The Shewstone by Jane Fletcher

Patience is a virtue. This was told to me over and over as a child growing up. Let me tell you me younger self had no time for this. I had places to go, things to do an endless ball of energy. As I have gotten older my patience level has grown leaps and bounds. The Shewstone requires this virtue but I can tell you if you wait it is so very good.

Eawynn Achangrena is the daughter of a nobleman. They only limitation to that birthright is she happens to be his illegitimate daughter. Her father has ideas or grandiose, he wants to increase his standing in society so having a bastard daughter will not do. At the tender age of six, Eawynn is taken by her father to the Temple of Anberith to live and be raised by the priestesses, to become one later down the road. While Eawynn has all of her needs met, her life is dull and she is encompassed by a feeling of detachment and boredom. Her temple job is guarding the Shewstone, which basically means cleaning the room it is housed in all day.

Matt is a street kid, a runaway from a terrible abusive father. She lived on the streets stealing food to keep from starving to death. On day after being chased down in the streets she hides under a cart and breaks into a home. Eating all she can until she is caught red-handed by the home owner. Luckily for Matt, Edmund Fleming, takes her in and hones her natural skill, thievery.

The book can basically be put into two halves. The first is Matt infiltrating the Temple of Anberith, under a false identity to scope out the place and figure out the best course of action to steal the Stewstone. Of course Matt and Eawynn have terrific chemistry and feel pulled towards each other. Life however gets in the way of this romance, both have jobs to do and neither is in a place for any type of romantic encounter. Eawynn is Matt’s ticket to the Shewstone and she holds the very key she needs to unlock it from its gilded cage.

The second half of the book is more fantasy in nature and more of an action adventure.  While the romance is still there it definitely takes a back seat to the fantasy elements. Still very good but I found myself missing the character thoughts and relationship push/pull.

Overall, I loved this book. I was hooked on the plot and the characters are absolutely delightful. This is a really good book. Sometimes I felt it was a little slow but I was far from bored. I can promise you that you will love Eawynn and Matt.

4 out of 5 stars

ARC from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books

The Shewstone
by Jane Fletcher