Genre: Romance, High Fantasy
LGBTQ+ Category: Gay
Reviewer: Gordon, Paranormal Romance Guild
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About The Book
The quest is over. The battle’s won. What comes next?
For Harth, now king, the answer’s rebuilding. Helping his people, settling into peace, with his loyal magician Tris always at his side. And Harth wishes for a happily ever after for himself as well, though he’s afraid Tris doesn’t feel the same.
But maybe tonight, on a starlit night, Harth can find the courage for one last adventure: telling Tris how he feels.
Starlight and Stone, at just under 5,000 words, is a rather delightful moment-in-time vignette of a story that owes its richness to being part of a much larger tapestry.
The piece comprises a single scene in which a young king meets his best friend (and more), a mage, on the top of a rebuilt tower, having escaped the press and noise of the celebration still going on in the castle below. The celebration represents the end of a long struggle in which both characters were intensely involved, a story of foul deeds, betrayal and ultimate vindication.
All of this is given in the thoughts and words of the two characters, but the outward history is only part of the story, the other being the relation between the two, what they have done and felt for each other.
The rule-of-thumb that effective writing must show rather than tell is set aside here, as Noone combines both by giving the past history of these characters in a series of evocative glimpses of personally-important events. The evocations of what both have gone through are tantalizing but also somewhat satisfying, for Noone’s writing style is compelling and attractively confident; and her story-telling is effortless.
If the piece has a drawback, it lies only in the thwarted interest on the reader’s part, who wishes for a more involved telling of the story. Everything recounted is very interesting, and suggestive of things even more exciting, leaving the reader afterwards in a curious state of both frustration at wanting more and undeniable delight at the strange, gossamer effect produced by the story being seen only in a series of colorful glimpses.
Though unusual, this is undeniably a valid approach to writing and suggestive of the kind of experience produced in David Lindsay’s The Haunted Woman. Yet the very fact that Noone’s writing in “Starlight and Stone” is so compelling, the glimpses so attractive, left this reader wishing that the full story had also been available.
About Gordon: Having received formal training in the world of science, Gordon has always found relief from the strictures of present-day reality in reading fiction, mostly fantasy, horror and sci-fi, fiction that explores regions of what is sometimes called the Kingdom of If. Here the rules can be virtually anything, allowing for greater possibilities of wonder and strange discovery. Gordon also writes, among other things, stories of M/M romance within these genres. This provides the opportunity for exploring how characters, some of them possibly not fully human, might act and react in truly strange circumstances. He writes romance because, of all the mind-blowingly possibilities inherent in the creation of imaginative worlds, the most mysterious and magical are the operations of the human heart itself, including its curious ability to grow when broken.
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