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Morgan Smith
Casting in Stone
Morgan Smith, author
They said ill winds blew at her back. They said she was cursed, a hex, and a jinx. And it was true: everywhere she went, no matter what she did, misfortune seemed to follow in her wake. But that, of course, wasn’t the worst of it. The evil that seemed to track Caoimhe throughout her life had caused many tragedies. She fled her old life, trying to lose herself in anonymity , but the unholy circumstances of her birth, and the machinations of those who sought to use her existence to further their own schemes followed her still. Can she overcome a long-dead evil and finally be free?
Smith’s second Averraine Cycle installment (after A Spell in the Country) is a short, concise journey to self-knowledge. In a tiny mountain village in a remote part of a fantasy world, Caoimhe lives as quietly as she can to escape her past. But even in so remote a place, trouble comes to find her. Though she is the ruler of the area in name, she has taken no interest in leading or protecting her people. Since her infancy, Caoimhe has been hated and rejected by her family, and she only found a home after being orphaned and taken in by a household that eventually gave her a place as a warrior and protector. Now her origins have come to haunt her village, as have outsiders who would force her to take up the fate she has spent a lifetime trying to escape. Smith has crafted a simple, dangerous world and a fascinating protagonist. The pace is a little slow, and in some places unnecessarily static. The ending is sudden and relies on Caoimhe’s good luck and sharp instincts, but Smith has taken pains to establish those as the heroine’s traits. The story never cheats, leading to a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. (BookLife)