I remember next to nothing about this series, because I read them as a child.

I'm looking for a fantasy book (I'm pretty sure it was part of a series) that followed the story of one main character - male, definitely past the teenage age.

The magic system wasn't particularly complex. The main character was definitely not a magician or sorcerer but had either very basic skills in magic or could just use magic objects.

The only detail I clearly remember is that he was on some sort of quest and he had a golden nugget/stone that he could draw power from.

Whenever he would use one of these gold stones, black lines would start to appear on them as they got more and more depleted of power, until they eventually turned fully black and they became unusable.

It's a book that's definitely been written before 2010. Maybe even before 2007.

  • 1
    Golden stones that when used become lined with black lines? Sounds like Sipstrassi stones from some stories bty David Gemmell... Mostly seen in an Arthurian setting or the Jon Shannow series. will post an answer later when not on mobile
    – Alith
    Mar 4 at 14:47
  • @Alith i think it's indeed the stones of power series by david gemmell!!!! Thank you so much! I'm not sure how to mark an answer as the right one though.
    – Bela
    Mar 4 at 15:04
  • Hi Bela and welcome to the SFF SE :-) When Alith gets home they will post an answer, and you can click on the tick mark next to the answer to mark it as accepted. So give it a few hours then check back to see if Alith has posted the answer yet. Mar 4 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


As confirmed by OP in the comments, their question is regarding the Stones of Power series from the author of heroic fantasy, David Gemmell.

The Stones of Power is a linked series of 7 books, in 3 sub-series, where the Sipstrassi stones (the Stones of Power) provide the common element, across the books. The Sipstrassi start of as golden stones/rocks, they are capable of allowing a user to perform magic, but as they do so, the power within them is used up, and black veins/lines start to appear across the stones. When all the golden colour is gone, the stone is used up. The stones can be replenished with blood however, becoming bloodstones, which forms a fairly major thread in the Jon Shannow series.

The actual books/series that utilise the Sipstrassi stones in the narrative are as follows:

  • Ghost King Last - 1988
  • Sword of Power - 1988

These 2 books are a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend.

  • Wolf in Shadow - 1987
  • The Last Guardian - 1989
  • Bloodstone - 1994

These 3 books are known as the Jon Shannow/Jerusalem Man series. They concern the exploits of a gunfighter (Jon Shannow) in a post-apocalyptic world

  • Lion of Macedon - 1990
  • Dark Prince - 1991

A retelling of the legend of Alexander the Great, and in the first book his father Philip of Macedon. These are linked to the the first two sub-series due to the presence of the Sipstrassi, some of the same characters and an underlying assumption on how the worlds work.

IMO it is likely either Ghost King or Last Sword of Power the OP remembers the Sipstrassi from, the setting in these is the most fantasy I believe, with more magic forming part of the story.

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