The Stoneholding, by Mark James (a.k.a. Mark Sebanc and James G. Anderson) is a fine beginning to the Legend of the Stone Harp series. The plot is superb. The King and Queen are long dead, and Prince Starigan is lost. Much of the world is now ruled by the bad guys. So far, so unoriginal. However, how the story continues is very imaginative. The Sacred Fire is quenched by the enemy, and without it, the Harmony of Ardiel cannot survive. But the only way the Fire can be relit is with a plant found only in the Balk Pit of Uam – and none but the lost prince can retrieve it. It’s the task of nineteen-year-old Kalaquinn Wright to find him.
Meanwhile, the peaceable Stoneholding is razed by the enemy, who are also looking for Prince Starigan. And for some reason, they are after Kalaquinn as well.
After a rather slow beginning, The Stoneholding really takes off. The writing itself is, perhaps, not perfect. However, that doesn’t take away from the story itself. I’ve already read this book multiple times, and will definitely reread it in the future. I love that music is an essential component of both the story and the world in which it takes place, because music is practically my life.
My only real gripe about this series? The third book is taking FOREVER to come out!