Prince Caelan Talos of Erya is stifled by the day-to-day expectations of his mother and the burdens placed upon his shoulders as heir to the throne. His mother, the Queen, is cold and aloof and while he tries to do his best, Cael feels as though he is forever failing her. And then his mother decides to send him on a diplomatic mission to neighboring Caspagir. Traveling with him are his advisor, Rayne; his bodyguard, Eno; and his best friend, Drayce. While not an easy journey, Cael is looking forward to the independence of the expedition. But nearly as soon as they leave, the Eryian capital is attacked and the Queen is murdered.
Now Cael is a king without a kingdom, grieving and on the run. Struggling to adjust to how his world has turned upside down, Cael must also contend with his connection to the Godstone, or rather his lack of it. His mother was bound to the stone and from it drew the power she used to defend Erya. Cael has only a few of those powers, but he’s unable to fully bond with the stone and without it, he isn’t sure how he’ll ever save his people. With his friends at his side, Cael will discover a strength he didn’t think possible, strength he’ll need for even great dangers ahead.
Steal the Wind is the first in the fantasy Godstone Saga and, for the most part, I found this one to be an enjoyable read. There were times I didn’t think the story was fantastical enough, but in the end, I felt the author found the right balance of character development and mood to make for a good book.
There are four main characters in Steal the Wind and the chapters switch back and forth between them. Rayne and Caelan are the most developed and I felt they gave the book its purpose. Eno and Drayce are less defined, with Drayce coming off as something of a spare wheel. He’s immature and not always as focused on the reality of their situation as he should be. But his devotion to Cael is absolute and I suspect we’ll see further character growth in Drayce as the series moves forward.
There were times when this story contained too much modern jargon and tech to feel fantastical and this tended to be jarring when I was reading. I won’t say it removed me from the moment, but I definitely noticed it and found irksome as someone who was trying to fully immerse themselves and couldn’t quite get there. I think this improves towards the latter half of the book and the overall action and tension ratchet up as well. Steal the Wind definitely finishes stronger than it begins.
I think Steal the Wind is a slightly uneven fantasy, but a generally enjoyable book that sets up an interesting overall story arc. The characters are, for the most, engaging and even the weakest among them has room to grow. There were times the fantasy elements failed to gel, but that aside, the author has done a good job setting up future volumes. I’m looking forward to reading what comes next for Caelan and his compatriots.