Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas

Posted by Simcha 9:43 PM, under | 6 comments

The Adamantine Palace lies at the center of an empire that grew out of ashes. Once dragons ruled the world and man was little more than prey. Then a way of subduing the dragons alchemicly was discovered and now the dragons are bred to be little more than mounts for knights and highly valued tokens in the diplomatic power-players that underpin the rule of the competing aristocratic houses. The Empire has grown fat. And now one man wants it for himself. A man prepared to poison the king just as he has poisoned his own father. A man prepared to murder his lover and bed her daughter. A man fit to be king? But unknown to him there are flames on the way. A single dragon has gone missing. And even one dragon on the loose, unsubdued, returned to its full intelligence, its full fury, could spell disaster for the Empire. But because of the actions of one unscrupulous mercenary the rivals for the throne could soon be facing hundreds of dragons ...

It’s been many years since I last read a book featuring dragons because for some reason dragons just don’t appeal to me now as much as they did when I was younger. But after reading The Adamantine Palace I found myself wondering what I might have been missing out on over the years because this books was really fantastic. The Adamantine Palace is one of those books that remind me of why I was attracted to fantasy in the first place, though it is rather more sophisticated than those fantasy books of my youth.

In addition to the engaging writing style, the wonderful world building and the steady pacing which kept me completely hooked all the way through the book, I was particularly impressed by the way the characters are presented. The story is told from the perspective of each character so the reader comes to intimately understand and sympathize with each one, even though many of them are enemies of one another.The dragons receive similar treatment as well. At first we only view them through the eyes of the humans but eventually we get into the head of the one of the dragons and receive a new perspective of the unfolding events. Initially I had felt sympathetic for the plight of the dragons, for their having been drugged and enslaved by humans for the past hundred years, but once it becomes clear what the dragons are like in their natural form I felt my sympathy shift to their human captors. There is no black and white in The Adamantine Palace, no clear lines separating villains from heroes, which is part of what makes this story a complex and deeply satisfying read.

The only complaint I have is that none of the various story-lines are actually resolved by the conclusion of the book and, in fact, the book ends just as events get even more heated. This means that you will want to have the sequel, The King of the Crags, close by so that you can immediately delve into it once you finish The Adamantine Palace. I certainly wish I had been properly prepared as now I have to wait impatiently for the week, or so, that it will take The King of the Crags to be delivered to my mailbox.

I highly recommend The Admantine Palace to all readers of fantasy. Even if it has been years since you last read a book about dragons, don't hesitate to give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.


I love dragons, this one's definitely on my list. Thanks.

I have seen several reviews of this book and after your recommendation I will definitely be adding it to my TBR list

Wow, sounds like an awesome read! Thanks Simcha, I will definitely check it out!

Bryce: If you like dragons then this is definitely a book that you should try, though the dragons here are not particularly lovable.

Esther: I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.

Bryan: Yes, it is. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it because the description didn't really interest me that much. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

You know I totally understand your perspective. I like dragons but have not read an actual dragon book for a while. I think I'll put this one on my reading list.

I love reading about dragons. I have almost picked this book up a few times since seeing the second one coming out. But, was afraid I didn't know enough about the books and just wasn't sure. I could kick myself now. I am going to have to get this book. It sounds like a read I will enjoy! Thanks!

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