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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating & compellingly strange
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...
Published on 13 Dec. 2000

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but Soooo slow
This book is truly original, other-worldly, disturbing, haunting and beautifully written.

So a great book then? well not quite. The story is so incredibly slow at times I was very tempted to start skipping chunks, particularly the vast descriptive passages about our hero getting painted and dressed, I mean there must have been somewhere and 50-75 pages of this...
Published on 24 May 2008 by Mr. A. I. Harrison


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating & compellingly strange, 13 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Its the little things, 26 Jun. 2004
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Abolutely stunning. Fantasy has matured at last!, 15 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars IMMENSE--in many ways...., 8 Mar. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to decide just how good this one is..., 12 Feb. 2009
By 
xenofan "xenofan" (Kansas, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (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. There's a brutality to the story and the Masters overal attitude towards their "lessers" which was so extremely immoral that I was extremely intrigued.

And though the story was slow, I never felt that it dragged. There was always something to discover, though I did often find myself a bit confused as to just what exactly was meant to go on. I sorta found myself going with the flow, enjoying the view but not quite ever sure why anything was happening.

The last 50 pages were particularly engrossing, and though I expected to take my time to finish up the last three or four chapters, I ended up reading straight through to the very end. The plot does pick up quite a bit then, and ends on a cliffhanger that I am eager to see continued.

I certainly doubt that this book will suit every reader. Those preferring fast action and a blunter, more "to-the-point" sort of writing style will probably be dissapointed. Those that want something a bit different will most likely be pleasantly surprised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative and different, 16 Oct. 2008
By 
Benjamin (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing, 25 May 2012
By 
Furio (Genova - Italy) - See all my reviews
Much of what has been already said about this book in the other reviews is very true, the praises and the criticisms.

This first instalment is quite long and one can sometimes complain about it: the plot is very intricate and slow, sometimes even painfully so: Very little happens, in fact: a young man travels back to his homecountry with his father and gets to know his land and his people.

Descriptions are elaborate, longish; the language is sometimes really difficult (even though I am not a native speaker I usually manage fairly well).
It is also true that Mr Pinto writes beautifully: his prose is baroque but intriguing, dialogues are always interesting, characterization is finely developed.

The world he creates is extremely original and lusciously monstrous: life is as exotic as it is cruel and, as soon as one can suspend disbelief, the charm of the fine deitails can be felt.

The main character is endearing, full of flaws AND gay; most of the others are bisexual but sexuality is not really an issue in this world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling, original fantasy, 11 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (Paperback)
This is a superb book. Immensely original, it builds a complex ritualistic world, with much beauty and savagery.
The positive gay relationships depicted are refreshing in a fantasy novel.
Thoughtful and intelligent, it is slow in places (I detect a vacancy for a good editor at the publishers). If Feist or Eddings is your style, you probably won't like this, and if you're looking for magic, wizards and goblins, look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant but Soooo slow, 24 May 2008
This review is from: The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) (Paperback)
This book is truly original, other-worldly, disturbing, haunting and beautifully written.

So a great book then? well not quite. The story is so incredibly slow at times I was very tempted to start skipping chunks, particularly the vast descriptive passages about our hero getting painted and dressed, I mean there must have been somewhere and 50-75 pages of this alone!!

I found that weeks after I finished the book it stayed with me (like a very strange dream) so vivid was the world created by Pinto but it's a world where not quite enough happens for my taste. I'm sure many readers of a more subtle and sensitive nature will greatly enjoy it but it makes the first 200 hundred pages of LOTR seem like Sin City.

If you want to feel like you have genuinely set foot on another world with a very authentic feeling alien culture then this is a book for you, it achieves this like no other book I have read. Don't read this if your favourite authors are Gemmell, Cornwell and Scott Lynch though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best adult fantasy for years, 2 April 2000
I used to be an avid reader of fantasy novels but then I gave up because they all started to be the same thing - another pale imitation of Lord of the Rings. Quite by chance I picked up a copy of The Chosen in a bookshop and bought it on impulse. I was well rewarded. This is an involved and totally believable fantasy that becomes completely gripping. This is also a fantasy for the grown-ups. In places I found it quite stomach-churning! Pinto builds the atmosphere of his society steadily but relentlessly until the stultifying ritual and pomp become almost unbearable. The final cliff-hanger left me gasping for more. Buy this book - you won't be disappointed!
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The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon)
The Chosen (The Stone Dance Of The Chameleon) by Ricardo Pinto (Paperback - 1 Jan. 2000)
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