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Bone and Jewel Creatures Hardcover – March 31, 2010
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
At just 136 pages, Bone and Jewel Creatures packs a strong punch. Bijou is a fascinating main character -- an aging wizard surrounded by her own wondrous creatures, some of which, by themselves, make this book worth reading. The arrival of the feral child sets off a complex plot involving Bijou's past, the political history of the land, an intriguing religion, and three distinct modes of magic. There's quite a lot more material packed into this short novella than you'd initially expect -- and as with all the best novellas, you'll be satisfied with the ending while at the same time hoping for future stories set in the same world.
The story is told in gorgeous prose, frequently very lyrical and on a few occasions even surprisingly funny. The combination of the poetic style and the main character's occupation at times made me think of Bijou as an older version of Casimira from Catherynne M. Valente's Palimpsest -- and readers who enjoyed that excellent novel may well enjoy Bone and Jewel Creatures. Recommended.
The story is paced to match the old creakiness of the protagonist and antagonist, while still engaging the reader's attention and interest. All this set in a world of rich culture and beauty that leaves me wanting to read more. I look forward to reading the prequel!
1. A thorough grasp of the human condition,
2. An honest, head-on depiction of evil - not a caricature of it,
3. Total absence of GRATUITOUS nastiness,
4. Children being given what they need in a non-sentimental way,
5. Animals being saved - in a non-sentimental way,
6. Old women done well (they're neither witches, nor sages of great wisdom, nor children with wrinkles & ailments),
7. Young women done well (not just martial-art/weapons experts with Barbie bodies),
8. Men (young and old) done well,
9. Neither men nor women being the Source Of All Evil,
10. Neither men nor women being condescended to, or ridiculed,
11. Everyone is not white all the time, or even most of the time, and sometimes not at all,
12. Excellent world-building,
13. Good flow and pacing in the narrative,
14. Good balance between action and complex character development,
15. A poet's ear for words, images, & rhythm,
16. And - that rarest of things - a story without explosions that's nevertheless devastating.
The best part of the book was the world, and the magical creations that exist in it, the bone and jewel creatures of the title. Those shimmer against the dusty city. The least compelling part is probably the plot, which hits predictable emotional notes. It's possible I actually yelled "NOT THE MOMMY ISSUES" at my ebook.
Read if: You'd like a viewpoint character who is old, one who really feels the weight of years. If you'd like a viewpoint character who is nonverbal but not unintelligent.
Skip if: You are really not up to reading about maggots, necrosis, or necromancers.
Also read: Love in the Time of Cholera (Oprah's Book Club) for an older viewpoint character struggling with age, and meditating on love, patience, and creepy stalker lovers.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Different, but not so different I could not put myself in the book. A great escape book. I felt true empathy for the main character.Published on November 25, 2013 by PAW
This book was...lacking something for me and since I can't seem to write reviews from my Kindle, I now cannot remember exactly what.Published on October 30, 2013 by SuzMac
I bought this book on a whim while I was looking for something new and I am really glad I did. It was an interesting and compelling story with types of characters that rarely get... Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by S. Sears
Bone and Jewel Creatures (2010) is a Fantasy novella, It is set in Messaline, the City of Jackals.
In this novel, Bijou is an enchanter, specializing in animated... Read more
With the simplest of means the author tells a tale that might as easily have been told by Scheherazade - affecting and elegant.Published on March 28, 2013 by Amazon Customer