Cover Image: The Ruins on Stone Hill

The Ruins on Stone Hill

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Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to have access to an eARC for this book in return for an honest review. 

Apologies for taking so long with the feedback. 

This is a beautiful fantasy book, I have not read anything from this author before so I was wary and shouldn't of been this was beautiful with high fantasy and amazing characters with such real problems. i loved this overall and thought it was fun
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I took a shot on this due to the synopsis. And while it was interesting at times I had a hard time following some of it. It may have well been just because it didn’t grab me completely therefore my mind couldn’t solely focus on it.
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My copy of this book was obtained via NetGalley in exchange for a review.

The Ruins on Stone Hill is clearly the retelling of an old Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and that's not so bad for anyone with some nostalgia for teenaged adventures in the game. I'd have been thrilled if the games I played were like this one!

But that doesn't make it a great novel.

The characters are cliched, and the author has a disquieting fixation on conveying all emotion by describing what they do with their mouths - an endless parade or smirks, curled lips, and whatever other words you can describe the shape of a mouth with - to the extent he ran out of options and repeated some! It is so common it is distracting and the main memory of the book,

I'd place this in the young adult bracket except the story doesn't really hang together, being based upon an RPG campaign rather than a plotted novel. So I can really only recommend it to people like me who have that whisp of nostalgia for a long time ago.

It's a pretty fast read, and easy enough to get along with but I don't think many people would consider it a must-read.
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The first chapter grabs you immediately with a cool fighting scene. The author does a big description of the world and fights by using a lot of adjectives that paint a good picture of the world it comes a bit annoying and repetitive.
This novel reminded me a lot of the Dragonlance series on the D&D based story and action so i think this book is perfect for someone who likes and understands a book based on D&D but for a high fantasy, fan could be full of plot conveniences and other elements that would be a let down for me it was enjoyable with the right point of humour!
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Unfortunately, I had to DNF this book. I couldn't be immersed in it enough to be able to continue my reading.
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This book might have the most gripping first chapter I've read in a long time.  As an epic fantasy you immediately get thrown into the action of an orc ambush, while also getting introduced to:  Glolindir, an elf who does magic; Seth, a halfling and ninja; Aksel, a gnome and healer; and Lloyd, a human and spiritblade.

"All things with heads, from animals to men, need blood to reach their brains.  Open those channels and the life will pump out of any foe."

F.P. uses a lot of adjectives to describe everything.  You will easily be able to paint a picture of every landscape, fight and place they visit.  This should be annoying, but it's somehow not.

Felt like reading Lord of the Rings, and I loved every action packed moment of it.  The adventures never stop and in the last couple of chapters we learn some interesting things, the glimmer of which makes wanting to read the sequel so enticing for me.

Thank you to Netgalley for the early release copy and review opportunity.

#netgalley #TheRuinsonStoneHill #highfantasybooks #ireadhighfantasy #bookdragon #readthisnow #mustread2021
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What to say about this book...well, my first impression was that the author spent a lot of time telling us about the sights and sounds and feeling of things rather unnecessarily. I was wondering why my phone was telling me it was roughly 871 pages at a readable font size, but within 3 pages I was like “oooooooooh, yep. Makes sense.”

My second impression was this book was geared towards an older age group than I would have pegged it for. That is Young Adult. The reading level is more in par with a preteen novel. Not a terrible thing, but I noticed it was using lower-level words than what is typically found in a Young Adult novel. It also uses a lot of repetitive language, which is a writing ploy to teach children. The number of recurring words is also a teaching strategy. The amount of “curiously”, “chuckled”, ”laughed”, “whirled” etc that was going on reminded me of a low level, high interest novel. Not a bad thing, but not what a was expecting as it was not advertised as such.

This would be an excellent novel to get a reluctant low level reader, who loves dnd, into reading. Because it reads like a dnd campaign (as advertised) or a video game. It’s like a series of quests all stemming from the same important NPC. Although, unlike a good dnd campaign, this storyline is quite linear. The characters are not well developed either. If you are part of a good role playing group, there is a lot of time spent developing the characters. This one is more of a level up, heavy on the fighting campaign. You don’t get a lot of back info on characters. Most of the lady NPCs are there for decoration, which I didn’t like.

Some people may argue that a lot of the ideas for the campaign shadow other books. The mirror, the cloak, the races of the PCs…didn’t bother me as much because by that point I was very into a “I am reading someone’s take on their dnd campaign” which sometimes does steal from other sources for inspiration…especially when you are pulling the campaign out of you’re a$$ because your group has powered through what you had prepared for the day and wants to keep playing.

Basically, it’s a magic using Elf, a fighter human, a halfing ninja, and a gnome cleric all going on a series of quests together. The book starts with them traveling to Ravenford, which is a town on the sea side. On the way there their caravan is attacked by a band of orcs. Because in DnD there are always some orcs. Lol Ehm. Anyhow, the companions manage to save the caravan and arrive in town only to pretty much be told they are the first caravan to arrive in some time. The Baron tasks the team with getting rid of a dark wizard/mage, a bunch of orcs, and finding out who is behind all the attacks. And, of course, there is a bunch of gold in it for completing these tasks.

Conclusion

Would I recommend this book?
….
Not to an adult, I wouldn’t. But to a diehard dnd 12 year old boy, maybe.

What this book needs is a good editor, an update on the language level used, maybe some side story to add some depth to things and characters…and better female representation. It was very…patriarchal. The one interesting woman got killed.
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book for review.

This world is fantastic. It feels both old and new at the same time. It has some classic fantasy tropes with a unique twist that I don't feel very often. 
The different types of fantastical characters really made each character feel unique. I think that the relationships between the characters was also super well developed. It really felt like it built into something great instead of starting weak and suddenly becoming strong.
I will diffidently be reading the next books in the series.
If you want an endearing book with an amazing adventure pick up this book.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read this! 

I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis of this book. This book instantly drew me in, I got to explore through the eyes of our main character and this is always my favorite way to discover these details of the story and, it was done very well in this book. I really enjoyed this book and the plot. This author did amazing. I loved the writing style.
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A fun book that heavily reminds me of  all the D&D games I've played. All the characters have their own defined personality. The worldbuilding was nice and was spread out as little tidbits rather than chapters or paragraphs of dedication (which I personally like). Knowing this is the first book in a series, I definitely will be picking up the next book.

I never found myself bored and sometimes fantasy authors tend to ramble. Never in here did I find myself skimming a chapter and everything was easy to understand.

Thank you for letting me review this book.
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Being a longtime fan of Dungeons and Dragons podcasts, it didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to read this book.

Ruins on Stone Hill reads a lot like someone’s D&D campaign brought to a novel format. We open with a group of adventurers meeting and deciding to band together in a party before receiving a quest to visit and map out the titular ruins on Stone Hill.

To be honest, I found this book really boring in the first half. It was full of adventure, but I didn’t have a reason to care for the characters. No one really stood out. But the longer I read it, the more the characters grew on me.

The backgrounds of these characters and how they met honestly confused me, however. Three of the characters are said to have known each other before the events of the novel, yet they explain key parts of themselves to their “friends” as the story goes on. A big example of this is Glo, our elven wizard, finding out Seth’s class further into the novel than I would have expected for someone who knew Seth before the novel even started.

I also wasn’t a fan of how some of the smaller (yet still important details) were only brought up when convenient. For example, Glo has a pet raven (named Raven, of all things) who helps them on their adventure by scouting out the area ahead. However, when the party enters a building or cave, Raven isn’t spoken of at all. There isn’t even a single detail to state that Glo tells Raven to go chill out in a tree when it isn’t convenient for her to be in a certain area. She just… disappears.

Another example of this is a background character they accidentally kill and promise to revive. Is he okay? Did the revival work? Is he pissed off about getting killed? We never hear about him ever again.

The ending of this book is sudden and abrupt, but not in a cliffhanger sort of way. While we do have an overarching plot that I’m sure will appear again in book two, the main quests of this book have been solved and are over. There’s no drive to want to immediately pick up the second book for answers to the questions you still have, and to be honest, I’m still considering whether or not I want to see more of these characters and this world.
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This was SO much fun. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect book that mixed in two of my favourite genres, sci fi and fantasy. This was amazing and of course everything I’d want in a book. I really did enjoy and love this and will for sure continue to seek out books from this author. The characters were genuinely perfect and funny and I had so much fun being with them and reading about them. 5 out of stars!
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I am not sure if I was reading a book or if this was the written story of a video game. My first issue came within the first pages where the main characters were a human, an elf, a gnome and... wait for it... a half-ling. You see where I am going here. I was very upset with the author for plagiarizing Tolkien LOTR series. However the halfling is a ninja, the gnome is a cleric, the elf is a wizard in training and the human is obviously the soldier.
So I thought that I would continue reading. 
Our four young heroes are on their way to Ravenford, a seatown, when they are attacked by none other than orcs (sigh). Luckily they manage to save the caravan they are travelling with. They are soon told that they are the first caravan to reach Ravenford for a while. From there are a series of "tasks" given to them by the Baron, in charge of the town: getting rid of a dark mage, wiping out the orcs, finding out who is behind the attacks. They are also handsomely recompensed for completing their tasks.
I believe this is the author's first book and it was written in 2014. Maybe it is a draft. In my view there is a lot of editing to do to this book. First and foremost, it is a linear story. No side story at all. All heroes stay together all the time and do what they do best, which is getting rid of evil. The story would be enriched if there was at least another branch or two to the main line of the story. 
The characters are not developed enough (that would have been a nice way of adding side stories).
I nearly dropped the book when i reached the mirror and the invisibility cloak. I understand that it is not easy to find new materials and original ideas but this was getting a bit too much for me.

So all in all, I would not recommend this book. This needs a lot more work before it is published, in my view.

Thank you for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my heartfelt opinion.

#the ruins on stone hill #NetGalley
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The Ruins on Stone Hill is a fun-packed story full of action and adventure that took me back to the good old days of fantasy fiction.
The main characters have a variety of different personalities. And have plenty of depth to their particular character, and have room for development. As this novel is the first in the series, it is not a spoiler to reveal that this is obviously the case.
Glolindir is the main narrator, and although others take a hand, it does not detract from the narrative, as the story flows along nicely.
As our intrepid heroes find themselves out of the frying pan into the fire, the action ramps-up to another level.
The author has created a well-conceived and well-crafted fantasy story with plenty of realistic dialogue and banter between the characters.
I am glad this is dated 2014 because I have checked, and the next in the series are already published.
It does have the feel of the old board games, Hero Quest, Dungeon Quest and Dungeons and Dragons about it. Perhaps that is why I liked reading it.
Thank you, BooksGoSocial and NetGalley, for the ADC of the book.
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This is an engaging fantasy about a group of unlikely but lovable characters and reminiscent of the Hobbit.

We follow this group on multiple adventures to battle the dark forces that threaten their town. I found myself rooting for the characters as they learn to develop their skills while each quest became more difficult. Some even learn humility.

These inked pages or electronic words (in my case) are perfect for younger readers that love fantasy.
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Rating – 4.5/5 stars

Recommended for – fans of high fantasy fiction (*winking at Lord of the Rings fans*)

Disclaimer – A review copy of this book was provided by Netgalley. All opinions stated here are my own.

The first thing to catch my eye was the gorgeous cover. Anyone else reminded of Legolas? As a fan of the LOTR series myself, after reading the blurb I was pretty psyched to get into my reading groove. The ‘About the Author’ page mentions the LOTR influence on the author and boy, that’s almost an understatement. In the very first chapter, we have an elf, a halfling (similar to hobbits I’m assuming), a gnome (can’t draw a parallel with dwarves though, that’s a separate race in this world), and a human. Battling orcs.

And before I get too ahead of myself excitedly pointing out all the similarities to LOTR, I should state that there is original worldbuilding in this book. One such original plot point would be the inclusion of arcane magic into this high fantasy world. And it is a lot more lighthearted and much less impending doomsday than LOTR.
The story revolves around our merry band of heroes: Glolindir, the elven wizard; Seth, the halfling ninja; Aksel, the gnome cleric; and Lloyd, the human warrior. These young heroes (young, relative to their race, of course) meet up on the road to the Barony of Ravenford and agree to band together to form a questing group of mercenaries-for-hire. They get introduced to a delightful bunch of side characters in Ravenford and embark on their first quest to, as you might have guessed from the title, the Ruins of Stone Hill. And we get to accompany them on the journey of mystery and intrigue that ensues…

The book is mostly narrated from Glolindir’s perspective with occasional switches to the voices of the other characters. I found the flow of the story to be quite smooth and none of the transitions of the POVs was jarring or out-of-place. The narrative is engaging, and we get endearing looks into the minds of our main characters. Did I mention already that the heroes are young, and this is sort of their coming-of-age story? We get glimpses of the ambitions, fears, motives, and loves that drive our heroes, and they will resonate with any newly-adult, branching out and finding their wings age group, and leave the already-adulting-for-some-time group with feelings of nostalgia and sympathy. 

The worldbuilding is gradual and thankfully there are no info-dumps that make your eyes glaze over. My mind only somewhat wandered in the very first few chapters before I got hooked into the story (hence, why the deduction of 0.5 points from the rating). And once I did get into the thick of it, I had a hard time putting the book down. Pretty much devoured the book after that if I’m being honest. And I’m very grateful that this book was released in 2014 and I only caught on in 2021 because it looks like the rest of the series are already out in the world. I’ll be adding them to my to-read list.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this wonderful book.
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Thanks, Netgalley and Publisher for the opportunity to read! 
This was such an enjoyable read. A little light-hearted compared with the heavy dark fantasy books I happened to read recently, but once I started reading, I discovered I needed that. The gang of main characters is unique and awesome and the story feels like watching an animated fantasy series. It's not too bloody or filled with gore and horny scenes. Instead, it focuses on the relationship between the main characters, their tries to master their own abilities in order to protect the innocent. It also contains enough action, adventure, fantasy elements, and mystery in order to keep you reading!
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