The Crescent Stone ~ Review

The Crescent Stone
The Sunlit Lands #1
By Matt Mikalatos

Madeline Oliver is dying - each breath is a struggle, each minute takes that much closer to the end. At seventeen she is not ready to die but there is nothing more that can be done. A year ago she had everything until her lungs stopped working. Still, she struggles to have as normal a life as she can, going to school when she is able - though making it to graduation is unlikely.

On that fateful day when she collapses in chemistry, it seems her life has come to an end but her lab partner Jason Wu along with her ex-boyfriend Darius Walker rushes her to the hospital. Madeline is dying she knows it but in the midst of everything something happens and she is given a chance. A year of service in an unknown land in exchange for her life healed from her disease.

Madeline makes the decision and soon she and Jason are making their way to the Sunlit Lands and the Elenil and one year of service. The Sunlit Lands upon first appearance seem idyllic but looks are but the surface and soon Madeline and Jason are peering beyond. The Elenil are at war with the Scim, a beastly warlike people bent upon the destruction of all. Madeline with her new health has a few concerns but the Elenil have been so good to her offering her the chance at life. Jason being Jason isn't content to just be told what is what and has to poke and prod and look beneath everything. And soon he is wondering just how the Elenil magic works.

Every action has a price and when the truth of the cost is revealed, Madeline and Jason have a choice before them. A choice that will bring life and death...

The Crescent Stone is the first book in the Sunlit Lands series and a most intriguing start it is. A world that once was whole and now torn by war. Treachery, betrayals, deceit or truth, kindness, loyalty? Can they determine the truth before it is too late?  Madeline and Jason are an interesting pair. Madeline is lost in her own pain and fears while Jason is hurting from a decision made out of love that cost him dearly - for both the Sunlit Lands is chance at a new beginning to right what is wrong in their lives. And those who call the Sunlit Lands home are a mix of humans who have come in service and the various peoples who come from this world. I think the following quote can sum up this book quite nicely "To change the world, change first a heart." This is my takeaway from this book.

And as a fun added bonus there is an appendix that shares "history" of this world through their stories which adds an interesting thread. And bonus there is an excerpt from the second book (DON'T READ AHEAD - you will totally ruin what is this book if you do!!!)

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers with no expectations of a positive review - all opinions expressed are my own.

About the Book:
A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . . 

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger name Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.

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