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5 stars for The Doll's Eyes of Gnome (Gnome Stories) #darkfantasy #fantasy #comingofage #bookreview

Title: The Doll's Eyes of Gnome (Gnome Stories)

Author: Ashley Parker Owens

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Coming of Age, Fantasy

Book Blurb:

In the evil queen’s shadow, a wounded son rises—

As the sheltered son of Queen Elyse, young Volney grapples with the fact he’ll never take the throne as king. He lacks the royal blood to rule and has no hope of claiming power. Soon, though, he shall see how dark the world beyond wealth’s walls can be—a revelation bound to quash his petty aspirations. Life in the kingdom’s work fields is not as wonderful as Volney was told. Instead, his fellow gnomes labor endlessly as slaves. The ogres that wield control are now accustomed to impunity, accumulating riches while the rest suffer.

When disease befalls the land, however, Volney may ascend despite his addictions and propensity to make wrong choices. One needn’t wear the crown to lead, nor dominate the Council to claim a voice. It just may be that he was born to play a more significant part than a monarch. Yet, the role of head scientist invites moral ambiguity and great danger—

Whatever comes to pass, it’s clear that matriarchal Kladenplatz may never again be the same.

My Review:

A queen’s son leaves the safety of his home to the fields and learns it’s time to stop playing games and start leading. Volney is the young son of Queen Elyse yet he’ll never be king. Something about royal bloodlines and all that. When he ventures out to the kingdom’s fields, his rose-tinted glasses are shattered, and he sees his fellow gnomes treated like slaves. The power has shifted and Volney discovers he has a voice and can lead if only he can control his vices. While he won’t wear a crown, his part could be far more significant. As he navigates through this new role, he’s tested time and again. Will he free the gnomes from servitude or will Volney succumb to his mother’s wishes?

The Doll's Eyes of Gnome is a thought-provoking fantasy I enjoyed reading. Volney is an intriguing character and his journey had me whipping through the pages. Ashley Parker Owens, once again, has written an intricate world with a dystopian vibe to it. The descriptive narration plus the world-building makes The Doll's Eyes of Gnome a gripping read. There’s quite a bit of strife and conflict in this book but the ending makes it all worthwhile. If you’re a fantasy reader, you’ll love The Doll's Eyes of Gnome. If you’re a fan of all things epic fantasy, you’ll want to read The Doll's Eyes of Gnome. I look forward to reading more Gnome Stories from this author. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

Ashley Parker Owens is an Appalachian writer, poet, and artist living in Richmond, Kentucky. While attending Eastern Kentucky University, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing. She also has an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University. She is currently employed as a quality assurance software engineer.

My online resume with a comprehensive list of published images, poems, and prose can be viewed at my website

Ashley is the owner of the indie press KY Story, proud publisher of twenty-six anthologies and chapbooks celebrating the Kentucky, Appalachian, and Southern voice. Several online art exhibitions are also available on this website.

Gnome Stories Series

Gnome Harvest, 2021

Rosetta Gnome, 2021

Hollow Rigors of Gnome, 2022

Doll’s Eyes of Gnome, 2022


Euphoric Drift, 2018

Retrospecter, 2019

Unruly Spirits, Dancing Girl Press, 2018

Puppet, Rinky Dink Press, 2018

Territorial Misfortune, 2017


Member of Bluegrass Writers

Participated in MadCap workshops

Bluegrass Writers Studio alumni

Relationships with KY Arts Council, Lexington Arts Council

Ello is the only social media I use regularly artwork and publishing account 313 connections

Note: I no longer use Facebook but it is still active

Reviewed by: Mrs. N


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