Miscellaneous Chatter > Literature

The Stone Dance of the Chameleon


Here's a reading suggestion for you all during this fine new year. :)

This series is a trilogy (consisting on: The Chosen, The Standing Dead and The Third God) written by a Portuguese author, Ricardo Pinto (though the original version is in English - apparently he has lived in the UK since a very young age).
It is set in a world ruled by the (appropriately-named) Masters, who oppress the remainder of humanity and live (mostly) in a citadel, Osrakum, isolated from the rest of the world, ruled by a God Emperor. One of the other ethnic groups of this world, the Plainsmen, must surrender a certain number of their children to become slaves of the Masters every year (this is enforced through an organized system). The Masters also wear masks and have a complicated set of rules that determines who can be masked in whose presence. (That's all I'm going to say on their society - I'd probably do a poor job of explaining it further and you should check it out by yourselves... ;) )
The protagonist is a teenage boy, Carnelian, who is the son and heir of an exiled Master. He has lived his whole life in an island far away from Osrakum (he was an infant at the time of the exile) and has developed a sense of compassion that other Masters lack due to it. The story starts when some of the other Masters unexpectedly leave Osrakum and arrive at the island intending to have Carnelian's father (and Carnelian himself) return with them, as the God Emperor is dying. They have revoked the father's exile so that he can act as He-who-goes-before (a regent of sorts) for the short time they have while the current emperor is still alive, and aid them in making sure the election of the next God Emperor goes their way.

This series has some wonderfully developed world building. The author's website is very much detailed on this matter and should absolutely be checked out (though maybe only after reading the whole series, as there are some spoilers on there).

Oh, and another thing I thought I should mention: this is a low fantasy series, but it includes dinosaurs (not sure how you might feel about that, maybe some of you would be put off by it). That might sound silly and in contrast with the rest of the world, but let me explain: in this world, you have dinosaurs as you might have regular animals in ours. (Honestly, I almost forgot the dinosaurs were there at one point, it's not like their existence is remarkable or anything.) Some are predators to be avoided, like for instance, wolves in our world; some are used as horses would be, etc. It's just part of the world for this story.

Basically: fairly dark story (though you all have read TSA, it's not like it would scare anyone off), low on the fantasy scale (dinosaurs or not...), fantastic worldbuilding. Why not give it a try and add it to your "to read in 2018" list?

The author of this series recently announced that he will be releasing a second edition of the series, divided into seven books instead of three and with the full text reduced by about a quarter.
This might come as good news for anyone interested in reading the series, as it seems to me that it'd be much easier to read it for the first time in its second iteration. :)


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