The Stone Knife Review

The Stone Knife Review | Anna Stephens

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You know that feeling where your heart is in your mouth and you can’t turn the pages quick enough? Where you’re both excited and terrified of what will come next? Those were my exact feelings throughout the entire of The Stone Knife by Anna Stephens – check out my full review!

Publisher: HarperVoyager | Date: 2019 | Genre: Fantasy | Buy it here*

Plot: For generations, the forests of Ixachipan have echoed with the clash of weapons, as nation after nation has fallen to the Empire of Songs – and to the unending, magical music that binds its people together. Now, only two free tribes remain.

The Empire is not their only enemy. Monstrous, scaled predators lurk in rivers and streams, with a deadly music of their own.

As battle looms, fighters on both sides must decide how far they will go for their beliefs and for the ones they love – a veteran general seeks peace through war, a warrior and a shaman set out to understand their enemies, and an ambitious noble tries to bend ancient magic to her will.

I received The Stone Knife from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Stone Knife Review

The Stone Knife Review

I had high expectations. Having devoured Anna Stephen’s Godblind trilogy, I already knew I liked her writing style and character development. The book not only delivered on its promise, but swept me into a new world. I couldn’t put it down, and can’t recommend it enough for any fantasy fan.


Let’s face it, one strong protagonist is good. But multiple heroes you’re rooting for? Even better!

The Stone Knife is told through several points of view. From the faithful but innocent Tayan and his warrior husband, Lilla; Pilos – leader of an army – and Enet, a concubine with an appetite for power.

There’s too many to go into detail. You connect with each personality, their emotions and the complex relationships guiding their choices. You either love them, or love the fear of what they’ll do next. Stephens presents each character with strengths and vulnerabilities, making them easy to emptathise with.

Pilos gusted a sigh. “Setatmeh preserve me from overprotective eagles and the manipulations of beautiful women. I’ll be careful. And you be careful, too. You’re living in the viper’s den, remember. Under the song, my friend.”


The Stone Knife is set in a world where individual tribes fall to an expanding empire. It’s a story of war and love; freedom and slavery, where fighting for your loved ones isn’t the highest price you could pay.

It drew me into the world from the start. The many fantastical names of tribes and people gave me pause, but it didn’t take long to get my head around.

The multiple viewpoints keep the pacing steady as perspectives shift, but the tension is undeniable right from the outset. As the characters are drawn deeper into danger, so are you.


Anna Stephens is a master of creating suspense. Her world-building draws you into a complex system of warring factions while her character development keeps your heart racing over what may befall them. Having read her previous work, I know no one is safe, and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.

Several elements are at play at any one time. From familial relationships to the corruption of the very magic that keeps the empire standing. It’s not a light read, but you’re drawn so deep into this world you won’t be able to put it down either.

Final Thoughts

The Stone Knife is a dark fantasy. It’s battles and sacrifices, which, occasionally, made me squirm. You have to enjoy the darker side of fantasy to appreciate this book, otherwise you’ll be lost in the complex names.

But for those that do like this genre, I can’t recommend this enough.

Grab your own copy!*

Are you an Anna Stephens fan? Does this sound like your kind of book?

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43 thoughts on “The Stone Knife Review | Anna Stephens

    • Oh I could gush about this author all day, I love her work. It’s not for everyone though as it can get dark. I hope you enjoy it if you get the chance to read it.


  1. Great review as always! Your first paragraph, oh my god, I haven’t felt that way about a book in such a long time! The book I’m reading right now is going that way but it’s not 100% left me open mouthed with my heart racing!


  2. I read through this entire review and it sounds fantastic, but you definitely got me with “dark fantasy.” That’s right up my alley. I’ve never heard of this author before, but I’m intrigued now!


    • Oh gosh, I ADORE this author. She also has another trilogy – the Godblind trilogy – and oh my goodness, it’s one of my favourites, the things it does to much emotions. Highly recommended!


  3. I love dark fantasy but I find I have to be in a really relaxed state to be able to really focus on the plot and characters! I might give this book a go for my bath times when I’m chilled haha x


    • Yeah it’s definitely one where you need to immerse yourself in it because of the names and the cultures etc that are thrown at you in quite quick succession, but so worth it. Sounds like the perfect bath to me!


  4. i never heard of this author, but this fantasy book sounds just like up my road! I love when a book has a whole squad of characters to root for! Will add this to my list! Really loved this review x


  5. You have me totally hooked with this review. I’m thinking The Stone Knife needs to go on my TBR right away! I love the fact that the characters are written so well and the writing is suspenseful. I’m a sucker for an action-packed, fascinating story with a relatable cast. I truly do hope I get a chance to pick this up soon 🙂


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