“What is a man, if not a shell for the Architect’s imagination?” – From the Blessed Manual of the Architect Vore: Verse 1
Merciless. Murderer. Monster. He has been called many names in his time.
Built for war and nothing else, he has witnessed every shade of violence humans know, and he
has wrought his own masterpieces with their colours. He cared once, perhaps, but far too long
ago. He is bound to his task, dead to the chaos he wreaks for his masters.
Now, he has a new master to serve and a new war to endure. In the far reaches of the Realm,
Hartlund tears itself in two over coin and crown. This time he will fight for a boy king and a
general bent on victory.
Beneath it all, he longs for change. For something to surprise him. For an end to this cycle of
Every fighter has a last fight. Even one made of stone.
It’s the latest #UltimateBlogTour hosted by our beloved Dave @TheWriteReads. This time it’s Author Ben Galley, with more than a 140 bloggers participating and 4 books to be reviewed and discussed. It’s like skipping down the road eating some delicious ice cream and cake at the same time and humming ‘lalalalala! This blog tour is that good, join us, for the next one! I’ll be reading the rest of Ben Galley’s books from the reviews I’ve been seeing of the other books.
Hey, I love a great story that involves magic and creatures only the human mind can conjure. Ben Galley takes you there and beyond, he gives us the heart-wrenching, war-filled and blood-soaked existence story of Task a 400-year-old Wind-cut Golem 9 feet tall. We know that Task is built only for war, he’s been sold from master to master and has suffered this contractual slavery from the day his stone body was awakened by the one who made him, it’s all he knows and has been doing for the last 400 years. Within those years he’s witnessed the worst of humanity. Will, any of us ‘skinbags’ be able to change his mind and see that some of us only long for and want freedom and peace?
A civil war has been going on for decades between the Truehards (the Crown) and the Fading (a group of rebel nobles), Task has just been sold to the Truehards and is off to meet his new Master (asshole) General Huff Dartridge and put an end to a war, born of spite, lies, greed, and conspiracies.
“Task wondered what had eaten the soul of Hartlund. What had brought this country to rot and rust and worry.”
You’ll come to see that Task is an intriguing and fascinating character with such a sense of morality and humanity it put all the ‘skinbags’ as he calls us humans to shame. You’ll want to get to know him and understand his desire to be free or die. I wanted to be his friend right away as did Lesky, a brave young and clever girl who dishes out advice to Task whether wanted or unwanted. He wants to see us to better, treat each other better and have to see us tear ourselves and each other asunder.
I love Lesky’s character, I love how her story dipped, and bend and surface throughout the book, how she made Task laugh and smile even if he tried not to. The way she brings hope, even when despair is a constant companion to both her and Task. There are characters you will hate as much as Task, and those that you’ll come to like.
Mam says that fighters fight and survivors survive, but cowards cower. “You got to do what you are to be what you are”, and I ain’t no coward.” – Lesky
Ben Galley’s character development and the world building was done wonderfully, the creatures you meet are quite interesting – warks and firns. The settings are descriptive and tangible because the scenes of war are as real as can be, they’re brutal and bloody, quite grotesque in-fact, thanks to Task for he was built for killing without mercy. You see bodies strewn all over the battlefield each time. So there’s quite a bit of action in this book, but also quieter moments when Task thinks about the nature of war and guilt, freedom and responsibility and fighting for something that seems there’s no end to. But is there something he can do to end the war once and for all, it was maddening waiting to find out how he’ll figure out the solution to ending the war.
I thoroughly enjoyed Heart of Stone, the twists and turns were so well done, they had me clawing to get through the pages to find out what happened because let me just say, there were some people I wanted to see get their comeuppance (I mean seriously). I loved the relationship between Lesky and Task, I wish there were more. I was close to tears a couple times there coming to the end for sure. I love that Task’s outlook on us ‘skinbags’ was challenged and it forced him to think about his long-held ideas and beliefs and to look within his soul and go beyond the magic that bound him as a slave of war.
I highly recommend this book. Read it now people!
This is a very engaging, unique and fantastic dark fantasy, that will leave you wanting a sequel, as you will see there’s room for so much more. I’m hoping for more on Task and Lesky.
Thank you to @TheWriteReads and @BenGalley for a digital copy of Heart of Stone.
About The Author
Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada.
Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.
Title: Heart of Stone
Author: Ben Galley
Originally Published: March 30, 2017
Genre: Fiction/Dark Fantasy
Number of Pages: 412
Connect with the Author
Find the book here
Remember to check out these other fantastic bloggers on the Ultimate Blog Tour hosted by @TheWriteReads. Voluntarily have your mind blown!
Categories: Blog Tour