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Speaking Stones Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Mictlan Series

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Returning to the enigmatic planet first introduced in his compelling Dark Water's Embrace, Stephen Leigh thoughtfully examines issues of prejudice and race relations among the descendants of the world's marooned human survivors and its native inhabitants.

On the faraway planet Mictlan, a tiny human society has had to struggle with severe and often disturbing complications to adapt to its desolate surroundings. There were physical mutations and birth defects among them, then an uneasy coexistence with the Miccail, an indigenous tri-gendered intelligent species. Most startling of all was the evolution of a third human sex: the Sa, or midmale.

Now the fragile peace that governs the humans and the Miccail is shattered after a young human Sa child is kidnapped, igniting all the half-buried animosities smoldering between the two groups, as savagery and violence break out across the planet. The answer may lie in an imposing carved monolith--the Speaking Stone that contains the secrets of the ancient Miccail religion. Facing annihilation at the hands of its warring civilizations, the planet's only chance for survival hinges on deciphering the stone's cryptic hieroglyphs.

About the Author

Stephen Leigh is a Cincinnati-based, award-winning author with nineteen science fiction novels and over forty short stories published. He has been a frequent contributor to the Hugo-nominated shared world series "Wild Cards", edited by George R. R. Martin. He teaches creative writing at Northern Kentucky University. Stephen Leigh has written the fantasy trilogy Assassin's Dawn, Immortal Muse, and The Crow of Connemara. He can be found at farrelworlds.com. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; 2nd edition (March 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380799146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380799145
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,972,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Edward Alexander Gerster VINE VOICE on March 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Taking place in the setting of the author's first novel, DARK WATER'S EMBRACE, but a century or so later, this is simply one of the best novels I have read in a long time. Stephen Leigh has a unique way of weaving a tale from the threads of multiple perspectives and timelines--creating a tapestry that is both beautiful and meaningful. If you are fond of the work of Ursala K LeGuin, you will find much satisfation here.
Although the novel stands on it's own as a fascinating story, you will definitely be missing an opportunity if you don't go back and read DARK WATER'S EMBRACE as well. Highly recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been introduced to the works of Stephen Leigh through his Wild Cards contributions, which convincewd me he is a powerful story teller, who posses a clever way with words.
Speaking Stones isn't a page-turner the way Leigh's Puppetman stories are, but it ispowerful nonetheless, and the ending is enchanting.
If there is one complaint is that the book isn't really a stand alone - as someone who hasn't read Dark Water's Embrace, Ifound the p lot hard to follow at times, and the narration technique, while cool and original, can be confusing, especially as some of the narrations are of a time much earlier.
Don't let all that stop you, though. This is a chalanging book, and reading Dark Water's Embrace may be a good idea (I know I intend to), but itis powerful, and rem inds me n ot only of Ursula K Leguin, b ut also of Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead and Octavia Butler's Exogenesis Trilogy.
I won't spoil much of the book,otherthan to say that it recounts a story of the clash of cultures, with no Heroes and Villans, but real people and aliens, men and women and mid-males (and one super cool computer called Ghost), who try to fight for the good of their people.
Leigh's a great, under rated book, and this is a great, underated book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
While "Dark Water's Embrace" dwelled upon sexual preference and identity in a new and harsh world, "Speaking Stones" deals more with the issues that arise when two sentient species with wildly varying histories and cultures try to coexist. It didn't grab me quite as much as "Dark Water's Embrace," the characters didn't tug at me *quite* as much, but it is still an outstanding book. Highly recommended, ecspecially to anyone who has read the first book and craves more of this ever-changing planet and society created so masterfully by Stephen Leigh.
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