The Stone in the Skull

The Lotus Kingdoms, Book 1
Series: The Lotus Kingdoms, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Gage was an artist, once, and a lover. To avenge his murdered beloved, he allowed a sorcerer to sheathe his body in mirrored bronze. His vengeance is complete now; the sorcerer has long since perished. But the Gage endures.

The Dead Man had a purpose once as well: he was raised to be the protector of a Caliph. The Caliph died; the Dead Man did not. Now the Dead Man and the Gage have become companions of the sword, itinerant mercenaries. They have come east and south, through the passes of the Steles of the Sky, bearing a message to the besieged young queen of one of the Lotus Kingdoms. There, they will discover magic, mystery, betrayal, love - and, perhaps, finally, a purpose.

©2017 Sarah Wishnevsky Lynch (P)2017 Recorded Books

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

I have the digital print book and love it

The two readers are an interesting approach - though they use different pronunciations for some of the character names with is a bit jarring. The story itself is wonderful - interesting characters, beautiful settings, intriguing magic and political situation - there is at least one more book forthcoming in this series. If you liked STELES OF THE SKY you will like this - it's set in the same world some 40 years after that story ends.

My low overall rating is because this is billed as "unabridged" and the tech support person confirmed this. It isn't. It's missing a segment that's in the printed book and while the love scene that's been clipped isn't critical a further part of the story IS. I've already talked to tech support and we re-downloaded the book to no avail, it absolutely is not in there. And that, far more than the two readers differing pronunciation of the names, is quite disappointing to me.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

While I was listening to this book on audio, I kept thinking "This is like beautiful poetry. This is like a 5 course dinner". I don't even LIKE poetry and am not sure that a formal cruise ship dinner rates as any 5-course, but it was the only way my brain could interpret and define how beautifully Ms Bear put her words and this story together.

This story is about as far from fast-paced as you can get, but it builds and builds and builds while you realize what it's all about. Women and (in)equality of power, prejudice, religion, gender identity, life, love....and magic.

All of that sounds like an exhausting list, but is done so subtly that you don't get hit over the head with anything. Much like the exquisite unwinding of her language, the plot slowly unwinds as well. Right up to the bang at the end.

I cannot express how eager I am to get my hands on the rest of the series. This book was VERY well done. Hm....re-reading my review. Perhaps I used the wrong analogy; some of you lucky souls will get what I mean. :)

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great World Building

Loved the world Elizabeth Bear built, and all the vivid, living, breathing, flawed characters.