Brimstone and Lily (Legacy Stone Adventures)
By Terry Kroenung
A Book review by Ginger Dawn Harman
Are you ready to enter the world of shape-shifting swords, Civil War battles, magic cannonballs, combat pelicans, Arab terrorists, and swimming trees? Meet Terry Kroenung, author of Brimstone and Lily, book one of the Legacy Stone Adventures. The story begins with twelve year old Verity Sauveur, a ragamuffin with red hair that has a rather large imagination. After Verity accidentally falls she has been given a momentous task to save the world. Along the way she discovers much about herself and those around her. The setting for the story is Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1862. Terry Kroenung is well researched and provides readers with a fun and exciting way to learn geography and historical period details.
Jasper who is the center of much of the humor and wit in Brimstone and Lily is developed over the course of the novel. Each Character is plausible and enhances the plot with its fast pace and never leaves the reader lacking excitement. The author is also very clever with the name of his characters. For example, Verity means truth and she later becomes friends with Sha'ira which means poetic. This play on words as poetic truth is but one symbol of virtual reality competing with what is real. Exemplified with subtle brilliance, Terry Kroenung uses references to Shakespeare, yet the content is not too challenging for younger teens to understand. This novel could easily been read by mid-grade level and up.
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Several literary devices are used in the novel Brimstone and Lily. I almost feel like I shall knight the author as the king of metaphors and similes. Notwithstanding the amazing imagery, there were several great ones such as;
"Short and round, she wore spectacles on the end of her sharp nose. They made her look like Ben Franklin's sister." Furthermore, "A hot wind swirled around me, peeling the letters from the wall and making the cavern look like it was filled with angry fireflies"
were among my favorite lines. Conversely, Terry Kroenung displays part of his personal life experiences from working with adjudicated gang members with his haunting images such as; "His unblinking black eyes seemed as large and round as an ox's. Pretty and dead at the same time, they made me feel like I stared at an orchid floating in a cesspool."
In a thematic parallel, Verity's experiences reflect her own search for personal growth. The plotting is exceptional. And one more thing--by the time I reached the end, I was ready to grab a sword and rescue `Eddie from the clutches of the evil Merchantry.'
I highly recommend Brimstone and Lily by Terry Kroenung and invite you to listen to my radio interview with him.