Aug 21
2017

Publishers Weekly starred review for The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“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.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Aug 3
2017

Booklist on The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“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.” — Booklist

Jul 21
2017

Kirkus starred review for The Stone in the Skull

The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

“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…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.” — Kirkus, Starred Review

May 11
2016

Karen Memory is a Locus Award finalist!

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear is a finalist for a Locus Award in the Fantasy Novel category, and her story “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson” is a finalist in the Novelette category!

Apr 7
2016

Tiptree Award long list includes Bear and Lee

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear and “The Contemporary Foxwife” by Yoon Ha Lee have both been included on the 2015 Tiptree Award’s long list!

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