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The Stone in the Skull: Lotus Kingdoms Series, Book 1
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Series:
Lotus Kingdoms volume 1.
Published:
Tom Doherty Associates 2017
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Description

Hugo Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky with a brand new trilogy.
Best SFF Books 2017—The Guardian
Kirkus
Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017

The Verge Recommended Fantasy for 2017
Locus 2017 Recommended Reading List
The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.
The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.
They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.
The Lotus Kingdoms
#1 The Stone in the Skull
#2 The Red-Stained Wings
The Eternal Sky Trilogy
#1 Range of Ghosts
#2 Shattered Pillars
#3 Steles of the Sky
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/10/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781466872073
ASIN:
B06XRJHX3Z
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Bear. (2017). The Stone in the Skull: Lotus Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tom Doherty Associates.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Bear. 2017. The Stone in the Skull: Lotus Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tom Doherty Associates.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Bear, The Stone in the Skull: Lotus Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tom Doherty Associates, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Elizabeth Bear. The Stone in the Skull: Lotus Kingdoms Series, Book 1. Tom Doherty Associates, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Elizabeth Bear shares a birthday with Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. This, coupled with a tendency to read the dictionary as a child, doomed her early to penury, intransigence, friendlessness, and the writing of speculative fiction. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in central Connecticut with the exception of two years (which she was too young to remember very well) spent in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, in the last house with electricity before the Canadian border.
        She's a second-generation Swede, a third-generation Ukrainian, and a third-generation Transylvanian, with some Irish, English, Scots, Cherokee, and German thrown in for leavening. Elizabeth Bear is her real name, but not all of it. Her dogs outweigh her, and she is much beset by her cats.
        Bear was the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2005. She has won two Hugo Awards for her short fiction, a Sturgeon Award, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. She is the author of the acclaimed Eternal Sky series, the Edda of Burdens series, and coauthor (with Sarah Monette) of the Iskryne series. Bear lives in Brookfield, Massachusetts.

      • name: Elizabeth Bear
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title
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fullDescription

Hugo Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky with a brand new trilogy.
Best SFF Books 2017—The Guardian
Kirkus
Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017

The Verge Recommended Fantasy for 2017
Locus 2017 Recommended Reading List
The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.
The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.
They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.
The Lotus Kingdoms
#1 The Stone in the Skull
#2 The Red-Stained Wings
The Eternal Sky Trilogy
#1 Range of Ghosts
#2 Shattered Pillars
#3 Steles of the Sky
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Huffington Post
      • content: "Elizabeth Bear sweeps the reader into a world of ravishing detail."
      • premium: False
      • source: Tor.com
      • content: "Amazing worldbuilding, gloriously precise prose, and excellent pacing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "The Eternal Sky trilogy is one of the great fantasy epics of the last decade, and Bear triumphantly returns to that setting."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, starred review
      • content: "Glorious and dramatic."
      • premium: False
      • source: Locus
      • content: "The plot hews closely to the whole band-of-rogues-assemble-to-fight-stronger-band-of-foes . . . Bear noodles around that trope like a jazz master and takes the story to some interesting places . . ."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "This is a promising beginning indeed for an epic . . . and it will no doubt be a magnificent journey."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
      • content: "A panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 . . . vivid, absorbing, and thrilling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Elitist Book Reviews
      • content: "Clever and beautifully written."
      • premium: False
      • source: Fantasy Literature
      • content: "A thoughtful, richly complex, humane work eloquently told and elegantly constructed."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Illustrated Page
      • content: "Enchanting."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lynn's Book Blog
      • content: "A beautifully written story, truly epic in scope."
      • premium: False
      • source: RT Book Reviews Top Pick for Range of Ghosts
      • content: "Subtle . . . crisp."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly on Range of Ghosts
      • content: "A vivid world."
      • premium: False
      • source: Asimov's Science Fiction on Shattered Pillars
      • content: "A rousing, artful adventure."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist on Shattered Pillars
      • content: "Astonishing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Locus on Steles of the Sky
      • content: "Bear delivers the thematic complexity, deft worldbuilding, and compelling storytelling we've come to expect in this concluding volume of the Eternal Sky trilogy, set in a world inspired by 13th-century Asia and The Arabian Nights."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 14, 2017
        With a glorious and dramatic story, Bear begins a stunning new series set in the same world as her Eternal Sky trilogy. South of towering mountains lie the Lotus Kingdoms, an analog of our own Indian subcontinent. The Dead Man, once guard to a caliph who’s now dead himself, and the Gage, a hulking brass automaton, protect a caravan that travels over the mountain passes and down into the Lotus Kingdoms during monsoon season. The pair bear a message from the Eyeless One, a powerful wizard, to Mrithuri, ruling rajni of Sarathai-tia, who seeks a way to put off her powerful male cousins and secure her country. Both Mrithuri and her cousin, Sayeh Rajni of Ansh-Sahal, receive dark omens of further threats to their rule. With sumptuous prose, Bear details the opulence of royal courts, a sodden journey, and intricate rituals. Colors, textures, and aromas enrich her descriptions of lands that stand on the brink of war. Bear’s worldbuilding stretches from the Cauled Sun in the heavens to the vast ecosystem of Mother River Sarathai, and her characters nod to fantasy archetypes while remaining individual. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2017
        Hoping to build on the dazzling triumph of her Eternal Sky fantasy trilogy (Steles of the Sky, 2014, etc.), Bear embarks on a new trilogy set in the same universe.The opening scene, in which a caravan heaves itself across the icy peaks of the Steles of the Sky, takes the narrative, literally and figuratively, out of familiar territory and into the Lotus Kingdoms, the contentious, broken shards of the once-mighty Alchemical Empire. Here, by night a black sun that gives heat but little light occupies the sky, while days are lit by a brilliant ribbon of stars. Against this spectacular backdrop Bear introduces an array of fine characters. With the caravan are the Gage, a heavy, immensely powerful brass automaton created by a now-dead wizard from the substance of a human being; his friend the Dead Man, a former bodyguard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate; and Nizhvashiti, a Godmade or priest with powerful magic. The Gage bears a message from the Eyeless One, the most powerful sorcerer of the world's greatest city, to Mrithuri, rajni (princess) and priestess of Sarathai-tia. Mrithuri faces many threats to her realm, chief among them Himadra the Boneless, the bandit lord of a neighboring territory, and her cousin Anuraja, the malevolent old ruler of Sarathai-lae. Her only possible ally is another cousin, Sayeh, the widowed rajni of Ansh-Sahal, with her young son and heir, Drupada. This impending clash of armies, intrigue, and magic--in which, notably, most of the main characters are female--only later emerges as truly existential. It adds up to a panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 and, despite the more leisurely pacing, never lets go. It certainly is captivatingly different in style and substance than Bear's previous trilogy but no less vivid, absorbing, and thrilling. In an overcrowded field, another entry that stands head and shoulders above nearly everything else.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 15, 2017

        Two masterless mercenaries lead a caravan across the mountains known as the Steles of the Sky in this latest novel set in Bear's lushly constructed "Eternal Sky" universe. The Dead Man was previously a loyal guard from the toppled Uthman Caliphate, while his partner is a Gage, a mechanical automaton who was once human. They have an urgent message to deliver to Mrithuri, the queen of one of the small Lotus Kingdoms, remnants of a shattered empire. Little do they know that they are walking into a war zone as enemies are poised to attack Mrithuri from all sides. Bear's outstanding worldbuilding includes an India-inspired land, where the night sky is lit by a wash of stars brighter by far than the dark sun that rises each day. The diverse cast includes plenty of strong women, and the Dead Man and Gage are a team readers will want to follow for many more adventures. VERDICT "The Eternal Sky" trilogy (Range of Ghosts; Shattered Pillars; Steles of the Sky) is one of the great fantasy epics of the last decade, and Bear triumphantly returns to that setting, albeit a small corner that she has not previously explored.--MM

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2017
        The Gage and the Dead Man bear a message from a wizard of Messaline; neither of them is entirely sure what it is, but as they travel, it becomes increasingly clear that they are intended to fight in the coming war. The rajni Sayeh contends with the terrible omen of tainted water; the rajni Mrithuri fights for her right to rule herself, rather than marrying one of the few politically acceptable but odious possibilities; Anuraja in the north and Himadra in the south are girding for war. When they arrive at the court after an arduous journey, matters come, quite dramatically, to a head. Readers familiar with Bear's work will recognize the city of Messaline and the names of the Lotus Kingdoms, but this is the farthest she's delved into this shattered empire. As usual, the setting is wonderfully realized; the characters are possessed of depth, personality, and individuality; the threads of politics that drive the plot are a fascinating knot to try to unravel. This is a promising beginning indeed for an epic; there are many lines of story left to follow, and it will no doubt be a magnificent journey.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription

Hugo Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky with a brand new trilogy.
Best SFF Books 2017—The Guardian
Kirkus
Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017

The Verge Recommended Fantasy for 2017
Locus 2017 Recommended Reading List
The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.
The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.
They...

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