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Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear

Bone and Jewel Creatures (edition 2010)

by Elizabeth Bear

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1338133,321 (3.93)10
Title:Bone and Jewel Creatures
Authors:Elizabeth Bear
Info:Subterranean Press (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 133 pages
Collections:Your library

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Bone and Jewel Creatures by Elizabeth Bear

  1. 00
    Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Necromancy and bones are central themes that run through these two stories, as well as hyenas and heroines who can communicate with animals.

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Bijou the Artificer (her craft name), a 96-year-old wizard, creates the title Artifices of Bone and Jewel Creatures. Bijou is a follower (as much as she follows any god), of the goddess Kaalah, the Lady of Moths, goddess of transformations and borderlines. Given what she meakes, it's no wonder that Bijou follows a goddss to whom the moth, scarabs, bottle-green blowflies, and jackals are sacred. Her oldest surviving Artifice is Ambrosias, a giant centipede, whom she made 70 years ago.

Bijou has prospered considerably since she became a wizard of Messaline, city of jackals, 80 years ago. She lives alone except for her Artifices, the ones she didn't make for others. Bijou hasn't had a man since Kaulas the Necromancer dumped her for a foreign sorceress. Still, Bijou reared Kaulas' son, who grew up to be Brazen the Enchanter.

Brazen never knew his biological mother. Bijou is his mother in all that matters. He gives her the love and respect he denies his father. Kaulas has never forgiven Bijou for this. Instead of trying to win his son's affection and respect in legitimate ways, the evil Kaulas has hatched a nasty plot.

A feral child, reared by jackals, is the first victim we meet. She's only six or seven years old. Bijou speculates that the child's mother exposed her because she was born with a deformed hand. That hand is suffering from a creeping necrosis. Bijou can't save it, but she might be able to save the child.

Bijou names the girl Emeraude. Part of this novella is from Emeraude's point of view. She considers herself a jackal cub and longs to return to her pack. In the meantime, she learns to trust Bijou and her Artifices.

We are given enough detail to understand the motives of the main characters as well as the character of the city they live in. Kaulas doesn't appear in many of the pages, but when he does, he proves to be even worse than his former lover and his son thought he was.

The author does a good job of portraying a feral child. I wonder how Emeraude's future turned out. ( )
  JalenV | Nov 30, 2014 |
I've sat on this novella for a while. I tend to do that with novellas and I just wait until I want to read an entire story in one sitting but don't want to commit a lot of time to it. I'm happy to say that I can read more about this universe since it is set in the same world as the Eternal Sky series. Now this means I will have to start reading it in my spare time.

The story is set in a world of magic and the beginning of a wizard war in the city. The necromancer is making a bid for power over the other wizards. Bijou is brought a feral child by her old apprentice and she creates a hand out of bone and jewels to replace the infected one that had to be removed. Her home is filled with the magical bone creatures that serve her and she creates more of them for her customers. In the space of a few pages you find out how the city politics work and a lot of history between the wizards. A good read and I'm glad there is more for me to read as well. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
Amazon preorder
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Bone and Jewel Creatures is a lovely little novella - a bit short on plot, but long on inventiveness and full of delightful, mostly non-human characters. (The feral child who thinks she's a jackal is excellent.)

No complaints, and I'm looking forward to reading more from her. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
This is a jewel of a book. Ms. Bear creates a whole world full of well rounded characters that you learn to love. The whole idea of creating creatures from bones, wire, jewels and a bit of magic is worth the read and then there is a whole rich story about creating a family for yourself and passing down your knowledge. It that was very satisfying to me. Normally I stay away from short stories and novellas because they seem like an idea that needs to be fleshed out. This one is finely crafted and perfect. I will be thinking about this one for a long time. ( )
  glitrbug | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Bearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Desert Isle Design, LLCCover & interior designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manzieri, MaurizioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Bijou's fingers angled from her palms as if someone had bent them aside under great heat and pressure.
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Bijou the Artificer has been a wizard of Messaline for eighty years, building her servants from precious scraps, and now she is ready to rest. But a former apprentice brings her a child poisoned by a sorcerous infection, the first sign that Kaulas the Necromancer--Bijou's old nemesis and love--is unleashing a reeking half-death on the City of Jackals.… (more)

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