Gargoyles, magic, alchemy…I’ve been obsessed with these things since high school, and was overjoyed when ALCHEMYSTIC, the first of the Spellmason Chronicles, came out. Now I’ve just finished this second installment to the series, and I have to say, it certainly does not disappoint. With STONECAST, Strout performs a bit of alchemy of his own, combining the darker magic and mystery of urban fantasy with just the right amount of humor and snark (even a few laugh out loud moments) to create a gripping story that kept me up way past my bedtime. I appreciated the geeky nods and references throughout, but what really captured me was the relationship building between the characters, the amount of sacrifice and trust between friends, and also learning more about the fascinating world. Book 1 introduced the characters and the idea of Spellmasonry, but in this book, we really get into the magic and learn more about what is behind this world Strout has envisioned. The pedant in me appreciated the proper usage of “grotesque” and also, I found that Strout really enriched the story with details. Little things, like when Lexi found she had forgotten a hair elastic when….well, things got a little windy (I always forget mine, so I felt for her in that moment), made the story come to life. A fantastic read! But…what am I supposed to do until the next one’s out?