Stone Voice Rising by C. Lee Tocci ****

Stone Voice Rising by C. Lee Tocci is the story of Lilibit, a young girl who has lived with her aunts and listened to stones whisper for as long as she can remember. She has no idea that she is a major piece in a larger plan until a stranger shows up one day to introduce her to a strange and magical world she did not know that she was a part of. This stranger, Keotak-se, is a stone warrior who has come to take her from her home to a place called Kiva so that she can fulfill her destiny.

Her journey to Kiva, as one may expect, does not go smoothly. The trip is interrupted by Syxx, an evil being who masquerades as the head of a medical research team secretly devoted to discovering why Lilibit can talk to the stones. Held prisoner for years and experimented on, Lilibit eventually escapes, though she is only the empty shell of the girl she once was.

She is injured, scarred, and does not speak when she first escapes. Initially, one is left wondering if this is the same girl from the earlier chapters, something that is increased by the fact that they call Lilibit “Sarah” since she cannot speak. Lilibit finds companions and friends when she is placed in a group home with six children, who are unwanted by others and have created a family of their own.

With Todd, a thirteen-year-old boy who speaks to ravens, as their leader, the seven children set off to find Kiva, unaware of what this really means or where Lilibit’s strength comes from. They meet fantastic people and learn to rely on and trust each other in the process. The question is: Will the people they meet, their growing strength as a group, and their bonds allow them to reach Kiva alive, despite Syxx and his team, and what will happen once they make it there?

This book surprised me with how young the main character starts out and it may be a little hard for some teens to get into because at the start of the book Lilibit’s thoughts and actions are decidedly those of a child. However, if they stick through the first couple of chapters to get the background that they really need and get to know Lilibit before the experiments, they will find the experience rewarding as Lilibit and her companions turn out to be very interesting people set in a unique world full of magic and intrigue.

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