Crack the Stone

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Crack the Stone: A Les Misérables Retelling by Emily Golus (A Classic Retold book 2)

Valshara is Prisoner One-Eight-Six-Two, a convict of the Pits in the goblin realm, deep underground. A daring escape leads her Topside, to the world of humans, a place of light, color, and smells she’s never experienced before.

But the Faceless is on her trail, determined to bring her back. As she seeks to keep out of his reach, Valshara stumbles across a community of goblins who’ve also escaped, where she first learns about mercy and forgiveness.

With these foreign concepts etched into her soul, Valshara rescues a young human boy trapped in a fairy ring. Her quest to reunite him with his mother sends her on a path to a new and vibrant city full of wonder and friends. 

But will hate and fear triumph? Or will forgiveness and kindness lead Valshara to a new life?

“Instead of spending my brief liberty mindlessly running, I’d come alive in a way I never had before.”

This was such a delightful story! It’s not a full retelling of Les Misérables (no way that would fit in a novella!), but it shines a light on the core parts that make it a tale we love. I especially loved seeing nods to my favorite characters like Eponine and Gavroche.

It was really cool to see a goblin experiencing the human world for the first time. The relationship between Valshara and Makozi was delightful; he was such a joy to read, and his childish wonder and trust really brought the story to life.

This was a quick read, full of depth and heart, set in a vivid world.

5 Roses
No romantic elements.
No swearing.
There are a few injuries, but not glorified in any way, as well as some discussion of mistreatment.