Bone and Jewel Creatures (eBook)
Dark magic is afoot in the City of Jackals…
Eighty years Bijou the Artificer has been a Wizard of Messaline, building her servants from precious scraps, living with the memory of a great love that betrayed her. She is ready to rest.
But now her former apprentice, Brazen the Enchanter, has brought her a speechless feral child poisoned by a sorcerous infection. Now, Messaline is swept by a mysterious plague. Now the seeping corpses of the dead stalk the streets.
Now, finally, Bijou's old nemesis—Bijou's old love—Kaulas the Necromancer is unleashing a reeking half-death on Bijou's people. And only Bijou and her creatures wrought of bone and jewels can save the City of Jackals from his final revenge.
From Publishers Weekly:
'Few family feuds feature gem-studded automatons facing off against zombies, but this quirky short fantasy by Hugo-winning Bear (By the Mountain Bound) is the exception'' and concludes, singling out 'the exploration of love and loyalty at the core of this engaging tale.'
'Into a slim volume Bear packs the kind of intrigue, detailed world building, and passionate characters found in her longer books' Because of the scale of the novella, many things are only hinted in it, so artfully that what are tantalizing glimpses of its world seem much, much larger than the page count would seem to allow.'
'I liked the intricate creatures Bijou creates, and the inner life of the silent child she adopts, and of course Bear's fine writing.'
'...every time I read Elizabeth Bear, I grow more impressed by her. She really knows how to weave characters together.'
From Fantasy Literature:
'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.'
From The Agony Column:
'Bear is an amazingly impressive and prolific writer, who seems to write great work that wins awards ' and deserves them ' at an astonishing rate, over a huge variety of speculative fiction subgenres. 'Bone and Jewel Creatures' may be one of my favorites though. It's just chock full of a variety of sympathetic monsters, lovingly described and cunningly unfurled in a twisted, twisty plot that takes chances and makes some great imaginative leaps. It's somewhat deceptive really, to slot 'Bone and Jewel Creatures' in as mere steampunk. Like Jack Vance, Bear writes with a purity that dissolves genres and lets the story speak.'
From San Francisco Book Review:
'Elizabeth Bear is a modern master of the short story format in fiction writing, and her latest is the perfect marriage of brevity and detail.'
From Green Man Review:
'Bear has developed a way of describing the concrete that hints at much wider things, much deeper themes, leaving it to the reader to make the connections' It's a brief story, with no more flesh than it needs, much like Bijou. And it's a good one.'