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The Cloudstone Key (The Rithhek Cage Trilogy Book 1) by [Patrick, Darren T.]
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The Cloudstone Key (The Rithhek Cage Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This story is filled with imaginative new races and a fascinating world rich with history... I could not put this book down.  I look forward to reading more." - Fantasy Book Lane

"I don't even know where to begin! This book was a fun ride in the veins of Terry Brooks and Michael J. Sullivan."
- RTiwari

"This is an excellent story... Highly recommended to any who can get a hand on a copy of this book!"
- Dorothea Sharp

From the Author

Thanks for taking the time to read about The Cloudstone Key, the first book in The Rithhek Cage trilogy. This is my first novel and I'm excited to have the opportunity to bring it to you. I published The Cloudstone Key in August 2013 and not long after, released A Reader's Guide to Tholann for free on my website (darrentpatrick.com) in order to introduce the world (Tholann) and the story to new readers.

If you are into epic, fantasy adventure with a protagonist on the verge of adulthood - you're in the right place! Years of worldbuilding, plotting and developing went into this book; all taking place before the first word was typed.  I did this not only to ensure that I had a sense of the arc of the entire series, but to bring you the most entertaining fantasy adventure story I could, from the first page through the last.  I hope you enjoy!

Product Details

  • File Size: 853 KB
  • Print Length: 137 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Darren T. Patrick (August 23, 2013)
  • Publication Date: August 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EWZJI16
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,659 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
For me, this book began life as a beta-read for a fellow author. Initially it was in two much shorter parts, but has since been combined to form a single, more powerful tale.

"In the remote mining village of Aystin, Karsen Morgate secretly longs to explore the world outside the town walls; but instead dutifully spends his nights protecting the precious Cloudstone tiles-mined by his father, and engraved with mystical symbols and lore by the reclusive Adept Noxyn. When his half-brother, Petr, commits a gruesome crime, Karsen is forced to flee his home, carrying with him a tile depicting a unique artifact-the Ennae-entrusted to his care by the Adept himself. Alone, ailing, and on the run, Karsen must find help, find his way, and decipher the true meaning of the Ennae. For he soon realizes that he is being pursued by the dark brotherhood of the Shroud, and that he has somehow become an unwilling pawn in an ancient conflict." (Summary as per author)

In the fantasy world of Tholann, the author creates a mystical place, filled with fascinating civilisations. These range from the giant female Jikhquae to the enchanting Sky-Touched population, together with the humorous Rethe ( talkative squirrel-like creatures) and the mysterious Lost community. Amongst all of these groups, the human society, of which Karsen is one, continue to live in virtual ignorance of the goings-on beyond their own frontiers. Their fear of the unknown and the danger that lies out there keeps them from exploring further afield. When Karsen flees his home, he cannot ever imagine the predicament in which he soon finds himself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the imaginatively rich details that sets up a full background for the reader to grasp both the enormity of the world's multiple races - each having their own unique history and culture - to the innocent courage of the human protagonist, Karsen, as he carries out an adventure. The adventure Karsen is pulled into moulds him from the initial innocent, naive young man into what we finally observe at the end of the story - a mature, experienced young man. During this entire tale, the reader remains alongside Karsen - and all other characters - through this creative, mystical world of Tholann. As one read's, each page holds a hope for more and more adventure. The end of the tale was bittersweet - one that you wish had not ended and kept you wanting more. I enjoyed every minute of it; looking forward to much more from Mr. Patrick in the future. This is an excellent story; it combines all elements that one would expect in a fantasy and then exceeds that expectation. Highly recommended to any who can get a hand on a copy of this book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I’ll start by saying that this book has a wide range of ratings on Goodreads (most falling into the 4 star rating), which goes to show that for this one, it’s just going to be a matter of taste.

I can say that the world was nicely imagined. It had a good set of lore and creatures and races to keep one interested. We spent a bit of time with two races that I thought were extremely well thought out. It gave us a chance to learn about the lore of the world and gave us the overall issues our main character might face in future books.

However, for this reader, worlds come second to characters. Unfortunately for me, Karsen wasn’t a character I latched on to, nor did I become enticed by his story. He did go through something tragic, but I never really settled in with him enough to care. His brother, Petr, didn’t snag hold of me either. None of the characters did. So that will always pull me out of a book, and the way the world was rolled out made me even distance myself further.

If you’ve read any of my reviews, and I hope you have (shout out to Steven Colbert - I stole his line), you’ll know that my eyes glaze over when I encounter large sections of info dumping. I’ll shut down pretty quick. Now, sometimes authors can sneak info dumps into conversations and I won’t know because 1) I either care about the character enough that I’m interested whenever they speak or 2) it’s done in a way that builds up the character by revealing quirks or adding to his/her voice. That said, Patrick used the dialog trick. However, I didn’t learn much about Karsen, his voice didn’t evolve or come alive for me, and it seemed the dialog internal thought tags really dragged it down for me. That combined with all the information turned me off from the story several times.
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Format: Kindle Edition
After witnessing the tragic death of his father, Karsen is destined to be the next Lead Pick of Aystin. Unfortunately, he is thrown into turmoil when his half-brother (adopted brother) Petr murders a young woman. Adept Noxyn, the man who engraves Cloudstone, sends Karsen on a journey that will forever change the course of his life.

Karsen joins Petr in his exile, but the pair do not make it far together. Instead, Petr proves himself every bit a criminal and attacks his brother. He steals the Ennae (a very important piece of carved Cloudstone) and heads off into the wilderness, leaving Karsen injured and unconscious.

Despite no longer having the Ennae (his entire reason for joining his brother into the wild), Karsen does not feel he is able to return home. He decides to carry on and attempt to complete the task that was set before him. Along the way, he meets some unlikely friends and discovers he has the ability to experience events through other people's eyes while dreaming.

This story is filled with imaginative new races and a fascinating world rich with history. Not only are there strange children who never grow old, but there are giants and talking squirrels as well. There is a rich, elaborate history behind the races that shaped the world of Tholann as we see it in The Cloudstone Key. There is quite a bit of world history presented, but it is done conversationally and does not weigh down the story. It is woven in rather than being presented in one large information dump. I much appreciated that.

The story takes place at a fast rate. Yes, there are places where everyone is just talking, but the conversation always serves to advance the plot or to explain something that has yet to be presented. I could not put this book down.
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