Book Reviews

The Oathing Stone by J.Z.N. McCauley ARC Review

31351222Goodreads Summary: Book Two of The Rituals Trilogy—Fire magic wraps around her bones and strengthens them, but if the fire touches another, it does more than burn.

After a year blissfully hidden together in a small village on Ireland’s lush green, Catherine and Bowen are ready to tie the knot. The joining of an ancient druid doctor and a woman blessed with druid magic from the sacred oak tree calls for nothing less than a traditional Celtic ceremony. For this, to connect them to their ancestors and the sacred place where they marry, a key item must be chosen for the ritual, the oathing stone.

Their need for discretion allows for only a gathering of Catherine’s closest friends and family. But after the couple’s first night together, strange and sudden events unfold. Blood mingles with fire, and Catherine’s magic becomes unstable.

Meanwhile, the mysterious Faerie Kings send a Fae spy to witness Catherine’s magic which disrupts not only her life but her best friend Bella’s when she becomes his sudden obsession. Just after Bella goes missing, it is up to Catherine to get her back, but it is only the beginning of their problems as she finds they’re embroiled in the middle of a Faerie civil war

*I was sent an ARC of this book from Book Review 22 in return for an honest review*

My Thoughts: This series looked so promising.  I’m a huge fantasy nut, so anything with magic, fairies, and Ireland sounds fantastic to me, and I couldn’t wait to read to read the first book, Oak and Mistletoe. It kills me to say that I was very disappointed, and had I not been asked to review book 2 in the trilogy, I probably would have DNF’d it.  Luckily, it was very fast paced and I was able to power through.  The plot was convoluted, I felt no connection to the characters whatsoever, and everything just felt underdeveloped.  Needless to say, I was not looking forward to reading The Oathing Stone.  While I still wasn’t the biggest fan, I was pleasantly surprised that the second book was a lot better than the first.  The plot actually made sense, and was able to hold my attention.  Things moved and escalated very quickly with a lot of ups and downs.  Being mostly set in the Fae realm, I felt like the author used their magic so that “anything goes,” without actually setting any rules to establish the system of magic.  I liked that we got to read from a few different perspectives, and I thought that they were handled well in advancing the plot.  The ending was a little strange, but exciting, and ends on a cliff hanger.  My biggest problem with this book, and the series in general so far, is that I feel nothing for the characters.  The situations they are put in are interesting, but the characters and relationships are very one dimensional and underdeveloped.  Catherine and Bowen are supposed to have such a great love, but there was no basis for it.  I really wanted to like this trilogy, but I just can’t get on board.

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