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Stealing the Elf-King's Roses Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (November 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446609838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446609838
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,610,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diane Duane was born in New York City -- a descendant of New York's first mayor -- and worked there as a psychiatric nurse before leaving the profession for the only one she loved better, the business of writing. Since the publication of her first novel in 1981, she's written fifty more, not to mention numerous short stories, comics, computer games and screenplays for TV and film, and has picked up the occasional award here and there. (She has also worked with Star Trek in more media than anyone else alive.)

Right now she's probably best known for her "Young Wizards" series of young adult fantasy novels, featuring the New York-based wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan -- in business for twenty-five years now, their most recent adventure being described in the ninth YW novel, "A Wizard of Mars" (just released in paperback).

DD shares a two hundred-year-old cottage in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland with her husband, the Belfast-born novelist and screenwriter Peter Morwood, a laid-back white cat named Goodman, and various overworked computers... an odd but congenial environment for the staging of epic battles between good and evil and the leisurely pursuit of total galactic domination. (And a lot of ethnic cooking: her own favorite foods come from the cuisines of central Europe and the Mediterranean.) In her spare time she gardens (weeding, mostly), studies German and Italian, listens to shortwave and satellite radio, and dabbles in astronomy, computer graphics, iaido, amateur cartography, and desktop publishing ... while also trying to figure out how to make more spare time.

Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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This is a combination fantasy/science fiction book.
David Roy
I found actually painful to finish reading this book, but it would have been a disservice to readers reviewing it without actually reading it until the end.
Peldrigal
The elves control the distribution of fair gold just as they block anyone from any of the diverse universes from traveling to Alfheim, the elfin world.
Harriet Klausner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on January 25, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stealing the Elf-King's Roses is another great book by Diane Duane. She is widely known as one of the best Star Trek novelists, but even non-fans of that series can enjoy her books. This particular one has lyrical prose, interesting situations and an intriguing setting. It all adds up to something that I'm very glad I read.
I've always been a Diane Duane fan, and when I saw this book, the premise really intrigued me. This is a combination fantasy/science fiction book. It has parallel worlds and some sort of psychic powers (though some may seem Lee's power as more magical than psychic), but it also has the Elves and the magical "glamour" of their world. Elves make all the other races uncomfortable because they have what seems to be a magical, perfect beauty that has some sort of psychological effect on the other races. There is actually a practical reason behind all of this which is addressed in the story in a very intriguing fashion.
Duane's world-building is marvelous. There are numerous universes that share a lot of common traits, with other traits being completely different. They all occupy the same space, just in a different world. Travel and commerce between these worlds are commonplace and made possible by a substance called "fairy gold," which powers the gates between the worlds, and which the Elves control. The two main worlds in the story, the first being Lee's world, a sort of modern-day setting with a few differences, such as different creatures wandering about, weird version of cars, communication implants and stuff like that. The second world is Alfheim, home of the Elves, who are a very secretive race. As the story unfolds, you see that they actually have a reason for being so secretive, but that things may have to change in order to avoid a calamity.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Darjeeling on March 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Must agree with previous reviewers. The cover art is appalling. I would never have picked it up if I hadn't recognized the author.
Duane's notion of Justice as a real, touchable force was intriguing (and don't we all wish that's the way it worked in our world.) There's also a marvelous eye-opening visit to an alternate world which shakes the complacent reader. The main characters are so real they step right off the page. Gelert in particular was a pleasure.
The legend /metaphor of the roses, however, was confusing and took way too long to develop. There are pages of painfully convoluted explanation, but I still came away unsure of what actually happened. Also, the character of the Elf-King himself could have been better drawn; Duane's characters are usually better imagined. His actions and motives are merely explained, and not slowly discovered in any way which really involves the reader until the final battle, so Lee's emotional commitment to his interests was a little baffling.
And Duane loses one star for using the increasingly common practice of assuming any name used for a fantasy or science fiction character MUST have six apostrophes in it. Ple'ase! It's not nec'essary!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
On an earth much different than our own, people are able to transport themselves from one place to another and one universe to another by using the gates which are constructed in part from fairy gold. The elves control the distribution of fair gold just as they block anyone from any of the diverse universes from traveling to Alfheim, the elfin world.
Lanthanomancer Lee Enfield and her partner Galert, a madrin (a wolfhound the size of a horse that talks and is very intelligent) use their sight and scent to see below the surface at crime scenes and while interrogating perpetrators. The duo is so good at what they do that they are sent at their government's bequest into Alfheim to find out why elves are killing elves. Before they know it they are caught in a civil uprising that unless stopped, could mean a massive war throughout the known universes.
Dianne Duane, long known and respected for her excellent work, has gifted her readers with a unique view of the Fay that make it seem as if another species has been discovered by the author. Her protagonists are a superb working team whose personalities mesh so well they are better together then apart in a kind of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. STEALING THE ELF-KING'S ROSES is a fascinating mixture of political and inter-dimensional travel inside a fantasy science fiction plot.
Harriet Klausner
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on November 16, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stealing the Elf-King's Roses (2002) is a standalone Fantasy novel. It's good to have Duane writing heroic fantasy again. While I enjoyed her science fiction, media novels, and Young Wizards series, I think she only realizes her full potential in a universe with wider constraints of her own devising.

This novel is another classification headache, much like "The Three World Trilogy" by Lawrence Watt-Evans. Multiple universes exhibit different physical and moral laws. Some of these laws allow powers that we would classify as magic. And one of the universes is Alfheim, the home of the Elves.

It seems that intercontinual trade exists between six universes within the sheaf and, according to the papers, a seventh has just been discovered. A crucial element in the trade is Fairy Gold, which has properties that reduce the power requirement for intercontinual gates. Alfheim is the only source for this metal and strictly controls the supply.

The point of view follows Lee Enfield, a mantic in forensic lanthanomancy, as she and her partner Gelert, a madra or fayhound, investigate the death of an Elf at Eighteenth and Melrose in Los Angeles. Obviously Lee's LA isn't the La-La Land that we know. And the story becomes even stranger as it progresses.

Lee and Gelert discover with their lanthanomantic powers -- her Sight and his Scent -- that the victim had been shot by a human, but that a second Elf had observed the murder, with some satisfaction, and had then just faded away. In addition, the shooter himself left a fading pyschospoor that puzzles Gelert.

The shooter is quickly caught on an anonymous tip and the authorities are trying to restrict the case to just the proximate killer.
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