Stones Will Sing, The

2 April 2024

The Stones Will Sing
by Alanna Vane
Published by Cold Blue Press
Review by Toby A. Welch  
$12.72 ISBN 9781738023301

The premise of The Stones Will Sing seems to be the question of whether music can be a life-changing force. It is a quirky yet fascinating topic to delve into, wrapped inside a fantastical tale of adventure. 

The novel opens as the king of the country of Koshluk goes rampant on a quest to quash all the arts. Included in his declarations is that musical instruments are illegal and anyone caught singing will have their larynx removed. You can imagine the chaos that ensues when these rules (among others involving books, theater, etc.) are made known. 

On one hand, you have Prince Ash, the second son of King Marcus of Koshluk, who is on a mission to protect the people of his country and their freedoms. Then there is Cedar, a woman who’s drawn to music with an inexplicable force. The duo embark on a journey, both carrying their provisions but also the weight of their secrets. For example, Cedar has no clue that Ash is a prince. Ash’s brother, James, is weaved through the tale as well as many other characters that keep things interesting and moving along. Music factors in when a forbidden cello makes an appearance. An underground resistance ensues along with a string of other events. Numerous strong personalities collide in this superb fable. 

Vane’s writing style in this novel is on point. She is crisp and clear without needless ruminating. I am a fan of dialogue when it moves the story forward and that is exactly what happens in The Stones Will Sing. And the ratio of dialogue to description and action couldn’t have been better. This is a well-rounded read in all the best ways.

This book has a great what I call ‘handfeel.’ As my fellow physical copy book readers know, some books feel more pleasing in your hands than others. It’s not just that this book is the perfect size, the tactileness of the paper and the softness of the cover are bang on. I appreciate that in a handheld book. 

Vane mentions in her acknowledgments section that The Stones Will Sing underwent at least fifteen drafts – that shows through in the final copy. The plot is well-rounded and fleshed out, clear from the first page to the last. But a few of the story tangents are left open just enough for me to wonder if this will end up being book one in a series…  

If you are looking for a tale that is a bit out of the ordinary yet intriguing, this dystopian novel deserves a spot at the top of your list. I highly recommend The Stones Will Sing


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