Written by: Ekaterina Sedia
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
Pages: 293 (Trade Paperback)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets--secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. This doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart--literally.
Worth the Cash: I wanted to see a certain improvement from The Secret History of Moscow, which had a lot going for it anyway. I saw that improvement, and there's just a lot to savor and enjoy about this novel. It's character driven, and the politics start to dictate the story by the end, but really, given the world Sedia's created, it's a given, as is the ending if you're paying attention. There's a load of beauty in this book, and it makes me look forward to her next title, The House of Discarded Dreams, which is due in July 2010. I've said before that Sedia has the potential to reach the literary heights of Catherynne M. Valente, of Charles de Lint, of Neil Gaiman, and I still believe that. This book is a step closer in that direction, and Sedia doesn't shy away from big issues, not from feminism nor God, and the book, while it has its fun moments, gives you plenty to think over long after it's over.
Review style: Being that it's a Book Club selection, expect spoilers. If you haven't finished reading or haven't even read the book yet, simply skip to the "My Rating" section and come back when you have read it. There shall be discussion of the book's feminist leanings, how politics both help and hinder the story, the various works of literature this book alludes too, and all kinds of other goodies, including some of my favorite moments of the story.
The full review, if you're interested, may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Ekaterina Sedia's THE ALCHEMY OF STONE
DON'T MISS OUT: Here's your chance to win a signed copy of Karin Lowachee's arctic fantasy, THE GASLIGHT DOGS. To enter, click here. Deadline to enter: 5/12
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
May: Natural History by Justina Robson
June: Sunshine by Robin McKinley