Couldn’t put it down – Reviewed in the United States on April 6, 2022
Best story I’ve read in awhile. Interesting.. unusual.. well written.
Loved the way their relationship developed as they learned to respect and trust each other.
When is there another Survival Romance book coming? – Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2021
This may be her first attempt at the survival fiction genre, but she EXCELS in it. Would love to see more or even a second book as a series to Northern Survival.
5 Stars – JUDY GREENE
Great read! – Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed this book…….kept me on the edge the whole way. What a great story showing the strength you can exhibit when necessary. Loved the progression of the feelings of the characters. Shed a few tears near the end…….will remember forever.
5 Stars – Carolyn Kashady
Excellent – Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt every fear, every success, even felt cold at times. Would highly recommend Northern Survival
Shadows in the Stone
4 Stars – Don Cram
Fantasy with Focus – Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2012
This first book in Diane Lynn McGyver’s Castle Keepers series is very well done and will keep you turning pages right to the end. What I particularly enjoyed in this solidly mainstream fantasy is its fresh focus on established themes. It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle. The fantasy world McGyver has created has the magical beings you might expect, but you’ll see them in new ways and see their story with fresh insights. At 190 centimeters I’m taller than the average person; the book made be believe I was seeing a magical world from a height a little less than half that. Enjoy.
Well-written Epic Fantasy
Diane transports us into a fantasy world that she describes with enough expertise to fully immerse a reader. There are some overlaps into our own world, but they do not shake a reader out of the fantasy. Now, you may be thinking, “All fantasy does that.” Yes, you’re correct, in the sense that the moment an author mentions a sword, a shield, or a horse, they’re pointing to the real world. However, Diane brought in the concept of canned foods, and described a diligent accounting / government system within Aruam Castle, complete with pre-made forms, records, and bureaucratic filing. Yet she incorporated it so well into her world-building that any reader will seamlessly accept.
Diane Lynn McGyver stands head and shoulders above other indie authors. Her dialog flows well, as does her setting and internal descriptions. She knows how to show and not tell better than most. There is also a skillful knowledge of writing at work. Diane knows how not to overuse ‘to be’, adverbs, and a throng of other useless crutch or weasel words.
I enjoyed every page of “Shadows in the Stone” as you will too. This is the first in the Castle Keepers series, which is available.
A memorable fantasy world with characters that will stay on your mind.
Fantasy is one of my favourite genres to read. This story took me to a different place and even yet some things have stayed with me. Diane Lynn McGyver created a whole new world, with characters the reader quickly cares about, and suspense, drama and mystery to keep the pages turning.
Having said that, I would not recommend Shadows in the Stone to young readers as some battle scenes may be disturbing, and there are very descriptive scenes of relationship intensity and some violent scenes.
The main character, Corporal Bronwyn Darrow, made up his mind to never love again after being deeply hurt by a woman he trusted. That is, until he meets the enchantress Alaura of Niamh. Bronwyn tries to keep his focus on his duty as he wants to move up in the ranks of the castle guard but he is very distracted by this troubled mysterious woman. She needs his help, though, and he cannot resist the challenge, being an honourable man.
What nagged at me the most may not even be an issue for another reader. Bronwyn constantly runs through his emotions and thoughts regarding Alaura, for whom he soon cares deeply. There were places I felt should be left to the reader to ‘get’ the first or second time and know from there without the constant repetition. Even so, the author built characters of dimension and heart.
There are warriors, royalty, peasants, villains, secrets, betrayal, danger, heroism, love, passion, suspense, exciting moments that are magical, and more, all leading to a satisfaction for the reader in the way events unfold. The author describes scenes and situations very well, weaving pictures in the reader’s mind. Where the author ended this story leaves the reader waiting for more. There are several unanswered questions relating to Alaura, the castle, the child Alaura cares for, and more mysteries. Fortunately, this is the first in a series, so we have more books to watch for in which we can anticipate those answers.
All in all, this is a good read fantasy lovers will find captivating and fascinating.
Characters you want to get to know.
I don’t often read fantasy, but I have been following this author and the premise of her story sounded intriguing. I was not disappointed and found I was unable to put the book down. This may be fantasy but the characters are very real. Ms. McGyver has created characters you care about as they deal with their personal demons, suppressed feelings, secrets, magical powers and unrequited love. Alaura of Niamh, my favourite character, is both tough and gentle, as well as mysterious. Bronwyn and Alaura have a unique relationship which can also be frustrating at times. The child, Isla, will capture your heart as she has her foster-father Bronwyn’s. The author paints a palpable picture of the land of Ath-o’Lea, sparing no details. A number of fantastical creatures make their appearance adding colour and interest.
Many characters are introduced in this book and I had trouble keeping track of all of them. I also felt there were too many questions left unanswered at the end of the book. What happened to Isla? What secret is Alaura keeping and why can’t she join with Bronwyn? What is wrong inside Aruam Castle? Who is the traitor? What is, “The Prophesy”? I may be kept up at night wondering.
This is the first book in The Castle Keeper series and I look forward to reading the next three books to find the answers. This is a great read for those who love fantasy and for those who are new to it.
Shadows in the Stone is captivating in its simplicity. It is fantasy explored with simple, concise language that any reader can (and will) enjoy. I don’t normally read fantasy but the town of Maskill pulled me in, and very much became 3-dimensional. Alaura and Bronwyn’s love is pure, as is their adoration for Isla. Their journey to find the young hauflin is fraught with trouble and Diane Lynn McGyver captures the danger in a succession of well written action scenes that keeps the reader engaged.
It delves in to a world that exists only in our imaginations, and yet we are drawn in to it as though it is real. I look forward to the next installment of the trilogy and recommend this book to anybody who is hovering on the edge of the fantasy world.
Fantasy with Focus
After enjoying this book I have a hard time not believing its world actually exists somewhere, maybe in Nova Scotia. Fantastic in all senses of the word. Now on to book two in the series.
From my review of the book at amazon.com: This first book in Diane Lynn McGyver’s Castle Keepers series is very well done and will keep you turning pages right to the end. What I particularly enjoyed in this solidly mainstream fantasy is its fresh focus on established themes. It’s like an award-winning movie director telling the person behind the camera to lower or raise the picture in the viewfinder for a new angle. The fantasy world McGyver has created has the magical beings you might expect, but you’ll see them in new ways and see their story with fresh insights. At 190 centimeters I’m taller than the average person; the book made be believe I was seeing a magical world from a height a little less than half that. Enjoy.
Book 1 was 1 of 2. Book 2 was 2 of 5 or 6 or 7. I’m not happy about that. I hate being misled.
Having said that the story is good, the characters are fairly three dimensional but some bits are too predictable and others too trite. It’s worth a read.
I thought the book was wonderful! The fantasy aspect of adventure made me not want to put it down. I can’t wait until the next book is finished 🙂
I couldn’t put it down. This book was whimsical, adventurous and unique!
It’s not my usual read but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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2012 to 2022