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The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) Paperback – 1 Jan 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; New Ed edition (1 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553505815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553505818
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 4.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 731,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Ricardo Pinto's first novel opens a fantasy sequence titled "The Stone Dance of the Chameleon", exploring a complex and hierarchical empire with a vaguely Oriental flavour. Young hero Carnelian journeys from his aristocratic father's remote, wintry house of exile to the heart of power--moving stage by stage from carefree family life to an imperial court dominated by unchangeable rituals that make the regimentation of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast seem like an anarchic free-for-all. This obsessiveness is reflected in ornate masks and formal clothing, growing more bizarrely exotic as travellers approach the centre of the Guarded Land and culminating in massive "robes" of woven precious metals built up on scaffolding, plus shoes that are virtually stilts. Masks are socially necessary because any commoner who sees the face of a Master (the immensely tall ruling class) must be blinded--as Carnelian learns to his horror after briefly forgetting to cover up. Far worse mutilations are commonplace. But even amid the poisoned splendours, suffocating protocols and treachery of court life, there are tiny opportunities to break loose: our hero discovers illicit knowledge and a forbidden lover. Then, after the new God Emperor's election, there's disaster leading to a sudden cliffhanger ending. Full of rich imagery, haunting horror and the slow-motion quality of dreams, this is a series to watch. --David Langford

Review

"'Outstanding...Pinto is blazing a trail where others, no doubt, will follow'" (Amanda Foreman)

"'Pinto writes with an almost Donaldsonian/Feistian grip'" (Anne McCaffrey)

"'Boldly conceived and intelligently written...lingers in the memory like a strange and disturbing dream'" (Interzone)

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First Sentence
All that day the wind had rattled the shutters and slanted the sky with snow, but in the warm heart of the Hold Carnelian sat with some of his people around a fire, listening to their talk. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are after fast flowing fights this probably isn't for you. It follows the son of an exiled "Master" through his family's journey back to their homeland to aid in the election of the new God Emperor. It deals with him facing the ever growing strictness imposed by this strange culture that he is supposed to follow... and he gets dragged into the election process of the new ruler.
Ricardo Pinto likes to add a lot of detail to the surroundings, I've seen this criticised by people but I found it a nice touch as it creates a world in which the adventures live rather than just the story and nothing else.
I bought this one on a business trip when I forgot to pick up my Robert Jordan book...this one was so compelling that it took precedent. That's saying a lot as once I start a WoT book I generally don't let anything distract me till it's finished.
I'm looking forward to the next volume of this series very much.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "burningissy" on 26 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
The story kept me hooked even though I had to put it down for a week (outside reasons) but it was the little things that where intresting, links with the the pre-conquest cultures of central/southern American , the use of lingistic terms and a pre iron age socity that is obsessed with genetics, gave an archaeology student so many moments of joy. Plus the departure from the standard straight love story and the lack of good and bad guys.
but the ending is... , thank the twins its a trilogy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Mar 1999
Format: Hardcover
Finally not the standard 'evil-dark-necromancer-wants-to-destroy-world-and-kid-saves-the-day-with-hidden-magic-talent'-bad-Tolkien-imitation we see so often, but mature, detailed, beautifully writen fantasy about a strange, cruel, but convincing world. As good as Tolkien, as strong als Mervyn Peake, but the quality is uniquelly Pinto. Stunning detailed world, strong characters and no fluffy elves. If you want a book that goes beyond conventional fantasy, read this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Mar 2000
Format: Paperback
One can consider a "rave" review, but the best compliment I can give is to tell you I haven't even finished this book yet-- and here are my five stars. I must say, here in the U.S., my choices in the fantasy reading world have seemed sadly limited for quite some time. This is the first book within that time that I have found to be so enthralling as to keep me turning the pages. It is radically different from any other fantasy I have read, wonderful world-building, reminds me of Silverberg's Majipoor in realistic descriptions and "creature fixes", which I must absolutely have in order to keep interest. You must buy this book. I have put mine in a protective jacket cover already for future posterity-- and that's my highest recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By xenofan VINE VOICE on 12 Feb 2009
Format: Paperback
Despite having finished The Chosen, I am left with a feeling of indecision. I just can't seem to decide whether I thought it was good, or just okay. What I can say for certain though is that I'm going to be reading the next book (The Standing Dead) in the series.

The Chosen has received much praise for its originality. And this is certainly well deserved. The world is very detailed and rich in depth. Perhaps, I might add, the world is too detailed, for sometimes the author seems to devote too much attention to the paradise gardens and majestic architecture, and perhaps not enough attention to the characters that populate it. In addition, I found the world oftentimes became overly confusing. Far too many names and terminology to keep track of. At times, I felt somewhat confused by it all.

Plot-wise, there's a sense of wanting to know what's going to happen next, although really, nothing much ever does. Sadly, many of the characters didn't have the effect I felt they were meant to have. And the overal writing felt awkward and clumsy.

All in all, there's a lot to complain about. Slow plot, though it was interesting reading about the world. The overal hierachy of sociaty was confusing and at times, the book became overly political for my tastes. Writing in general felt clunky, and the development of plot and characters felt like both took a backseat to worldbuilding and elaborate descriptions of environments which I found impossible to visualize.

Yet, something about the customs and traditions of the Masters, left me quite fascinated by the world Pinto has created. Carnelion was a main character that I enjoyed reading about, and made an interesting contrast to the cold and uncaring Masters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
Briefly: Carnelian and his father, a Ruling Lord, live in exile on a remote island with their household of slaves and lower caste relations. The story follows their summons to return home as the elections for new God Emperor are about to take place.

That may not sound very remarkable, yet this is fantasy with a difference. Pinto has created an imaginary and complex world dominated by a strict hierarchy and caste system, from the Chosen and Ruling Lords down through various levels to the lowest sub-human creatures who are nothing more than mere expendable labourers. But what differentiates The Chosen from the norm is that here there is no magic, no supernatural powers, no evil spells. Pinto's fantasy depends entirely on the creation of an incredible imaginative world, the intrigues of the Lords, and the viciously cruel inhuman treatment of the lower castes, along with a carefully thought out complex history. It is also a world in which marriage is a matter of purity of blood line, and physical love between men raises no eyebrows.

It is in such a cruel world that Carnelian stands out as an individual. Raised in exile away from the Ruling Lords Machiavellian dealings amongst themselves and the ruthless and merciless treatment of their subordinates, Carnelian is untainted by such attitudes and is caring even when dealing with the slaves of his household. As such he is immediately appealing, and one is happy to follow him through this 700 page epic. That the book is intelligently and well written, the description so vivid, the characters so well developed, simply makes it all the more compelling. It does at times require effort on the part of the reader, but it is effort rewarded.
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