The Quest for the Half-stone

Book 2 of the Chronicles of Leaf

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
277 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

In The Quest for the Half-stone by H A May, the second installment of The Chronicles of Leaf trilogy, prophecies foretell the loss and splitting of a stone, believed to hold great significance as a gateway, to be reunited by a chosen one in a time of crisis. Jinny, the chosen one, and her companions embark on a perilous journey dictated by these ancient prophecies. Armed with a broken stone and a dragon's egg, they face numerous challenges, including internal conflict amongst themselves and the use of dark magic. Guided by Quaryk's leadership and Jinny's emerging magical abilities, they inch closer to their destination and remain resolute, even with the odds stacked against them in their quest to reunite the split stone and thwart the looming threat of the Necromancer. With each obstacle overcome, they edge closer to fulfilling their destiny and restoring balance to the world.

In The Quest for the Half-stone by H A May, readers are treated to a story filled with well-developed characters and intricate relationships. It is also easy to follow even without the benefit of having read book one. From Jinny to the many members that trickle in and out of her party, each character possesses distinct personalities and motivations that enrich the narrative. I thought it was incredible that even ancillary characters feel authentic. To me, and perhaps it's the mother in me, as the story progresses we see themes of justice and mercy, like Jinny's decision to forgive someone for their treachery. May is consistent in honing Jinny's compassionate nature and leans into forgiveness and redemption, enhancing character arcs across the board. All of this is solidified through Jinny's consistent third-person perspective that draws us into her world and fosters a genuine sense of empathy and engagement with the journey. Very highly recommended.

Essien Asian

Before her destiny changed and she became the Chosen One, Jinny Morai was just another Chandler, not much better than an enslaved person. Saddled with the task of finding the second half of the amulet she wears around her neck, Jinny and a small band of friends embark on a dangerous task to save their world from the clutches of the Necromancer, a former mage who gave in to his dark desires and seeks the power that comes with the half- stone. The future may not seem promising, but Jinny knows she can always rely on her devoted dragon, Sprout, to aid her and turn things around. The young heroine is unaware that the Necromancer's plans are more dangerous than she can imagine in H.A. May's The Quest For The Half-Stone.

The Chronicles of Leaf, by H.A. May, has superb world-building in its second installment. The bizarre flora and creatures that inhabit it have exotic names and dangerous behaviors, making the Leaf universe an ideal place for fans of fantasy. While discreetly drawing attention to the tense and developing romantic relationships among some team members, May does a fantastic job of emphasizing the risks associated with their pursuit. May maintains continuity in the series with a summary of the events in the previous book and a thorough list of characters in all the books, strategically placed to entice readers unfamiliar with it. One remarkable feature of May's storytelling style is her extra care in giving the adventurers and fully immersed readers a sense of awe as they encounter some of the Leaf universe's wonders, like the Batits and Darkaans. The Quest For The Half-Stone shows that H.A. May is onto something special. I look forward to its conclusion.

Asher Syed

In The Quest for the Half-stone: Book 2 of the Chronicles of Leaf by H A May, as the Chosen One, Jinny Morai carries the weight of fate in a dangerous and dark fantasy world. Alongside her faithful dragon, Sprout, she is on a quest to couple the prophesied split stone, which is crucial to foiling the evil Necromancer's schemes. Jinny faces not only the dangers of the vast Leaf, but her insecurities, trust, the differences among companions, and terrifying stumbling blocks even with the support of a strong group of allies and aid along the way. Still, they fight to overcome difficult obstacles and the menace of black magic, led by a growing magical ability and unflinching resolve. “...if the half-stone I carry is lost, the Talisman will never become whole again and the Necromancer will work his will on Leaf.”

It's fun when an author drops an Easter egg on the naming of the book, and I smiled when H A May writes in chapter sixteen, “‘A story we’re writing as we live it - The Quest for the Half-stone!’’ The backstory is given quickly with the prophecy and the discovery of a First-Comer's journal with Jinny's initials. The imaginative world is built in detail, from creatures like metins with a horn and cloven feet, and landscapes such as the White Wood and the grassy plains, to the the silvery figures dancing under a waterfall and the river's wide expanse beyond the falls. May takes readers to a conclusion that is satisfying but there's still the uncertainty of what the prophecy might bring that suggests there are more trials ahead. The arc remains open-ended, leaving us eager for the next book to see how the story continues to unfold. I'm looking forward to it!

Pikasho Deka

The Quest for the Half-stone is the second installment in the Chronicles of Leaf series by H.A. May. The Necromancer, a powerful Dark Mage, has launched a campaign of terror and caused devastation to many Great Trees in the world of Leaf. Jinny Morai, a foundling bonded to the dragon Sprout, possesses one half of a magical amulet that will turn into the Talisman if she can combine it with its other half. With a close-knit group of friends, including mages and warriors, Jinny and Sprout set off to find the half-stone that might give them a chance to stand up against the Necromancer. However, on this perilous journey, they will face many dangers, including storms, a massive herd of bovines, poisoning, and the Necromancer's minions, the Drakaans. Additionally, deception and betrayal follow Jinny every step of the way.

In the Chronicles of Leaf series, H.A. May has created an absolute treat for epic fantasy readers. The author has built a sprawling world featuring a whole host of magical creatures and distinct cultures that are highly imaginative and make the setting so much more immersive for the reader. The world of Leaf feels lived in. The Quest for the Half-stone is an epic fantasy tale filled with action, drama, romance, and adventure. If you're a fan of epic quests to search for magical artifacts, this is what you're looking for. Jinny is the reluctant hero with a tryst with destiny. I loved her bond with Sprout, and her relationship with Quaryk has me rooting for the two to end up together. In conclusion, this is a must-read for fantasy lovers. Highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

The Quest for the Half-stone is a work of fiction in the fantasy, epic adventure, and action genres, and is the second novel of the Chronicles of Leaf series. Penned by author H A May, the plot follows Jinny Morai, now a Mage, as she embarks on a perilous journey with her companions and dragon, Sprout, to find the other half of the Talisman. In a world blighted by a shadowy evil, Jinny must navigate the wild and virtually unmapped terrain of Leaf, facing dangers from both nature and the minions of the Necromancer. This is a thrilling continuation of Jinny's epic adventure in the fantastical world of Leaf that builds upon the rich lore established in the first book, deepening the stakes and expanding the scope of Jinny's quest really well.

The second novel of any series is never easy, but there’s a smooth confidence to H A May’s narrative that lets you know this author has an exciting and well-developed world with a lot more to offer. As Jinny grapples with her newfound powers and responsibilities as a Mage, the narrative brims with tension and excitement, and this is beautifully complemented by the delicate touches to Jinny’s speech and inner thoughts. This creates a strong emotional bond between hero and reader, allowing us to root for her the more we get to know her. The lush and vibrant setting is described with atmospheric and evocative vocabulary, resulting in a captivating backdrop for Jinny's journey that matches the tone of each scene well. With the help of her well-narrated and fully developed trusted companions, Jinny's quest for the Talisman becomes a gripping odyssey fraught with peril and possibility. Overall, The Quest for the Half-stone is a riveting fantasy adventure that will leave readers eagerly anticipating the next installment. I know I am.