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Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Insanely brilliant. Fletcher did it again.
Black Stone Heart is Fletcher's best novel to date, and thatis really saying something coming from someone who can't stop talking aboutBeyond Redemption.
Readers will probably wonder about Fletcher's sanity beforeit's all over.
This is a riveting start to an excellent saga. The author hassurpassed himself again and we are all luckier for it.
This book is AMAZING and INTENSE and DARK and WEIRD and allthose delightful things that Fletcher is known for.
--Sarah Chorn, author of Seraphina's Lament
This might be the best Fletcher book I've read to date.That's not a light statement, considering his oeuvre: Beyond Redemption, Smokeand Stone, The Mirror's Truth, and on, but I tore through this in less thanfour days, and it left me wanting more. More, more, more now.
--Clayton Snyder, author of The Obsidian Psalm
Once again Michael Fletcher manages to spellbind you intothis grimdark spiral of madness, and yet it feels so very fluent and logical itmakes you take a double take at your own thoughts and emotions.
A dark tale full of unconventional ideas with that specialkind of madness that only Fletcher can provide. Bring on the sequel!
Black Stone Heart is, above all, addictive and compulsivelyreadable - it forced me to prolong my lunch as much as I dared because Icouldn't bear to stop reading it. If anything depended on me, I would forbidFletcher to work on anything but The Obsidian Path series. I need the sequel.
- ASIN : B083Y748QX
- Publication date : April 1, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 2823 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 486 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,353 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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He doesn’t act like a human being; rather as a savage creature focused on survival, living off bugs and roots. Only after finding an obsidian shard that pierces his skin and finds its way to his heart, he regains parts of his identity.
His integration into the local society gets tricky, especially that he has no marketable skills beyond killing children and women. His actions stem from the urge to follow the remaining shards of his heart scattered around the world. After getting each shard Khraen undergoes a painful process of integration during which he regains some memories of the past. And with them comes a growing sense of unease - it’s possible people hate him for a reason other than the color of his skin. It’s possible his past actions had disastrous consequences.
With its breakneck pace, excellent banter, wild twists and reveals, Black Stone Hearts bullies you into liking it. There’s no time not to. Things happen and they are exciting. Yes, I know that I write vaguely about this book but I do it out of a desire not to spoil it. The plot is fairly simple (protagonist and narrator regains parts of his heart, gets drunk and laid, regains his memories, travels to impossible places, meets old friends and foes, discovers his violent past) and most of the fun comes from experiencing events with Khraen and seeing how they change him. Fletcher has a knack for characterization and, surprisingly, for crafting entertaining and dark comedy. It’s a dark book and yet it made me laugh multiple times.
He brilliantly captures the change of Khraen’s voice as he ponders on his identity and the essence of identity in general. Each new Shard allows Khraen to reassemble himself and regain his memories. If you’ve already read Fletcher, you know better than to expect happy endings and uplifting mood. Here, though, the darker side of the story hides behind the darkly humorous voice.
Make no mistake, Khraen and his companions aren’t good guys (although one question Fletcher asks is about the nature of evil - is a predator evil when it feeds itself to survive?). One of them, a necromancer, harvests people to repair herself. She treats people as a source of parts.
Black Stone Heart is, above all, addictive and compulsively readable - it forced me to prolong my lunch as much as I dared because I couldn’t bear to stop reading it. If anything depended on me, I would forbid Fletcher to work on anything but The Obsidian Path series. I need the sequel.
It’s clear I’m biased. For the sake of objectivity, I have to say it probably won’t appeal to readers tired of over-the-topness, violence, and a certain level of predictability (those two final surprises weren’t really exactly shocking). I loved it too much to care, though, and felt fully immersed in the narrative.
A quick synopsis: The main character, Khraen, wakes up less than a man. As he slowly pieces himself back to some semblance of a human and regains his lost memories by collecting pieces of his heart that are scattered across the lands, he begins a journey of self discovery and vengeance that leads him to some horrifying places and realizations.
This was my first book of Fletcher’s and even going in expecting it to be pretty grimdark, it was darker than I expected. Solid writing and really fast, clear plotting will keep you reading from beginning to end in no time. I’m definitely a fan of Fletcher’s now and I’ll be both anticipating the next book in The Obsidian Path and making time to go back and check out his previous works.
The main character, Khraen, is some serious Walter White Breaking Bad craziness dialed up to 11. I started out really rooting for him and siding with him, then, and I don’t even know when this happened, I just hit a point of wondering to myself how the hell we got where we were and what he was doing. It speaks to Fletcher’s absolute skill that Khraen’s character arc felt totally natural to the narrative, and the weaving of the different plot threats was deftly done.
There are a few main side characters that I don’t particularly want to get in to for spoilery reasons, but oh how much heart breaks (that almost counts as a pun, considering the plot of this book) for one of them. I really enjoyed the distinct personalities and traits of the side characters, even if one of them did make me skin crawl a solid 99% of the time they were present.
I’m going to be looking forward to the sequel and seeing where this whole crazy story goes next because, honestly, this thing could go anywhere. Your best bet is to read this book as soon as you get chance then just hold on tight and go for the ride. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
An unforgettable story; one that cuts with the sharpest of blades and heals with the finest of salves. You will not be unmoved.
Khraen may be one of the best protagonists to hit the fantasy scene since Logen Ninefingers.
I had the opportunity to read Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path #1) a couple of years ago before it even had a title. The fact that I still remember every aspect of this story should tell you how much of an impact it had on me; not only an immersive read, but an emotionally charged one.
Top reviews from other countries
Black Stone Heart tells the story of Khraen, a man with a literal broken heart, who's on a quest to find the missing pieces and restore his memory. What follows is a dark and twisted tale that is as much a romance as it is a story of restoration. And that is what makes it so compelling.
The worldbuilding is an interesting one. Considering Khraen's 'amensia', it makes sense that we learn only so much about the world and its peoples and cultures as he does. It's vast with plenty of interesting and mysterious places from floating mountain fortresses to demon-run villages.
However, the worldbuilding takes a backseat to the characters. Khraen is one hell of a fascinating individual. At the 'heart' of his story is the conflict between continuing to evolve into the man he is now becoming or embrace the man he once was. Each fragment he finds grants him new powers and a vision of his past self. This is where Fletcher's imagination runs wild with some breathtaking and horrific scenes that make you whisper 'holy f***'.
Other characters such as Shaylan and Henka are central to the story but to talk about them would be too spoilery. My favourite supporting character has to be Nhil who has one of the weirdest and funniest idiosyncrasies a character I've come across ever had.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, devouring it in two sittings across a weekend. The sequel will be a day one buy. Fletcher continues to surprise me and he is fast becoming one of those authors whose books I know I will enjoy before reading.
Black Stone Heart is the tale of Khraen, a man who is reborn into the aftermath of a great magical war with no semblance of who he is or where he came from. All he knows is that his black heart has been shattered into pieces, and by collecting these pieces, he gains new knowledge of his past. However, with each new piece gained, he begins to understand that his dark heart was shattered for a reason and that he may be the evil dark lord responsible for the devastating wars which almost destroyed the world.
With that knowledge, Khraen needs to decide what kind of man he wants to be and whether he can outrun the evil deeds of his past and become a good person, or if he’s doomed to make the same mistakes and drag everyone else down with him.
Okay, so this isn’t a whine so much as it is a warning. This book is dark. Like damn, this book is messed up in places and I LOVE IT. Black Stone Heart doesn’t shy away from violence and desperate choices. Whilst I don’t want to spoil the path Khraen takes, I’ll say his choices become more questionable as the story goes on. He tries to do the right thing, bless him, yet it doesn’t quite work out that way, and it leads to a slippery slope of violence justified with a “well this evil thing I’m doing isn’t as evil as that evil thing I COULD be doing” and then of course he indulges that evil thing next.
There are many dark twists and horrific scenes in this book which I would warn squeamish readers away from. That is my whine. Black Stone Heart is written from the perspective of a villainous character. Personally I loved Khraen’s voice and personality, but if you can’t stand to see a bad guy doing bad things, then this book may not be for you.
The character of Henka, for example, is a dead necromancer (and a bad influence on poor Khraen) who uses necromancy to fight alongside Khraen. However, her abilities require sacrifice. The extent of these sacrifices are revealed as the story goes on, and whilst I felt absolutely entertained by Khraen and the fast pace of the story, there is one scene where they plot murder and it made me put the book down and just think damn, these characters are actually evil!
This book took me on a journey I wasn’t prepared for. It started off peacefully with a happy cottage and a little murder and then Khraen made a friend and we went on an adventure. And from there onwards I wasn’t sure what I expected, but sexy necromancy wasn’t one of them!
Black Stone Heart was a wild ride for me, and I tore through its pages. Honestly, all my “complaints” above are what I enjoyed about this book. Journeying with Khraen felt like a crazy road trip as we both learned about his past and the world he found himself trapped in together. I felt his frustrations and groaned at his poor choices. Despite being a bit of a scoundrel (an understatement perhaps) I felt attached to Khraen as he struggled to separate his identity from the overwhelming figure of his past. Black Stone Heart throws up a few moral questions: if an evil figure loses their memory of being evil, are they still the same person? Can they be blamed for the atrocities of the past? Is redemption possible? And is it okay to murder people for self-preservation? Hrm, I’m not so sure about that one!
As much as I loved Khraen, it was the two female leads who stole the show for me. We meet Shalayn earlier on, a no-nonsense sword fighter who knows what she wants. But my favourite was definitely Henka, the shy and sweet dead necromancer who isn’t as shy and sweet as she first appears. Both make an impact on Khraen’s life and inspire the questionable decisions he makes. I can see that both are going to be big trouble in the sequels!
Black Stone Heart is a fast-paced exploration of what it means to be evil that ultimately doesn’t shy from being monstrous and enjoying it.
The only thing wrong with it is having to wait for book two :-(