Tuesday, 7 July 2009

The Adamantine Palace Book Review

The Adamantine Palace, by Stephen Deas is a novel full of plots, poison and dragons. Part of the fun of the novel is trying to figure out who is betraying whom and why. With some characters double crossing their partners, it's not clear until the very end what everyone's goals are.

Though all of the characters had logical reasons for their actions, I found it hard to like any of them and cheer them towards their goals. There was no 'good' character. Just a bunch of people trying to achieve something. Normally that would kill a book for me (I like at least one person I can empathize with). But Mr. Deas has created such an intriguing set of plot twists that I couldn't stop reading. Is Jehal really poisoning his father? Is Hyram going to honour his clan's agreement to make Queen Shezira the next speaker (and thereby ruler of the Nine Realms)? Who attacked the white dragon's entourage and what happened to it? Who are the mysterious Taiytakei people and what do they want? And what's in the bottle the sellswords Kemir and Sollos stop a group of dragon knights from selling in the prologue of the book?

It reads like a Joe Abercrombie novel, only with less swearing and fighting and more political scheming. The book does end in a way that suggests there will be a lot more warfare in the sequel.

Well written, often surprising, and definitely worth picking up.

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