Review: Cornerstone by Kelly Walker

CornerstoneSource: Purchased
Series: Souls of the Stone #1
Edition: eBook, 344
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 4/5

Emariya’s life was nearly over before it started. Hidden under the floorboards while her mother died above her, she escaped a brutal death then—only to go racing toward it now, sixteen years later.

After learning her father has been captured, Emariya is desperate to save him, no matter who she has to turn to for help. Oblivious to her potential gifts and the secrets surrounding her dual heritage, Emariya makes a bargain with the prince of a rival land, Torian Ahlen. In exchange for her hand in marriage, he agrees to send his forces to rescue her father. With the arrangements made, Emariya embarks on a tumultuous journey through two kingdoms as different from each other as the families that rule them.

Before long, Emariya comes face to face with her mother’s killers, and learns of an ominous prophecy: her and Torian’s bloodlines must never be combined. Armed with this frightening new knowledge, Emariya begins to fear the handsome prince may desire more than to steal her heart, and it will take all of her newfound skills to survive.

Cornerstone is one of the many kindle books I have squirreled away in the cloud due to my crazed addiction to one-clicking my way through Amazon. So when I found myself wanting to read something different that I knew very little about I randomly picked out Cornerstone and I’m so happy I did. This is truly one of those shining gems in the indie book market and I’m surprised I haven’t seen more people talking about it, because I’m in firm belief that they should.

Cornerstone follows Emariya, a young woman born into a seat of privilege and power. She has grown up without her mother who was killed when she was a baby and her father has also disappeared from her life, leaving her with her brother Reeve. She is a headstrong woman with a fierce loyalty and the drive to do what is right by others. I think what I liked most about her is the fact that she isn’t rash when it comes to making decisions, though there are a few emotion produced moments where she finds herself in trouble.Considering I wasn’t expecting to become emotionally invested in the story I was surprised when I was so hooked on her character and after everything she’s been through I wanted the best for her. I loved her friendships with Gairth, a blacksmith’s son, and Jessa, her handmaiden. Though I rarely feel it is needed as a warning there is no love triangle in Cornerstone, in fact the romance angle is a very small part of the overall story though I can certainly see it becoming more of a focal point in the following books.

I’m a huge fan of high fantasy novels and one of the things they must have is world-building, or else the whole story caves in from the lack of support. Walker definitely gives her story that support it needs as she paints us a new world known as the Three Corners. It’s made up of three nations who are in turmoil and desperately need change or they risk the lives of many. It’s a great high fantasy novel for those who crave new worlds without having to flip back and forth between glossaries and maps. It’s simple enough lore that it’s easy to learn but detailed enough to satisfy the need. I really only had one issue and that had to do with the lore of the Stones, which is incredibly interesting and I really look forward to seeing more of as I continue the series. There was one tiny scene where Riya could have possibly gotten the info she needed but didn’t, though overall it didn’t really pull the story down. I did enjoy learning about the Stones and their different roles for each corner of the world, but we as readers learn with Riya so there is still a lot that I want to know.

There are some delightful twists and turns that had me literally gasping and scribbling down notes as fast as I could. There is a bit of political intrigue that had me guessing who was behind everything and why, and I enjoyed the little snippets of story that focused on other people involved. Combine that with the adventure and danger and it made it really hard to walk away from this one.

In the simplest of terms this book had me hooked. Once the world was built and Riya started her journey I couldn’t put it down and I finished it in a few hours. I would truly love to see more people try this out because I think the series has great potential, and I know I will definitely be reading the second one.

4 stars

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6 Responses to Review: Cornerstone by Kelly Walker

  1. Great review! I still haven’t started this one yet, what with my ENORMOUS TBR pile haha. I have been wanting more fantasy though after a few contemporaries in a row. I’m kind of excited that there isn’t a BIG love interest in the story. Though i’m always up for romance, it’s nice to have the female MC shine on her own now and then!

  2. Aren’t indie finds on Amazon the best thing, especially since you haven’t heard much about them? Glad you really enjoyed Cornerstone! High fantasy is a genre I would love to explore more (I haven’t even read LOTR or Hobbit yet shock horror). Great review as always, Michelle!

    • YES, it’s like finding some undiscovered treasure. I was actually really excited to share this one.
      High Fantasy is my favorite genre, I grew up on The Hobbit and Brain Jacques’ Redwall series. I’m really into immersion, so I love tons of details and adventure.

  3. Gads wonderful review Michelle. The world building sounds delightful as do the characters. How awesome that you had this treasure on your kindle. Adding to my list. This was totally new to me.

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