This is book number 1 in the The Lotus Kingdoms series.
Hugo Award–winning author Elizabeth Bear returns to her critically acclaimed epic fantasy world of the Eternal Sky with a brand new trilogy.
Best SFF Books 2017—The Guardian
Kirkus Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017
The Verge Recommended Fantasy for 2017
Locus 2017 Recommended Reading List
The Stone in the Skull, the first volume in her new trilogy, takes readers over the dangerous mountain passes of the Steles of the Sky and south into the Lotus Kingdoms.
The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him is The Dead Man, a bitter survivor of the body guard of the deposed Uthman Caliphate, protecting the message and the Gage. They are friends, of a peculiar sort.
They are walking into a dynastic war between the rulers of the shattered bits of a once great Empire.
The Lotus Kingdoms
#1 The Stone in the Skull
The Eternal Sky Trilogy
#1 Range of Ghosts
#2 Shattered Pillars
#3 Steles of the Sky
Elizabeth Bear shares a birthday with Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. This, coupled with a tendency to read the dictionary as a child, doomed her early to penury, intransigence, friendlessness, and the writing of speculative fiction. She was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in central Connecticut with the exception of two years (which she was too young to remember very well) spent in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, in the last house with electricity before the Canadian border.
She's a second-generation Swede, a third-generation Ukrainian, and a third-generation Transylvanian, with some Irish, English, Scots, Cherokee, and German thrown in for leavening. Elizabeth Bear is her real name, but not all of it. Her dogs outweigh her, and she is much beset by her cats.
Bear was the recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2005. She has won two Hugo Awards for her short fiction, a Sturgeon Award, and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. She is the author of the acclaimed Eternal Sky series, the Edda of Burdens series, and coauthor (with Sarah Monette) of the Iskryne series. Bear lives in Brookfield, Massachusetts.
Praise for The Stone in the Skull
“Elizabeth Bear sweeps the reader into a world of ravishing detail.”—Huffington Post
“Amazing worldbuilding, gloriously precise prose, and excellent pacing.”—Tor.com
“The Eternal Sky trilogy is one of the great fantasy epics of the last decade, and Bear triumphantly returns to that setting.”—Library Journal
“Glorious and dramatic.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The plot hews closely to the whole band-of-rogues-assemble-to-fight-stronger-band-of-foes . . . Bear noodles around that trope like a jazz master and takes the story to some interesting places . . .”—Locus
“This is a promising beginning indeed for an epic . . . and it will no doubt be a magnificent journey.”—Booklist
“A panoramic drama that grabs and grips from Page 1 . . . vivid, absorbing, and thrilling.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Clever and beautifully written.”—Elitist Book Reviews
“A thoughtful, richly complex, humane work eloquently told and elegantly constructed.”—Fantasy Literature
“Enchanting.”—The Illustrated Page
“A beautifully written story, truly epic in scope.”—Lynn's Book Blog
Praise for the Eternal Sky trilogy
“Subtle . . . crisp.”—RT Book Reviews Top Pick for Range of Ghosts
“A vivid world.” —Publishers Weekly on Range of Ghosts
“A rousing, artful adventure.”—Asimov's Science Fiction on Shattered Pillars
“Astonishing.”—Booklist on Shattered Pillars
“Bear delivers the thematic complexity, deft worldbuilding, and compelling storytelling we’ve come to expect in this concluding volume of the Eternal Sky trilogy, set in a world inspired by 13th-century Asia and The Arabian Nights.”—Locus on Steles of the Sky
“Dense, gripping, and also entertaining, full of emotion, adventure, loss, and the possibility of hope.”—Tor.com on Steles of the Sky