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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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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    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.

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Serious technical issues with the audio

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