The Stone of Integrity

Book 3 of the Centaur Chronicles

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
272 Pages
Reviewed on 10/23/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I am a life-long equestrian. I was born with a deep passion for horses. I carry this over to my stories, most of which are about horses or horse fantasy creatures. Hence, this new series is called "The Centaur Chronicles." I teach riding lessons and I am always telling my students to "be a Centaur...be one with your horse!"

My inspiration for the Silver Breastplate came when I was reading in the Bible, Ephesians 6:14: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. Then I pondered the qualities of righteousness and, while there are others, decided upon Mercy, Courage, Integrity and Wisdom. These became the four "Stones of Light," for the series.

    Book Review

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.

Teresa Syms

The Stone of Integrity by M.J. Evans transports the reader to the land of Crystonia. As the tale begins, the land of Crystonia has been without a true leader for well over a century. The absence of a ruler has caused the larger races, the Centaurs, the Cyclops and the Ogres, to battle for their rights to the throne. Following tradition, they all know the rightful heir to the throne possesses and wears the Silver Breastplate, complete with the four stones of light: The Stone of Mercy, the Stone of Courage, the Stone of Integrity and the Stone of Wisdom. Everyone across the land has heard rumors that Carling, a young Duende, is on a quest to retrieve the Stones. Together with her trusted friends, Carling sets out on her mission to retrieve the Stone of Integrity. Once all the stones are retrieved, Carling will take her rightful place as Queen of Crystonia. Carling is aware of the rival group of Centaurs led by Zarius, who will do everything in his power to prevent Carling from possessing the Silver Breastplate and the four Stones. Carling and Zarius have met in battle before, and Zarius is looking forward to meeting Carling on the battlefield again, removing any adversary that gets in his way.

M.J. Evans has told a truly intriguing tale of adventure in The Stone of Integrity. Through great use of storytelling and imagery, the reader is quickly swept away into the mythical land of Crystonia, where Carling, a young Duende, receives her quest from an old Wizard, a guardian of the ancient maps and throne. Carling, now in possession of the ancient map of the kingdom, is set to travel with her trusted friends - Tandum, Tibbals, Pik, and Higson - to the mythical island of Hy-Basilia to retrieve the Stone of Integrity. With the aid of Kelfy, a skilled young seaman, and a magical flute to put the deadly Adaro fish to sleep, the group sets sail across the Swirling Sea in search of the purple Stone of Integrity. Adventure, intrigue, betrayal and true faith surround this incredible story. The author draws the reader into this absorbing tale, and the reader finds themselves hanging onto every word, urging Carling and her friends on. Be prepared for twists, turns and betrayal, but don’t miss one word of this great adventure. It is a very enjoyable read.

K.J. Simmill

Having already retrieved two of the four Stones of Light needed to complete the Silver Breastplate, a symbol known to show the rightful heir to Crystonia, Carling is gaining power and reputation. But so too are the forces who would oppose her and seek to claim power for themselves. Zarius has already suffered a devastating loss and shaming by her hand, but now he has found a new herd, one he can bend and manipulate to his will. He will not allow Carling to take the power he covets, but even those following him fear there is more to the breastplate than it being a mere artefact. Some amongst them had witnessed its power first-hand. While he planned his revolt, Carling had been entrusted with the only map of the kingdom she is one day destined to rule. After barely escaping the Heilodius, she is looking forward to a slight respite in her home town, but relaxation is short lived. Vidente appeared before her, telling her it was time to seek out the third stone, the Stone of Integrity. Of course, finding it on an island no one seems to know exists is but one of the many challenges to be overcome.

The Stone of Integrity is book 3 in M.J. Evans's The Centaur Chronicles, and the first book of this series I have had the pleasure of reading. The book itself is self-contained, covering any insight needed from the previous two with ease to give the reader a completely stand alone experience. Carling's character develops well throughout the plot, perhaps in alignment with the stones she has already retrieved. I can't say for certain, but it seems her character is certainly being moulded and aided into becoming a fine queen by possession of the clearly powerful stones bringing out what is already within her. Great friendships and dialogue, when combined with this charming plot, make for a brilliant fantasy read. There are a few twists, and definitely some bonds in need of repair. It certainly leaves me wondering what is in store for our queen to be when she seeks out the final stone.