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The Stone Of Acumen: Raina’s Vow by M J Natali

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Raina was ten years old at the time that her mother was unexpectedly attacked by two black-cloaked figures. Her mother’s final words were filled with urgency for Raina to promise never to tell anyone about her secret. Ten years later, a war ensues when the notorious Amerdan Cimmerian insists of the Council of Elders that people should have the freedom to choose dark magic. Warriors are desperately needed, and fortunately Raina is old enough to be trained by the Council of Elders to become both a Keeper and a Raven, like her mother. Raina’s role as Keeper means that she has to make sure the Stone of Acumen, her mother’s secret, remains hidden from Amerdan. While Amerdan has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, Raina is unaware that she is the prime target of his devious plans.

The Stone of Acumen – Raina’s Vow is the first book in The Wendael Ravens series. Rising author M J Natali has fashioned her riveting debut fantasy novel with a balanced blend of skill, earthly elements, and magic set within otherworldly environs. Undoubtedly, her novel definitely follows a “good versus evil” theme — typical of fantasy literature. Yet Natali’s inimitable plot does not always zero in on Raina, her main character. Among her supporting cast, Natali introduces two critical characters, Lanai and Charles, who together with Raina create a tightly knit threesome. Natali’s writing style uses first person narration for Raina, but also for Lanai and Charles. This type of literary design allows Natali to freely and meticulously develop each character. It also assists in narrative movement since Natali deftly alternates character scenes that are filled with plenty of action as well as romance. Although there isn’t much of a cliffhanger at the end of the novel, there is a definite sense that there is much more to come from this courageous trio.

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