Stonecast by Anton Strout
I have to call attention to the cover blurb, of course!
Don’t worry. No money has exchanged hands.
Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business…until she discovered her true legacy—a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. And as her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. But when a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear.
With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry—even with the help of her dedicated friends—are faltering. Hidden forces both watch her and threaten her, and she finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world.
But the question of Stanis’s fate haunts her—and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.
Lexi and her friends have been hard at work, trying to increase her skills bringing to life stone automatons. Meanwhile, Stanis has been trying to distract his father from going after Lexi and her grandfather’s book. But then Stanis is bound and forced to obey the enemy. And Lexi meets a young man who can help, but is unsure if he can be trusted. I enjoyed the character of Caleb. He reminded me a bit of Han Solo – someone who’s out for himself, but honest about it. He also became another love interest for Lexi, adding a love triangle element.
Stonecast is a fantastic sequel in this unique and exciting fantasy series. Full of suspense, intrigue, magic, and humor – gargoyles have never been this fun. The story ends with a climactic and satisfying conclusion. And I’m excited to see where the story goes next with how things leave off. This is one of those series that make you want to tell the author to write faster. Don’t miss this fast-paced, urban fantasy, but make sure to read Alchemystic first.