The Stone of Courage

The Stone of Courage

Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 07/24/2017
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Author Biography

I must have been born with manure in my blood for my birth started a life-long love of horses. Thus, most of my books, non-fiction and fiction are centered around horses, from my coming of age novel, "In the Heart of a Mustang," to "The Mist Trilogy" (about horses who become unicorns at death,) and now "The Centaur Chronicles." I am not completely a one-trick-pony, but almost! If I'm not writing, you will find my in an English saddle competing in Dressage or riding in the Colorado mountains.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

The Stone of Courage is book two in the Centaur Chronicles by M.J. Evans, a beautiful mix of fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure that presents a delightful experience for young readers. In this spellbinding fantasy, readers are introduced to exciting characters on the quest for the second stone of light, the stone of courage. In the first book in the installment, Carling, a young girl, half-human and half-fairy, has already got the Silver Breastplate, making her the eligible Queen of Crystonia, but she still doesn’t possess all the four stones of light. Now, in book two, she is on the Quest to find the Stone of Courage, aided by her friend Higson and two Centaurs. They journey to the Northern parts to retrieve it from its caretaker. But the caretaker is not someone who will give it away easily. Read on to discover her challenges, the lessons she learns, and the most wonderful discovery she makes about courage.

M.J. Evans has created a yarn that will transport young readers to magical lands, an adventure that is filled with manifold lessons on life and courage, and a fascinating setting where readers can easily find an escape. The writing is exquisite, filled with wonderful descriptions, captivating dialogues, and colorful exposure of the setting. It’s a work of great imagination that is masterfully crafted with strong themes like friendship and courage. I enjoyed the protagonist and it is interesting to discover how she evolves through the story, discovering her fears and facing them. The Stone of Courage is a tantalizing book in this series and I can’t wait to read the next adventure in this spellbinding, magical tale.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

M.J. Evans captures the heart of the young fantasy reader once more in The Stone of Courage. Carling is the rightful heir of Crystonia; however, her claim to the throne isn’t honored by all. The Centaurs believe they should rule the land. A civil unrest hovers over Crystonia. Garrisoned by her friends and faithful Fauns, Carling remains safe, tucked away in her Duende village. Although protected, Carling cannot escape the memories of the events that took place to gain The Stone of Mercy. Vidente, the Wizard, returns, telling her it is time to set out and retrieve the second stone for the Silver Breastplate. She must find and secure The Stone of Courage. The Wizard makes clear that she will need the “virtue of courage” to be Queen. With the armor of the Silver Breastplate clinging snugly to her chest, Carling and her faithful companions set out. They head toward the Northern Reaches, an unknown and uncharted territory in search of The Stone of Courage. What will they see, who will they encounter? One thing is for sure, danger awaits – beware of Ogres! Trust no one, neither friend nor foe.

The Stone of Courage by M.J. Evans portrays the bonds of friendship, forged through pain and proven by devotion. The narrative is captivating, entertaining, and has just the right amount of suspense. Appealing to the young reader, it is a unique blend of fantasy and adventure. As the young heroine comes of age, she is given a quest, one that will prove her character. In the first book in the series, she discovers mercy. In this, the second book, she must find courage. The conflict to overcome her adversaries and her fear is seen throughout the story. There are a few subtle thematic lessons to learn. “Power can be used for great good, or it can corrupt,” and “Courage is conquering fear for the sake of always doing what is right.” Both truths are pivotal in the outcome of the story, and are true in real life as well.

The narrative speaks to the hearts and souls of children; it depicts despair, false accusations, betrayal and ridicule, yet portrays hope and courage as methods to overcome. The narrative doesn’t belabor events as it stretches toward its conclusion. The denouement unfolds quickly, picking up speed, and then screeches to a halt with its foreshadowing conclusion. Evans leaves the reader anxiously waiting for what will happen next.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Stone of Courage by MJ Evans is Book 2 of the Centaur Chronicles. Carling is in possession of the Silver Breastplate and she will be the Queen of Crystonia. But first, she must find the four stones of light to complete the breastplate. But not everyone wants her as Queen and they will do anything to stop her from finding the second stone. The biggest of the races in the land - the Cyclops, Centaurs, and Ogres - will stand in her way as she travels to the Northern Reaches to see Shim, a Tommy Knocker who has the Stone of Courage. Shim isn’t giving up the stone to anyone, though, and Carling, together with her friends, is about to learn exactly what courage is.

The Stone of Courage by MJ Evans is the second in a series of four and I did not read the first one. Given the nature of the story, I would highly recommend the books are read in order and not as standalone books. I found, however, that although I hadn’t read the first book, there was sufficient back information for me to keep up with the story and I found the characters to be very well developed. This is a story full of adventure with plenty of action that young readers will really get involved in and will learn something from. This isn’t a frivolous story, it has serious undertones, teaching kids what courage and leadership truly mean. One word of note – if you want a book that just bumbles along, this isn’t for you. It is action-packed and right from the word go, it takes off in a lively run and there is no slowing down. Highly recommended for its target audience and perhaps those a little older might enjoy a trip to another world.