The Stone of Knowing by Allan Packer – Book Review, Preview

Posted February 26, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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I have certainly had times where I’ve wished I knew what someone was thinking. I’m sure you have as well.

While I’m not convinced that this is something that can actually be done, oftentimes my husband seems like he knows that I’m thinking!

Over the years, we have had fun playing various games. And especially love “trivia” type games. At one point, I began to think he was plucking answers from my brain. So once I realized what the correct answer was, I would quickly start thinking something else, challenging myself to make it seem like it could be the right answer. And then I would focus on that one word or phrase, repeating it myself.

I am not kidding when I tell you that almost every time, he would respond with the answer I had been thinking, even when I knew he knew the right one!

Recently that hasn’t worked as well for me. Perhaps (probably) it is because this is all something just in my head. Or maybe since he has heard me tell my secret, he has stopped listening to my thoughts. . .

The Stone of Knowing by Allan Packer – Book Review, Preview

The Stone of Knowing

by Allan Packer

Series: The Stone Cycle #1
Series Rating:
Published by Luminant Publications
Publication Date February 26, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Main Character Ages: 15-18, 18-24
Written for: Adult
Pages: 425


Even a small stone creates big ripples

In the kingdom of Arvenon, young Thomas Stablehand stumbles upon an unusual stone. Suddenly able to read the thoughts and intents of others, his life sours as he eagerly indulges his curiosity. But dangerous enemies seek the stone.

With overwhelming forces attacking the kingdom, Thomas has no one to turn to except his friend Will Prentis, a born leader who has seized his opportunity to command. To thwart the invaders, Will leads a small band on a perilous quest. Fearing exposure, Thomas flees with him, along with Brother Vangellis, a conflicted monk hiding from his past.

They can ill afford distractions, least of all a fiery young woman with a sharp tongue. But more may depend on Elbruhe than they can foresee.

As Thomas struggles to unravel the enigma of the stone, Will must outwit a relentless adversary whose true purpose remains a mystery.

Staying alive is a formidable challenge. Defeating their enemies seems an impossible dream.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: The Cost of Knowing , The Seer, The Stone of Authority, The Struggle for Authority, The Stone of Vitality

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A stone that allows the bearer to know the thoughts of others. . .

When I received the invitation to review The Stone of Knowing, I was intrigued. And seeing that Allan Packer is a debut author had me jumping at this opportunity. I can say unreservedly that I am thrilled that I did.

He may be newly published, however his writing is quite accomplished. The language he uses is rich and colorful. The plot was very interesting with many twists and turns. The characters were very well developed. I was invested from the very start.

There are a number of principal characters. Thomas Stablehand, the finder of the stone and a master at working with horses. Will, a soldier. Rufe, another soldier. Vangellis, the monk. Stefan, the king. Elbruhe. . . Each one plays a significant role in this saga.

Thomas and Will are the primary characters. Thomas is actually a fairly typical teenage male, making choices that have far-reaching implications. Shortly after discovering the stone, he made some very poor choices that caused pain and grief to those around him and to himself.

Will was my favorite character. He was the very definition of bravery – not because he wasn’t fearful but because of how he responded to the fear. With great determination and fortitude, he rose above his circumstances and truly embodied the description “mighty man of valor”. One of the best scenes in the story, if not the best, was when he was a captive – his bravery and his quick thinking had a stunning result.

While I was still at the beginning of the book, the author contacted me to see if I had finished reading yet, curious as to my thoughts. Here is what I told him:

According to my Kindle, I’m at 33%. So far, I’m mad at Tom, intrigued by Rufe and love Will!  🙂
I’m certainly enjoying it so far. I’m very curious about why the stone only works sometimes. Depending on what I make for dinner, I may be able to finish it tonight. Maybe. Hopefully. 
I’m certainly invested. If only my job didn’t interfere with my reading!
Your writing style is great! And I love that you aren’t afraid to use multi-syllabic words. 

The enemy encroaching on the land is evil and very dangerous. Thus the tone of the story is somber and there is much talk of battles. Despite this, there is humor (I laughed out loud at the encounter with the bear!) and hope is injected in such a way as to keep it from being dark. The battle scenes are kept from being gruesome and yet provided enough detail to allow me to follow what was going on.

Years ago I read the series The Dragon King Trilogy by Stephen P. Lawhead. At the time, I didn’t have thousands of books on my Kindle (or even a Kindle!) and therefore I tended to read the ones I liked over and over. I probably read these books twenty times, maybe more. The Stone of Knowing reminded me very much of the style that I recall from those readings.

The second book of the series, The Cost of Knowing, will be releasing at the end of March this year. So there is not a long wait for the sequel. I am very excited to continue the series and encourage any fantasy lovers to read this one now so you are ready.

About Allan Packer

Allan Packer is an emerging author of epic fantasy. The Stone of Knowing and The Cost of Knowing are his first two novels.

Allan grew up surrounded by books and became an avid reader during his childhood. In his university years fantasy displaced science fiction as his favorite genre, thanks primarily to J. R. R. Tolkien. He later shared this love with his four children by reading The Lord of the Rings to them aloud – a three-month marathon he completed twice during their formative years.

Born in Australia, Allan has lived and worked on three continents, and spent one quarter of his working years abroad. Having worked as an IT professional throughout his career, he was first published as a technical author.

Today he lives with his wife in Adelaide, South Australia, near their children and a small but growing band of grandchildren.

Allan is currently working on the next installment in his series The Stone Cycle.

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