The Third Book of Lost Swords: Stonecutter’s Story
by :Fred Saberhagen
Nice long title for a relatively short book.
This is yet another book that I really should have read (it was in my collection, and it’s almost unheard of for me to have a book without reading it) – but nothing inside set off any bells. Which in many ways is good, because I can truly enjoy something “again for the first time”.
This book isn’t so much a fantasy book as a detective/mystery dressed up in fantasy clothing. Which works pretty well for it. It’s a fairly straightforward, clue-by-clue, mystery – as opposed to a modern twist-after-twist story where they try and surprise you as much as humanly possible. The ending is a nice, satisfying semi-surprise, yet not out of blue and annoying.
It’s set in the same world as the other books in the series, yet it doesn’t really directly relate to them, which is kind of frustrating. The main characters and the kingdom from the previous books are involved in that they loaned the titular sword to the group the protagonist is traveling with. That, and the setting itself, is the thin thread that ties this into the rest of the series. So, taken as a book in a series it fails but, taken as a story sharing the props & setting it works just fine. If, however, the characters from this book do return for further engagements (I can’t remember the other books either), then it will fit correctly into the series.
If you want some light fantasy/mystery reading I think you’ll enjoy this book. Especially since it doesn’t require reading the other books in any way.
THREE AND 3/4 STARS