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The Jewel and Her Lapidary {novella} (2016)

por Fran Wilde

Outros autores: Tommy Arnold (Artista da capa)

Séries: Gem Universe (1)

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18317146,642 (3.39)17
The kingdom in the Valley has long sheltered under the protection of its Jewels and Lapidaries, the people bound to singing gemstones with the power to reshape hills, move rivers, and warp minds. That power has kept the peace and tranquility, and the kingdom has flourished. Jewel Lin and her Lapidary Sima may be the last to enjoy that peace. The Jeweled Court has been betrayed. As screaming raiders sweep down from the mountains, and Lapidary servants shatter under the pressure, the last princess of the Valley will have to summon up a strength she's never known. If she can assume her royal dignity, and if Sima can master the most dangerous gemstone in the land, they may be able to survive.… (mais)
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Jin is the last of the royal family after the King’s Lapidary has poisoned them all and his family of lapidaries that serve the royal family. Lin and Sima are the last of each their families and together they will try and defeat the invading army. The Royal family with the help of their lapidaries use the magical gems to protect the land and make it comfortable for everyone. But the stronger gems are always trying to take over and control them and that is what happened to Sima’s father. Neither of them was given a full set of lessons since it was Jin’s role to be married away from the court. Both of them working together will try and beat the general as she is taking over their lands. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 4, 2023 |
Lin is a young princess, never destined to rule over the kingdom. Sima, her lapidary, was never trained on how to use the powerful gems and their magic for anything beyond what a princess may need. So when a massacre of the royal family leaves Lin as the only hope for her kingdom, both find themselves running into new territory with high-stakes consequences--not just for the two of them, but for an entire people.

There is a lot to the concept and the world that Fran Wilde has created here. The traditions, the history, the people--it hearkens to an epic fantasy story, though this is delivered in a single, novella-length installment. The story is fast-moving, with little time to stop for intentional character development and backstory, with everything coming through via the characters' actions. And that can be a good thing at times, though there are moments in this story where things move so quickly that I felt a few things may have been lost. The story is well-written, and I would say my only complaint is that I would have like to see this developed over the course of more pages (or even multiple books) to really immerse myself as a reader. ( )
  crtsjffrsn | Aug 27, 2021 |
I loved Updraft and was really looking forward to Wilde's novelette. Though this suffered a bit because it was so short - the world building was fascinating and I felt like I had walked into the middle of a story, and left before the end. I enjoyed this but wish it was longer and more fleshed out. If Wilde ever writes a full-length novel around this world, I would read it in a heartbeat. ( )
  wisemetis | Dec 7, 2020 |
Lin, a member of royalty known as a "Jewel," and Sima, a "bound servant" to Lin known as "Lapidary," discover treason against the king and other political intrigue.

This book was categorized as science fiction in multiple places, which is part of the reason I picked it up. This is not even remotely sci-fi; it is 100% fantasy. (I know the line can be blurry sometimes, but that was really not the case here. This is decidedly fantasy.) That in and of itself would not be a problem; there are plenty of folks who equally like sci-fi and fantasy. I tend to prefer the former, but also have liked the latter in the past when it's done well.

The issue here is that it is not done well. As a short novella, there just really isn't enough time to do this story any justice. Instead of organic world building, it is almost entirely expositional. The characters are incredibly flat, even with there basically only being two of them for the majority of the text. The dialogue is slim and yet somehow felt repetitive.

The audiobook narrator was okay but not great. She really didn't make a vocal distinction between the characters, even with there again only really being two characters. Her general narration was a little too placid for something that was about royal intrigue and the end of an era.

Quite frankly, I was bored by this book and felt no real connection with the characters whatsoever. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Sep 20, 2020 |
I know I've only read two of Fran Wilde's tales, but I'm getting the impression that I'm just not her audience at all.

I was reading this for her Hugo nomination this year and I had high hopes because some authors can really kick butt with the shorter stuff even if their longer works fall short for some readers. (Read: me).

Unfortunately, the whole concept of jewels of power is a very, very old one, and while she tries to make it fresh by doing the whole linking them to their wearers and then having the added dimension of social caste rebalancing going on... well... it was kinda dull for me. I'd rather have the jewel action be a MacGuffin or something far-off rather than this. It's hard not to compare it to some really big classics, either, and in that comparison, this will always fall short. Alas.

Maybe this is fine for a younger YA reader who's never read anything else. I don't know. I just know that it didn't really do the job for me.

( )
1 vote bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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Fran Wildeautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Arnold, TommyArtista da capaautor secundáriotodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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The kingdom in the Valley has long sheltered under the protection of its Jewels and Lapidaries, the people bound to singing gemstones with the power to reshape hills, move rivers, and warp minds. That power has kept the peace and tranquility, and the kingdom has flourished. Jewel Lin and her Lapidary Sima may be the last to enjoy that peace. The Jeweled Court has been betrayed. As screaming raiders sweep down from the mountains, and Lapidary servants shatter under the pressure, the last princess of the Valley will have to summon up a strength she's never known. If she can assume her royal dignity, and if Sima can master the most dangerous gemstone in the land, they may be able to survive.

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