A Complex and (Slightly) Contrived Adventure | A Review of The Godstone by Violette Malan

⭐⭐⭐ • 3 / 5 stars

This book was fine but I didn’t love it or anything. It gets 3/5 stars even. Some of the terminology was confusing and it was never really explained very well. Also, in the last third of the book one of the POVs got super confusing, but I’ll get into that particular issue more in a bit. The second half of the book was also slower than the first, and the ending was anticlimactic and, I felt, a little rushed.

There are a few spoilers ahead in this review, but don’t worry, I have them marked! Just keep an eye peeled for the spoiler tags!

(There’s a reason that this book took me a month to finish…)

The plot and the prose were probably the weakest parts of the book. The plot itself barely had a reason to happen; and all of the characters probably would have been better off if they hadn’t even started their journey at all. Like, the bad guys (whoops, a couple small spoilers, sorry!) couldn’t access the Reality Warping McGuffin With Sentience (aka “The Godstone”) without Arlyn, so why would you go straight to these people?? FENRA EVEN ADRESSES THIS NEAR THIS BEGINNING OF THE BOOK SO WHY. Finding said Reality Warping McGuffin With Sentience just to redo a stronger seal on it seemed to be a pretty flimsy excuse.

There are a few plot conveniences as well, and the writing itself seems like something out of an indie debut though the author’s little bio says she’s published books before. The world building also feels confusing sometimes, if only because the magic system, magical terminology, and language are never explained. We, as the reader, are expected to learn them all as we go. (I still don’t know what a freaking “Mode” is…) What I did understand of the world building, however, was pretty awesome. I also enjoyed the way the author described stuff — I felt like I could visualize the world and the characters really well in my mind. The dialogue seemed pretty natural too; it never felt super forced to me, which is something that is important to me while reading.

I did like the characters quite a bit though — they were by far the best part of the book — and their relationships with each other were also very nice. (For the most part…)

Arlyn Albainal was definitely my favorite character in the book. He was by far the most interesting of the three protagonists, and I loved his character development and was rooting for him from the beginning. There were only a few things that I didn’t like involving his character.


I hate it when authors “redeem” characters by way of self sacrifice; I find it to be extremely cheap and unfulfilling for a character arc. Also, I get that Arlyn’s sort of possessed, but you didn’t have to make that POV… well, the best I can describe it is “Double 1st Person POV” — it doesn’t make sense, I know — but it was two technically separate characters both getting 1st Person POV at the same time. It would alternate between past and present tense to differentiate the 2 POVs, which is a crime in itself, and my grammarian and English BA brain felt like it was melting and burning at the same time.


Fenra Lowens was an okay second protagonist, but she felt a little bland, even though it seemed like the author did try l to make her an interesting character. I did like the quiet strength she displayed — she wasn’t a “girl boss” or a stereotypical “strong female character” so often seen in fiction nowadays. I also liked how she refused to take any lip from either of the guys, though. Her banter and relationship with Arlyn was very compelling, anf I felt that they played off each other well — Fenra was definitely the straight-man to Arlyn’s recklessness. However, I felt the reason she had for leaving the village she lived in and took care of for years and years at the beginning of the story to be weak (or non-existent really).

Elvanyn Karamisk was extremely likable but sometimes felt less necessary to the plot than the other two protagonists. Like, Arlyn and Fenra go to this secret dimension (called “the New Zone”) to escape some of the bad guys and they just happen to come across him there – even though it’s been decades and he should be long dead by now. But he’s still alive because people don’t age in the New Zone for some reason. This is never explained. The only excuse given is basically that other dimensions are weird. Then, the 3 leave the New Zone for the original world they were from and never go back. I really liked Elvanyn’s personality a lot though, he seemed like an fun mix of a cowboy and a pirate. I thought his apparent budding romance with Fenra felt forced and it feels kinda “insta-love” to me. I liked all 3 of the characters best as friends, and I don’t think a relationship between any of them was necessary.

So, in conclusion, this wasn’t a terrible book, but If The Godstone turns from a standalone into a series though – which I’m almost certain that it will, since there are loose ends – I don’t think I’ll continue beyond this. It just wasn’t for me is all. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t for you, so if this book sounded interesting to you, then go check it out yourself!

See you later! ~ Mar

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