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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Bianca Rowena brings you a story in The Gift Stone which could be straight from Star Wars. The Gift Stone is the first book in Bianca Rowena's The Gifted Series. Rita was raised by the temple as a temple girl, but following an encounter with Takano Rynn, leader of the dark army, she fled to the obscurity of Central City, where she could be lost in the crowds. Takano had been on a rampage, murdering anyone within the temples, and any who would dare oppose him, all in search of the Gift Stone. It was rumoured it could bring his evil reign to an end, so he knew he had to find it before someone else could use it against him. When his path crosses with Rita's, he sees something familiar in her, something he can use to make himself stronger. Fleeing to Central City, Rita makes new friends and allies, but the threat is far from over. Both Takano and Dukath are now aware of her, and will stop at nothing to seize her. Women are rarely born with the Gift, and Rita herself does not believe she possesses it. But there are things occurring that even she cannot ignore.
Bianca Rowena has written an entertaining and fantastic fantasy/science fiction book. I really liked Rita's character. For such a young woman she carries a lot of weight on her shoulders, from loneliness and knowing she is different, to being fearful of her actions and weaknesses. The Gift Stone will make an excellent addition to any fantasy lover's library. It starts with promise and builds up momentum the deeper you journey through the tale, from surprising allies and hidden secrets, to unlikely friends, betrayal, and danger. Rita makes some difficult decisions which shape her character and growth, but also drive the readers' deeper attachment to the characters. The Gift Stone has twists and surprises, and an element that will satisfy even the pickiest of science fiction and fantasy fans. I really enjoyed this book.