The Adamantine Palace Hardcover – 19 Mar 2009
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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 the Paperback edition.
Betrayal, deceit, savage power-plays, brutal politics and dragons. The arrival of an exciting new talent on the fantasy scene.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
It's a relatively light read, one that can be finished in a few days, and perhaps not for readers who like narrative padded with description and well-rounded world-building; the book is a little thin in these aspects. The characterisation of the power-hungry characters is also a little flat. Neither does it help that there are few if any sympathetic characters in the entire novel; at first, the rogue dragon is endearing in her innocence, but as she learns more about the reality of the world she becomes merciless and as hard to like as the humans.
The key weakness of the novel is that it hinges on "Machiavellian" politics (the blurb's words, not mine) rather than the rogue dragon, but Deas just isn't a skilled-enough writer to justify this. You get the sense that he aspires to the level of George RR Martin, but he just hasn't reached it. It's all confusion and no excitement, and as a result you simply end up not caring, and scanning over these parts.
Nevertheless, it's still a book worth reading and I will probably be buying the sequel. It's mildly gripping (the dragon's parts, at least), and there a few lines that'll make you snort/laugh in amusement. It's not wholly satisfying, but you could do worse.
i like the concept and the idea behind the story, but it would have been nicer to explore the story in more depth. i was hoping that this issue was because this book was a debut and the sequel might be better. so I read the second book as well, but it doesn't get better, unfortunately. this book is not for me.
More than anything else, Deas' book lacks even one genuinely sympathetic character. Everyone in the book is ruthless, greedy, treacherous, or dangerous. It is actually quite a depressing read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent fantasy novel - I particularly like the tension created by the threat of the dragons recovering their intellectual powers and dominating nature.Published 8 months ago by Dr. H. Alison
I thought that this book was very good although I did find it a bit confusing, as I had to keep racking my brain to find out who this character was, and why they were doing... Read morePublished 18 months ago by lexi ratings🐎
If you enjoy fantasy epics that challenge you, this series could be for you. Looking for GOT type reading I purchased this, quickly finished it and then purchased the remaining... Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2014 by Walker
Amazon you need to respect your customers - stop abusing your monopoly over Kindle e-book distribution by overcharging. Read morePublished on 3 Dec. 2012 by AJ White
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. Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2012 by Lucinda
I loved this book. Could not put it down. So many twists and turns in the story with multiple characters to get to know and have that love hate relationship. Well worth the read!Published on 23 May 2012 by LB555
The dragons in this book are great! The idea that they really are dangerous beasts, safely drugged into submission, works well and there is a growing sense of menace as one dragon... Read morePublished on 2 April 2012 by The Green Man
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... Read morePublished on 3 Mar. 2012 by Pauline M Ross
The first book of the Memory Of Flame series, set in a fantasy world where the land is divided under the Dragon Kings and Queens and ruled overall by the Speaker Of The Realms. Read morePublished on 17 Oct. 2011 by Eden