A Necklace of Souls is a fantasy novel by a New Zealand author, R.L. Stedman. You can find out more about her at http://rlstedman.com

This is a story of a young princess, Dana, who discovers that she is required to take on an awful burden to protect her kingdom. The story follows her as she grows into the role of Guardian. It also has a parallel story of a commoner, Will Baker, as he makes a new life for himself after all of his family dies in a plague.

I’m liking

I’ve read a lot of fantasy so sometimes it feels repetitive, but this book avoids many of the clichés of the genre. Rather than spoon feeding you every detail you’re required to think for yourself and interpret what isn’t said. This is particularly true of the magic in the book, enough detail is supplied to understand what’s happening without slowing the story down.

The story is set in a kingdom that is somewhere near Europe in a world that is subtly different to our world. While people live in castles and fight with swords they also have telescopes and fireworks, so it’s set in a slightly different period to many other fantasy worlds.

Things that made me go hmmmm

The only complaint is that I have to wait for the sequel, I can only hope that this sequel will come out more quickly than George R.R. Martin’s books.

The conclusion

I liked the book a lot. While it is purportedly a young adult’s book it’s a worthwhile read for any adult who enjoys fantasy. I’m particularly happy that a new New Zealander author is writing fantasy, there haven’t been that many.


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