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Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite
The Stone of Integrity is the third book in M.J. Evans’ The Centaur Chronicles. After returning from the quest to discover the Stone of Courage, Carling, the future Queen of Crystonia, is summoned by the Minsheen historian. He entrusts Carling with a rare, ancient map. On her way home, she and her companions are pursued once again by the evil Heilodius Centaurs. Safely tucked inside her Duende village, Carling is thankful for the security and comfort of home. But this feeling is short lived. Within days, Vidente the Wizard returns to her. It is time to gather the purple Stone of Integrity for her royal Silver Breastplate. With the map in hand, Carling and her faithful adventurers set out to discover the mysterious island of Hy-Basilia; another quest, another stone, another invaluable lesson. Frightening sea creatures, menacing Centaurs, a handsome young fisherman, a crafty witch, and veiled fairies - who can be trusted? Carling’s search for integrity comes at a great cost; not everyone is trustworthy.
M.J. Evans is a fabulous storyteller. The Stone of Integrity is the continuing tale of fantasy and adventure in the land of Crystonia. Evans pens incredible descriptions of her imaginary land; the reader is transported with ease into the mystical realm. In each of the books in the series, the young heroine learns valuable life lessons. In The Stone of Integrity, she must discern the true motivations of others, while learning to trust in herself. Like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, she must learn "to thine own self be true.” The cast of characters is balanced in personality - witty, wise, girlishly vain, grand or small - each plays a significant part in supporting the growth of the main character. The antagonist remains a constant threat, keeping the adventurers hyper vigilant and often running for their lives. Page upon page, prowess, loyalty and devotion are continually tested, along with internal conflicts of the mind and heart. I thought the veiled emotions of the fairies was a brilliant inclusion to the story! There is never a dull moment for the young adventurers. The plot action continually moves from beginning to end, making it ideal for the young adult reader. The story concludes, but it is not the end for the future Queen of Crystonia. One more stone remains.