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The Jewel and Her Lapidary

Narrated by: Mahvesh Murad
Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
3 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The kingdom in the Valley has long sheltered under the protection of its Jewels and Lapidaries, the people bound to singing gemstones with the power to reshape hills, move rivers, and warp minds. That power has kept the peace and tranquility, and the kingdom has flourished.

Jewel Lin and her Lapidary, Sima, may be the last to enjoy that peace.

The Jeweled Court has been betrayed. As screaming raiders sweep down from the mountains and Lapidary servants shatter under the pressure, the last princess of the Valley will have to summon up a strength she's never known. If she can assume her royal dignity, and if Sima can master the most dangerous gemstone in the land, they may be able to survive.

©2016 Fran Wilde (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

" The Jewel and Her Lapidary is a splendid tale of courage and transformation in a world as exquisite as Wilde's prose. You will be utterly entranced." (Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award winner and author of The Grace of Kings)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Story Good - Editing Bad

There were several instances where sentences that were said twice with different intonations were left in. It was confusing and distracted from the plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Serious technical issues with the audio

The audio file is in desperate need of editing. There are repeated sentences and background noises that constantly pull me out of the story. I like the world and what is set up here, but listening to this is a bit painful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bad Production

There are several repeated lines that do not appear in print versions of the book, weird cuts, and odd inflections. The reading and audio production made the story hard to follow. I had to turn it off and read the print version.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, bad audio editing

I listened to this audiobook in one go today, Completely entranced by the characters and the story. The plot is simple, but there are so many layers to the conflicts, family dynamics, honor, duty, and leadership that it's easy to get drawn in and emotionally enmeshed. It's great stuff and exactly what I expect from Fran Wilde.

The problem was the poor audio editing. As in, none at all. The narrator was the perfect voice for the book, but none of her second takes were edited out. She would read a line, then a pause, then the same line with different intonation. This was happening with increasing frequency so much so that there were several instances with two flubbed lines in a row. THIS IS NOT THE NARRATOR'S FAULT. Apparently the publisher didn't want to spend money on getting it edited by a halfway competent audio engineer. Do better.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Too much and too little for the format

This was a painful and disappointing listen. There is too much to cram into this short novella and yet the time is not spent well...it gets very repetitive. Sort of actual setup would be required for me to actually care about the crisis event that starts the story...it's just the sketch of an Oh Wow Terrible Thing. The setting of the story is likewise a sketch that got loose from a zero order outline: the geography consists of the (Jeweled) Valley (at least it has a name), the Western Mountains, and the Eastern Seas. Perhaps the intention was to try to write some sort of meta-generic ur-story?

On the "too little" front, the characters are flat entities that basically go around willing themselves to be emotionless and do what they randomly (i.e. without thought, deliberation, decision between options) decide to be their duty. Line in, line out, this is probably the most painful aspect of the story. The suicide at the beginning seems to be entirely imposed by plot considerations without any hint of character motivation, and the lapidary's decision to cut off all her "vows" so as not to make noise while running away strains my suspension of disbelief way past the breaking point; it is likewise a heavy-handed necessity for where the character arc, such as it is, is intended to go. Kind of. I guess. Really, this story doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so it's hard to say anything in particular is "necessary" to the plot. Then there's the "teenage girls with absolutely no competence at anything related to the plot linearly move forward without making anything that turns out to be a mistake" aspect.

The narrator has a beautiful voice. Her pitch and accent of sentences often don't seem consistent with the content of the sentence (disclaimer: I think this about many audiobook narrators, although I would estimate that this was more true of this performance than my average sample). I must admit to being quite annoyed by the way she delivers the word "strength" without any "g" sound.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Serious technical issues with the audio

There are multiple glitches in the audio, including an entire missing chapter right at the climax!