HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Hunted: The Riddled Stone, Book 2
Author: Teresa Gaskins
Publisher: Tabletop Academy Press, 2015
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10-15
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Gaskins, Teresa. Hunted: The Riddled Stone, Book 2 (published in 2015 by Tabletop Academy Press, Blue Mound, IL). In the first installment of The Riddled Stone series, Banished, nineteen-year-old Christopher Fredrico, son of a nobleman, Earl Diard Fredrico, in the kingdom of North Raec, is accused by his oldest brother Anthony of stealing one of the Shards which was part of the magical Riddled Stone and is banished by Crown Prince Tyler Coric. Chris sets out with his three friends, Arnold, Nora, and Terrin, to prove his innocence by finding the riddles of the stone. However, on the way to the Diamond Isles, Chris separates from the others. As Hunted opens, Terrin, Nora, and Arnold, who are seeking to locate Chris, are attacked by savage wolves in the Dark Forest of Xell, Terrin’s home, and Arnold is seriously injured, while Chris and his new friend Thomas are making their way towards the Swamp to learn the next riddle.
Meanwhile, Chris’s sister Trillory is staying in the home of the Duke of Grith where Anthony serves as a knight, and is receiving much attention from the Duke’s handsome son Eric; both Trill and Eric find that they have a mutual talent. Also, sixteen-year-old Prince Brayden is sent instead of his older brother Tyler as a messenger to North Raec’s ambassador in South Raec in an effort to avoid a new war between the two kingdoms, but someone tries to murder him and Brayden must kill his assailant in self-defense. Do all these events have anything in common? Will Terrin, Nora, and Arnold ever meet up with Chris? And why does Terrin always have the feeling that they are being watched and hunted? As I said in my previous review of Banished, Hunted is also a captivating fantasy story with a well-thought-out plot.
Again, no sexuality or bad language is found; the euphemistic interjection “drat” is used once, and there is a reference to dancing. Those who object to the mention of any kind of magic will most likely want to avoid the book, but people who like medieval-style fantasies with wraiths, spirits, and even an attacking swamp tree will enjoy the story. I certainly did, and the excitement, adventure, and suspense will easily keep the reader’s attention. Author Teresa Gaskins is a homeschooled teen who finished Hunted, her second published novel, when she was fifteen years old. However, as in the previous volume, the last page says, “Still not the end.” So, we shall all just have to wait with bated breath until The Riddled Stone, Book 3, comes out to see how it all ends.