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Green Hardcover – June 9, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321858
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321855
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lake (Escapement) makes a shift from steampunk to lush fantasy filled with exotic locales and exquisite descriptions. Sold as a child, raised and educated as a courtesan and secretly trained as an assassin, strong-willed Green retains her unyielding sense of independence, leading her to make drastic, unwise choices. Often used as a pawn and occasionally betrayed, she perseveres in trying to gain a measure of control over her life and a place to call home. Her goals become harder to reach when she's caught up in the machinations of immortals and power games of meddling gods. Despite an occasionally episodic feel and some rocky pacing that suggests it might have worked better split over several installments, the story is nicely powered by strong mythic undertones and a fresh take on the relationship between gods and mortals. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Praise for Escapement:

"Lively and thought-provoking...Lake effectively anneals steampunk with geo-mechanical magic in an allegorical matrix of empire building and Victorian natural science."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Lake has configured his world-dominating empires, one British, the other Chinese, with huge and devoted attention to the last detail."--John Clute, Washington Post Book World


More About the Author

Jay Lake lives in Portland, Oregon, where he works on numerous writing and editing projects. His 2010 books are _Pinion_ from Tor Books, _The Baby Killers_ from PS Publishing, and _The Sky That Wraps_ from Subterranean Press. His short fiction appears regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay is a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. Jay can be reached through his Web site at jlake.com.

Customer Reviews

Describing Green as a strong female protagonist doesn't even begin to do her justice.
Stefan
That's what happened with this book, and having committed so much time and energy to reading as much of it as I did I feel a review is justified.
Black Butterfly
One other thing his grammar was a little off too throughout the story it was very awkward at times to follow what he was writing.
KinkyChris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Keonyn on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a three part story that tells the story of a girl sold in to slavery at a very young age, trained to be a concubine, only to escape and take and become a powerful assassin. That's only part of the story though, as a major part of the story in this book is actually the gods of her world, and their power struggles and manipulation of humanity. The story told at the books core is actually pretty sound and interesting, unfortunately it's constantly at odds with Greens more personal story, which is often weird and seems to consist of little more than pointless exhibition.

The first part is great. We live through this girls "training" to essentially become a wife so she can be married off in high society to primarily benefit her "factor", or owner. This first part is great, though brutal as one can imagine such "training" would be. It suffers somewhat from some pacing problems as it gets a tad redundant at times, but it's otherwise quite interesting. The part that makes it the most interesting is where the author is going with it, and how our main character is going to use this training to her advantage, since it's clear cooperation is not in her nature. The gods at work in the world are also hinted at points in this section, though this is left a bit vague yet.

Unfortunately the first part ends, and things start to go south in the second section, and on in to the third. The plotline with the gods and the cultures becomes more prevalent in the second part, and takes on an even bigger role in the third part. This part of the story is sound and well told, and I found it to be quite interesting as well.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Black Butterfly on July 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a very fast reader so it's unusual for me not to finish a book. It's even more unusual for me to get about 70% of the way through a book and then decide it's just not worth finishing. That's what happened with this book, and having committed so much time and energy to reading as much of it as I did I feel a review is justified.

Green starts off promisingly - a young girl from a poor family in the tropics is sold and taken far away to a city in colder climes, ruled by an immortal Duke. There she is kept in a court, alone except for her female teachers. She is to be turned into a 'great lady' - one of many such in training funded by the Duke. The training is extensive and harsh and most of her teachers are petty and abusive. She learns cookery, sewing, dancing, riding, calligraphy etc but is kept ignorant of the current political system/ruler/situtation. Anything to do with her past is forbidden including her name. She is called simply "Girl". Her only respite from her strict schedule are her sessions with the inaccurately named Dancing Mistress. The style is slow and dream-like, with hints that Girl will not be so easily moulded.

This all seems very promising, if a bit mystifying. It didn't really make sense to me that anyone would spend so much money and time (approx. 10 years) excessively training a girl to be some kind of mistress/wife/courtesan - and not just one girl but many (although they are all kept equally isolated in their own ridiculously resource-intensive courts). The pacing is quite slow throughout this part of the book with very little action. I was hoping it would be worth it when we got to see Girl being kick-ass at political maneuvering and saving future such girls or something of that nature.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Clarereads on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
One of her earliest memories is being carried away by the tall man, while her father, who never meets her eyes, or says goodbye, accepts a small bag of coins. The girl is raised in isolation, trained through intense study and frequent beatings to become a concubine or to be a rich noble's wife. Addressed only as "Girl" from age three until age 11, she is raised under the sadistic and jealous eye of her jailer and tutor, Mistress Tirelle. Girl swallows her rage, her fire, her stubbornness and waits for something, anything to improve. Hope comes when the Dancing Mistress enters her life and teaches Girl how to move. The Dancing Mistress teaches poise, confidence and self-defense. This early section is only about a third of the book, yet it was the most fascinating for me. We move along with dread yet fascination, waiting for something to happen, something to change, as Girl's narrative, and the lessons of her many teachers make for a compelling read. When the factor visits her, and dubs her Emerald, I got excited about seeing Emerald maneuver through court life, politics and also be able to use her finely trained skills.

In one horrible night, Green escapes in an attempt to get back home, to the memory of her simple life before she was sold. Her journey home and beyond were quite touching and flowed naturally, but about halfway through, the book stops being enjoyable and just gets weird. I would have liked the book so much more if we had seen Emerald living the life she had been training for, and then perhaps using the marriage or courtship as a way to return home, rather than as a fugitive. The contrast then between her old life and new would have been even greater. All the lessons she received or had beaten into her were wasted, both in the characters life and in the storytelling.
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