From Publishers Weekly
The inflated closing volume of Butler's generational Stoneways Trilogy (after 2007's Queen Ferris
) uneasily combines YA fantasy and romance. Hubley, the 10-year-old daughter of magicians Reiffen and Ferris, becomes the target of Reiffen's old teacher and enemy, the wicked Wizard Fornoch. When Reiffen's concern for Hubley turns obsessively irrational, Hubley's magical talent surfaces. She and Reiffen's friend Avender, himself tragically caught in a Camelot-style love triangle with the wife of his king and friend, struggle to redeem Reiffen with the help of stale fantasy-quest figures like the shape-shifting bear Redburr. A pedestrian, predictable plot; tired true-love platitudes (Babies first, immortality after); and a spoiled young drama queen heroine make for a sluggish conclusion to an initially promising coming-of-age saga. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7–10—This overly long final book in the trilogy jumps 10 years into the future with Reiffen and Ferris's precocious daughter, Hubley, eagerly awaiting her 10th birthday and the beginning of her "real magic" training. Although the siege of Rimwich and the death of the two Wizards led to continuing peace, Reiffen grows increasingly fearful that surviving Wizard Fornoch plans to kidnap Hubley. Reiffen's loyal friend Avender joins forces with Ferris, Hubley, and others to try to prevent Reiffen's descent into madness. Fans of Avender from his role in the earlier novels will enjoy his appearance as a major character here, though the doomed love triangle between him, Queen Wellin, and King Brizen, grows thin by the middle of the book. Although Butler turns some of the conventional tenets of fantasy on their heads, he gives in to others in the form of stereotypical characters. The somewhat convoluted plot and occasional slow pace may keep all but die-hard fantasy fans away, and even those who do persevere may be disappointed in the bittersweet ending.—Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD