From Publishers Weekly
An overly predictable plot, a deficit of character development and a deus ex machina conclusion distract from the dreamy prose and intricate world-building of this fairy tale novella from Hugo-winner Card (Keeper of Dreams
). Runnel, a friendless peasant from a village so humble that money is a new concept, stumbles into a centuries-old feud when he travels to Mitherhome, the city of the wetwizards, seeking his fortune. He accepts a servant's position in the household of the sole stonemage permitted within the city walls, where his untapped magical talents and his fascination with his master's abilities are a predictably dangerous combination. Card's obvious familiarity with his world and its enthralling history, due to be expanded in the forthcoming Mithermages series, makes for a pleasant, if shallow, interlude. (Oct.)
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In this novella-length precursor to Card’s forthcoming fantasy saga Mithermages, a young man leaves his home town for the big, mage-ridden city and learns that he has powers. Unfortunately, he hasn’t learned how to wield them, a good many people want to exploit his ignorance, and his strong ethical standards make him cautious about risking harm to anybody. Absorbing tales have sprung from such plot and character mainsprings for millennia, including much modern fantasy, from Lord of the Rings to Harry Potter, and not excluding Card’s own magisterial Hatrack River saga. Judging from Stonefather, it seems we’re about to receive another American fantasy classic from Card. --Roland Green