming threat of darkness, provide a vivid backdrop that is drawn with cinematic precision and a sense of atmosphere that really complements the shifting emotions of every scene. The story explores themes of love, duty, and the unforeseen consequences of avoiding one's destiny, all with a keen focus on the action and emotion of the moment, moving at a great pace to get to the next twist. Overall, I would highly recommend Pilgrims of Stone and Saber as a truly captivating fantasy work that is sure to leave readers eager for the next installment in The Lodestone Chronicles. I know I am.

Pikasho Deka

Pilgrims of Stone and Saber is the first book in The Lodestone Chronicles by J.B. Wagner. Twenty-two-year-old Pilgrim is the Crowned Princess of Bavi and has spent most of her life hiding in the Emerald Hills, protected by her guardian, Shula. But now, Shula has disappeared, and as one of the Anointed of Ya-Beresh, Pilgrim must fulfill her destiny to fight the Khos. After being forcibly taken to the palace under the dark sorceress Princess Esmeray's orders, Pilgrim suddenly finds herself married to General Gershom. While King Domnir continues to lose himself to Esmeray's sorcery, Gershom and Pilgrim travel to the army camp in Ashen Heath, where Pilgrim battles with Khos' consort and Goddess Ashkatamor. Now, they must perform the ultimate sacrifice and follow Ya-Beresh's guidance to win the fight against Khos.

Pilgrims of Stone and Saber is a sprawling epic fantasy tale that delves into the themes of faith, love, and sacrifice. J.B. Wagner immerses readers in a fantastical world filled with nightmarish monsters, saber-wielding princesses, brave warriors, and conniving sorceresses. With a fast-paced narrative and an intricate plot, Wagner ensures readers have plenty to chew on with this captivating epic fantasy saga. The more you read, the more you become involved in the world of Chalcedonai as its mystery and lore draw you in further. I also liked the way the author described the battle sequences, which paint vivid imagery in your mind. This is a book that will appeal to anyone who loves epic fantasy. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and you should too.

Ronél Steyn

Pilgrims of Stone and Saber is the first book in The Lodestone Chronicles by J.B. Wagner. Pilgrim is the Anointed who carries the Lodestone. Pilgrim is also the Crowned Princess of Bavi, hiding in the Emerald Hills until the time is right for her part in heralding the coming of Yarash-Ohr. The Queen Ce-Airran, her mother, was exiled at Pilgrim’s birth. Now Pilgrim, at twenty-two, has to return to claim her rightful place. Soon she is taken captive to become a slave by one of the king’s wives. To make matters worse, she suddenly finds herself married to Gershom, a prince and general, and friend of the king himself. Led by the Lodestone, Pilgrim finds that it wants to be near Gershom. Can she accept her fate in the fight against darkness or will she fight for her freedom?

Author J.B. Wagner has created a fantastical sci-fi world in Pilgrims of Stone and Saber. Based on Christianity, she has developed a lore seeped in religion and trust in a Higher Being. The characters are presented descriptively with mannerisms and personalities that make them easily relatable. Grabbing the reader’s attention from the very beginning, the author leads us on a journey filled with depth and color. Written in the third-person narrative, the reader is privy to the deeper thoughts and feelings of our two protagonists. Suitable for young readers as well, this first novel in The Lodestone Chronicles is a fundamental piece in setting the stage and whetting the reader's appetite for further exploration in the next installment.