The Journeyman: In the Stone House commits the same sin as Flow and Championship B’tok by telling only a piece of a larger story. But I give it a pass. Why? I could say that it sticks to one POV, unlike Championship B’tok. Or I could say that it is set in a more interesting world than Flow. But it really boils down to the fact that I couldn’t wait to turn the page to read more.
The Journeyman hearkens back to the Golden Age of science fiction much better than The Golden Sun, I think. It’s a bit of Conan-esque sword and sorcery. But it’s not just sword and sorcery. Teodorq and his companion Sammi are on a quest at the behest of a “ghost” from what sounds very much like a spaceship. The world’s myths speak of the Commonwealth of Suns, which is also a name for a tightly packed swatch of stars across their planet’s night sky. That quest leads Teodorq and Sammi to a cliff-hugging fortress of the ironmen.
My only complaint is the dialogue, an odd pastiche both too anachronistic and too colloquially modern. It’s fun, and it’s interesting. It’s old school sword and sorcery with science fiction elements thrown in like they did in the days before speculative fiction developed more definite lines among genres. The story doesn’t cover much, but I’m anxious to see where it goes next.