Review: The Three Stones of Bethany by April Marcom
All seems to be lost, until a human girl named Taylor is mistakenly transported to Bethany. Kane, the king over these nations, despises her whole-heartedly at first, and then she makes him laugh for the first time since the devastation began years ago. And the earthling manages to find new ways to surprise him with her valor and loyalty every single day. Unfortunately, Taylor’s only wish through their dangerous quest to reunite three magical stones and save the kingdom, aside from surviving this fearful place, is to return home.
But as fate goes, she soon discovers the only way to recapture the stones and save the lives of the royals she’s come to love as her first real family is to give up any hope of ever returning to her old life. In the end it all comes down to what sort of hero she truly is, one to her own self, or one to entire nations.
No one had brought it up that terrible morning until that moment. Taylor understood how Hope felt, wanting desperately not to talk or think about it ever again, herself. She’d managed to push it aside every time it threatened to enter her thoughts, except for the nightmare she’d woken from in a cold sweat the night before. The battle she’d witnessed three days before played itself over and over in the dream, the Bethanyans she was so close to being slaughtered each time. Even the young twins were there, getting cut to the ground with the others each time. It had certainly strengthened Taylor’s resolve to stand beside them against whatever peril they must face, though it only made her want to talk about it less.
The true power that stems from family is beautiful, enigmatic and highly emotional. This power consists of strength, love, freedom and courage—above all else. When someone comes from a life without a family, that bond that they create with other individuals is nearly impenetrable. Marcom engages her readers with this very concept, allowing her fantasy to be unforgettable and magical. When a teenager is cast into a portal to an enchanted land that has been overrun by demonic entities, she knows that her life has been forever changed…but can she find the strength to stay and fight for those who she has come to love?
Taylor Stone is just another typical teenager who sneaks out with her boyfriend to go and create mischief with the rest of her friends. Upon hearing sirens after arriving to a party, everyone begins to scatter and Taylor winds up back in her boyfriend’s car, zooming down the street and leaving her friends behind. After her boyfriend abandons her by jumping out of the car, she runs straight into a black mass of nothingness, a portal to another land entirely separate from Earth. What she finds is a magical land called Bethany, where their nations are at war with a darkness that is worse than Taylor’s scariest nightmares. She instantly meets a few individuals who are on their way to another nation in hopes of saving their two youngest sisters. The darkness that engulfs the land comes in a form of deathly and equally nightmarish soldiers called Dredglings. They hunt the people that she is with…only now since she helps them escape their grasp—she becomes the hunted as well. With the deadline drawing near, Taylor must learn to trust those around her…especially after being told that they are the royal family of the land. Her travel with them can only bring emotions that she has yet to feel since her family abandoned her at birth. A powerful witch gives her a decision to make, one that will save her newfound family or one that will allow her to go back to her other life…when the time comes to make that decision, will it be an easy one or one that she will regret for the rest of her life?
Marcom has outstanding character development and this story is highly original. The creativity within this story is fantastic, coming up with a world outside of the one that we live, filled with magic and enchantment. This author engages her readers with action, magic and a slight romantic endeavor that will leave you wanting more. If you are a reader of young adult fantasy, this may be perfect for you.
A free copy was exchanged for an honest review of this fictional piece.
Taylor (story’s heroine): Seventeen years old, Long brown hair with red streaks dyed into it, Blue eyes, Rebellious earthling teenager transported to the magical kingdom of Bethany, Fiercely loyal to her friends-which brings out a heroic side of her she was completely unaware of, Poses as a Coral nation maiden while in Bethany-this nation is made of carefree people living by the seaside-their nation is represented by bright orange colors streaked into their hair and always adorning their clothes.
(The following characters all have pointed elfish ears, as everyone in Bethany does.)
Kane (story’s hero): King of Bethany, Twenty years old-joined the war at only fifteen, Blondish brown hair falling just past his ears, Piercing green eyes, Dressed and built like a warrior-largest and strongest of the main characters, Serious, Hardened by the war, Before the dredgelings emerged and started attacking he was playful and always smiling-Taylor manages to begin to draw a bit of that young man back to the surface.
Joy: Kane’s sister, Nineteen years old, Beautiful with a high waist-length ponytail and long bangs, Dark hair, Green eyes, Has the stance and walk of a soldier, The bow and arrows strapped to her back and sword hanging at her side make Taylor think assassin, Fights as well in the war as any man, She’s also super fun; she becomes Taylor’s best friend and vice-versa.
Holt: Kane & Joy’s younger brother, Eighteen years old, Tall & strong like Kane, Brown hair with two small braids in the front, Green eyes, Loves to joke around and have fun with his best friend Tor, Terrified of magic, Possesses a great deal of strength and heroics-but seems a little on the sissyish side to Taylor.
Tor: Black hair with blue streaks pulled back in a ponytail, Member of Celestial nation-a nation of light and the most powerful magic where everyone wears blue and dyes blue streaks into their hair, Powerfully built-but not quite as tall as the two other men, His skin seems tight against his high cheekbones-reminding Taylor of a skeleton, Holt’s best friend, Close enough to Kane, Joy, and Holt to feel like their brother.