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The Reliquary Ring Paperback – Unabridged, 16 Apr 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1 edition (16 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330492071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330492072
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,895,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

In an ancient maritime city full of beauty and wealth, the people are ruled by an elderly duke - and also by the Church. From the mysterious Empire to the north are imported products of amazing technology, including 'genics' - the genetically engineered people coveted by the wealthy as their servants and playthings. Since the Church refuses to recognize genics as human, they lead an existence of degradation and virtual slavery. Yet, beyond the city itself, sea genics live in freedom on and around the outer islands of the lagoon, placed there by the Council to regulate the city's water levels. Long ignored and unrecognized, they have come to form among themselves a second republic of the sea.This is the story of four genics in their quest for fulfilment, following the discovery of a ring containing a holy relic of immense significance. 'Baldry's greatest skill is in sketching the contrast between the city's jewelled surface and the corruption underneath' Guardian 'Colourful and entertaining' The Alien Online

About the Author

Cherith Baldry was born in Lancashire and studied at Manchester University and St Anne's College, Oxford. She subsequently worked as a teacher, including a spell as a lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone. Cherith is now a full-time writer of fiction for both children and adults.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has a strong opening: lots of interesting concepts, a fascinating setting and a fair few mysteries to ponder. And then to my eye it runs out of steam - I really want to know what happens, but find the style - lots of courtly manners and formal dialogue - dreadfully hard going. There are good plot developments, but they seemed a long time coming. If you like your intrigue to be developed slowly, perhaps to illustrate more clearly a society bogged down in tradition, then this is worth a try. If you're into rebellion and off-the-wall ideas, then perhaps not.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Odell on 13 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an adult fairy story with some horror and hinted sexuality blended in. It is narrated in a very simple almost prudish style (reminded me very slightly of Jane Austin), I thought it would appeal to 12-13 year olds. The story style is refreshing and overall the ideas in the book are entertaining. It is obvious who the goodies and baddies are, though the characters are subtly drawn showing flaws and leading the reader to like and dislike individuals as the story develops. As with all fairytales this can be understood on a number of levels, unfortunately the writer did not use the opportunity to develop this well, so only the clear storyline is obvious. If you look deeper there is nothing there. However as a well written escapist tale it transports you for a short time into an alternative Venice that many would enjoy a visit to.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 May 2003
Format: Paperback
I saw this reviewed well in the Guardian and bought it. Nothing wrong with the plot outline: renaissance society in a timeless 'Venice' is changed through the influence of genetically modified human slaves brought in from a foreign state. Church and tradition regard the genics as sub-human, how will four of them find their places in this water-lapped city? I got inreasingly fed-up, though, with the over simplifications running through the book. The evil count - Count Dracone, puhleese - is nothing but a cypher trafficking with devils, all that is needed to deal with his machinations is faith, and all the presumably deep-ingrained prejudice against the genics is smoothly washed away by a few people speaking out against it. For me, the bones of a good story, but lacking shades of grey and enough character detail to believe in them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Venetian fantasy 3 July 2003
By john wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Cherith Baldry has turned from King Arthur and his round table to Venice. At last she has written a book for the adults to follow her successful books for younger readers.
The story works on different levels.
It vividly describes an alternative society in Venice. It works as a straight forward adventure story building to an exciting climax.
It works as a mannered romance in a Jane Austen manner.
It works as a description of how societies work.
But there is also a hidden sub-text in the story where wry parallels and comments are made with wit and insight about our modern society. Points are gently made about exploitation, inequality, the nature of romantic love and religion without any intrusion of the writer's own opinions.
Read it once as a story then reread it again for the subtler points.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pseudo Da Vinci 3 July 2006
By Mercurious - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The first thing I have to say about this book is that one of the major revelations, and key storylines is revealed on the inside of the front cover. When I buy a book I read every inch of the back and front pages before delving into the novel itself, I did so with this book, but was fortunate enough to miss (or forget) this important detail--fortunately. The people who write these snippets should be more careful.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was an unexpected surprise. It was very easy to get into, and has a storyline that simply kept you interested, even if it was a bit weak. There was a good story here just waiting to get out. As the author matures, this would have been better written at a later date.

I won't go into the premise of the book, except to say that (apart from good versus evil), there are 'genics' - genetically engineered people 'coveted' by the wealthy yet shunned by society at the same time. The story revolves around everyday discrimination that seemingly goes unnoticed, as a city is in the brink of turmoil. Is the person that packs your groceries any less than the person who sells you the latest BMW?

The two main weaknesses I found were that a lot of the story revolved around the church, and their acceptance of 'genics'. On the word of one priest, a miracle is announced and all of a sudden 'genics' are kosher. And the bad guy, he has all this fancy hi-tech gadgetry, is about to take over the city when at the turn of a dime he ends up looking like Dick Dastardly trying to `stop the pigeon'. You could almost picture him in your mind dancing a little tantrum when things go awry.
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