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The Adamantine Palace Paperback – 1 Feb 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575083751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575083752
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 320,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Deas does scary dragons very well. The plot moves along briskly and surprises occur. Promising enough and neatly set up for a sequel. (Jonathan Wright SFX)

[Dragons] are restored to all their scaly, fire-breathing glory. The tale rattles along at a nifty pace with action and intrigue. (Peter Ingham THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)

With the dragon's destructive abilities never far from his mind [Deas] puts on a good show. The story runs like a whippet, while its politics keep up the amusement with Jehal's relentless treachery. This is a better first book than many, and good fun. (Francis Smallfield DEATHRAY)

The Adamantine Palace is a fast, furious and entertaining book that grabs hold of the reader and whisks them off like a rollercoaster. The dragons, as promised, indeed kick ass and the book's ending is enticing enough to make the year-long-wait for the second volume feel irritating. (THE WERTZONE)

"In short: dragons, intrigue, poison, mercenaries and a Big Dark History. If you like that sort of thing then this is definitely worth a look. (SANDSTORM REVIEWS)

Full of everything that I like about fantasy right now; strong characters, a complex plot and loads of dragons. These dragons are brutal and vicious predators that are only held in check by human ingenuity, Deas does a great job of showing the reader just what these animals are capable of and that's before they are freed from captivity... When that happens, Deas ramps things up to a completely different level with awesome displays of draconic power and cunning. (GRAEME'S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW)

It is a difficult thing to write a novel that uses many of the icons of High Fantasy and make it enjoyable; this is something though that Stephen has done here. The book is an entertaining mix of Pern and Westeros, with the knowing characterisation of Abercrombie and the endearment of Novik. (SFF WORLD)

Giving the book its edgier, more contemporary look meanwhile, are the characters and plot. At first glance, a cast of scheming princes and queens, over the hill kings, and money-hungry sell-swords may seem overly familiar, but Stephen does a great job of constantly surprising the reader. It's a fun and entertaining debut that will appeal to fans of both classic and contemporary fantasy. In short, Gollancz has discovered another winner. (FANTASY BOOK CRITIC)

"Roll over McCaffrey, there's a new Dragon Lord in town." (Gareth Wilson FALCATTA TIMES)

....a busy, fast-paced narrative. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Praised by Joe Abercrombie and Brent Weeks alike - the dragon fantasy that heralded the arrival of an exciting new talent on the fantasy scene.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
With Dragons having been done to death in the fantasy world, a new author always has to come up with something new to thrill and fascinate the reader. After all we've been treated to the mythical beast in many forms from the Dragon Riders of Pern to the Napoleonic War with dragons in Temeraire. So what has Stephen brought to the fore that changes this from the typical formulaic approach?

Firstly the dragons are enslaved to mankind and then only to the nobility who use them shamelessly more as horses than beasts of intelligence, yet it isn't until one of the beasts shakes off the effects of millennia of human drugs that we get to see the creature in all its glory as a small band of humans aid the White Dragon in seeking freedom for all.

Secondly we have a tale that blends mystery, intrigue and above all politic double dealing that will confuse and surprise any readers as the intricate politics of court twist and turn more than a snake doing the Twist with a whole host of fully formed three dimensional characters. Top it off with a Spartan descriptive style so the reader can jump straight into the main course (and a side dish of revenge) and you've got a book to thrill the readers of numerous ages.

The books fun, the books lively and above all it's a different take that allows the readers to get behind the underdog (in this case the dragons) as well as fulfilling the needs and wants of a modern reader. Roll over McCaffrey, there's a new Dragon Lord in town.
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Format: Paperback
Stephen Deas is a master of fantasy writing and is one of the greatest authors of Dragon's in literature, from the deadly and fearsome to the magnificent and majestic. Once I began to read this incredible debut novel there was no turning back for I had lost myself forever in his world of magic, myth and horror that was like nothing I had ever encountered before. Great Knights and Kings of powerful kingdoms, politics and battling for power and supremacy over all this is an epic tale that is on such a grand scale as to impress. Within these lands Dragons rule over the skies seen in all their scaly, fire-breathing glory; magnificent beasts that are both looked upon with fear and awe. This is a novel that will astonish its originality and brilliance that overwhelms you entirely, as any immense epic would do. As fantastical as Anne McCaffrey, George RR Martin or Paolini but in a completely different league that I personally feel is unmatchable and most distinctive. Action packed one is taken on the most thrilling journey that is wrought with fear for these impressive beasts, as well as letting the mind wander and explore all the possibilities of this amazing new world that is brought so clearly to life before your very eyes. With all the ingredients of an impressive fantasy work (from magic to battles, myth and conflict in addition to unique, unusual creatures), Stephen Deas has produced something that is so impressive. This book I can honestly say will appeal to all fans of this genre, whether you enjoy older works of fantasy such as Tolkien, Robin Hobb or Raymond E Feist's or more contemporary fantasy that is current as just as relevant in today's modern world.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pauline M Ross on 3 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, this is a whole heap of rip-roaring fun and no mistake. It's not profound, the characters are all selfish and devious bastards, the world-building is a bit flat and the writing is capable if not particularly memorable, but - what a cracking story. Of course, it's the dragons who make it. I've heard it said that dragons are a bit out of favour these days, and publishers are avoiding them. Maybe so, but I for one just love them, and these dragons are terrific - big, powerful monsters, just like they should be, and totally mean-spirited. And they feel very alien, nothing like the loveable pals from Pern, or even the riddle-swapping Smaug. Brilliant.

The plot revolves largely around the political machinations of the various dragon-owning families, and it's at a level which makes Machiavelli look like a two year old. There are lies and subterfuge and double-dealing, all layered up to create an incredible writhing snake-pit of deception. I kept up with it pretty well until about three quarters of the way through, when it got to the point of (for all I know) double double double dealing, and I kind of lost the thread altogether. So at the end, I'm not completely sure who was really in league with whom, and who was just pretending to be. It was complicated. But it really didn't matter, because all the twists and turns raced by so fast it was all a blur anyway. Talk about breathtaking.

The characters never really came alive for me. They all seemed just a little too - well, too much. Too clever, too smug, too beautiful, too sexed up, too devious, too self-centred.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 12 May 2010
Format: Paperback
There is a lot of promise in this book. A truly malevolent and ruthless cast list. A fast moving story with a twisting and turning plot line...and yet the author somehow fails to harness all this potential and something was missing. I never quite got those feverish page turning attacks that keep the bedside light glowing late into the night. Also I never really cared that much when cast members died and I was never sure who's side I was on.

I felt the dialogue was a little stilted and predictable and the characterisation a little flacid when compared to masters like Abercrombie and GRR Martin.

I would normally groan a bit at the use of Dragons, but they here, the best part of the story and I liked the idea of them awakening from their drugged state and discovering their true nature. The story ended with enough going on to finally kindle my interest just as it was ending. I have the next book in the series and will definately read it in the not too distant future, but I will be hoping for a bit more colour and excitement.
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