Saturday, April 20, 2019

Review of Cornerstone: The Delving, by K. A. Krisko

Cornerstone: The Delving by [Krisko, K.A.]

Here is my 5-star review of K. A. Krisko's book Cornerstone: The Delving (v.2 of the Cornerstone series)

So Rook has finally taken a form outside his cornerstone and his castle, and I wasn’t surprised to see what that form was!  I suspected all along, but that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to be a spoiler.
Ambiguity rules in the Cornerstone series.  The premise isn’t in doubt: Rook is probably an alien lifeform who was carried to Earth in some kind of space rock and found a home in a piece of granite later used as a cornerstone of a castle.  But is he a force for good or for evil?  He maintains that he wants to make the Earth a better place, but is he trustworthy? Two groups have been fighting over his destruction or preservation for many centuries – the Fell Ken, who support Rook, and the Koen (Knights of Earth Natural) who want to destroy him and keep him from changing the Earth.  So who is right?  The Koen are quite willing to use deadly force to destroy Rook and the Fell Ken, but why should we consider the Fell Ken justified in supporting this foreboding space alien?  They have nothing but his word that he isn’t evil.
Along comes our Wizard-in-training (the Lorecaster), Lorcas Fellken, who is a strangely passive character, who tends to go with the flow and take the simplest path.  If he is ever going to be the kind of powerful, dynamic Wizard who might confront a balrog and cry out, “You shall not pass!” it will be far in the future.
I debated whether to give this second volume 4 stars or 5 stars partly because Lorcas is somewhat disappointing as the character – he doesn’t evolve all that much.  The other reason for a possible 4-star rating is the difficulty of figuring out the configuration of the castle.  I got lost in the castle every time I went into it!  I know change is endemic within the castle structure, but still I never knew where I was.
5 stars won out!  I decided the originality of the concept was more important than niggling details.  I plan to read v. 3 soon.