|Published by Tor Books, a division
of St. Martin's Press
$25.95 ($35.95 CAN)
|READ THE OPENING PAGES OF A RUMOR OF GEMS HERE|
"City and mountains, shape-shifters
and fashion designers, the god of love and the gold of thieves, intrigue,
and supernatural danger, A Rumor of Gems has them all — plus characters
you really want to spend time with. A sophisticated and sensual treat."
"A compelling and original novel full of subtle and sometimes erotic
magic . . . Alasdair and Lucinda are the real gems here, and the city
of Arcato itself places Ellen Steiber in the company of authors such as
M. John Harrison, whose richly imagined cities prove endlessly intriguing."
"Steiber's knowledge of gemstone lore makes for rich and unusual
fantasy background. I hope to see more of the city of Arcato."
"A Rumor of Gems marries the fantastic and the mundane in
a wild, intriguing way. Steiber's characters have complex shadows and
powers, mixed motives and longings. Her sparkling imagination makes this
book a treasure."
"The city of Arcato holds masks and shape-shifters, tricksters and
true love, dragons, and a glittering hoard of amethysts and topaz, rubies,
and moonstones. Steiber weaves her spell with all this and more, to create
a beautiful, dazzling, magical novel."
"Gods, dragons, and jewels all work wonders in Ellen Steiber's
A Rumor of Gems, a savvy, sassy fantasy whose characters swig espresso
and use the same slang you do — which makes her lustrous pearl-and-amethyst-charmed
world all the more credible."
"The port town of Arcato, located in the modern world, experiences a rebirth of magic owing to the appearance of gemstones that confer the power of spells on those who find them. As gods and chaos-bringers throw the city into a panic, a few seemingly random individuals find their lives intertwined as they attempt to makes sense of a world suddenly bereft of reason and logic. YA author Steiber's first novel for adult takes a fresh premise and adds to it a cast of unusual characters and a rich, 'real world' setting that makes the tale both credible and compelling. . . . "
— Library Journal
"A prolific writer of young adult and children's fantasy successfully essays adult fantasy in a character-centered story of daily life and occasional crisis in Arcato, a city ruled by the magic residing in gems that are not mere, passive instruments but volitional entities. Eleven-year-old Michael Fortunato may have blood on his hands as a result of the gem's influence. Lucinda de Francesco wants nothing to do with magic, gems, or gods, but can she avoid them? Alasdair the shaman, on the other hand, actively seeks out the gems to draw on their powers, sometimes with more zeal than caution. Antique dealer Sebastian Keane is actively seeking Lucinda and is willing to take all the help he can get from wherever he can get it. The results of these characters' interactions are complex . . . but told in superior prose. Steiber quite possibly inaugurates a series but, in any event, adds respectably to the fantasy shelves."
". . . featuring an intriguing setting – the enchanted yet tawdry port city of Arcato, in which gods pose as mortals . . . and shape-shifters veer between human and animal forms. . . . The one constant is the jewelry, exquisite gems that possess subtly sentient powers. . . ."
— Publisher's Weekly
"Steiber spins an unusual, contemporary yet timeless fantasy of the city of Arcato, where shrines are everywhere and gods and other beings, from many cultures, walk the street. A strange mood is on the city, not diminished by the rumors of gems turning up in odd places — and the rumors are real. The man Alasdair has an odd affinity with gemstones and scatters them wherever he goes, despite his best efforts to contain them. Lucinda, a fashion designer's assistant, doesn't believe in gods or magic or love, until she gets caught up in a trickster's wiles. Alasdair and Lucinda reluctantly end up working together to stop the dark force threatening Arcato. It's almost a romance — Lucinda and Alasdair both have love-related problems — but this unpredictable novel takes some poignant, painful turns that make it much, much more."
— Carolyn Cushman, Locus Magazine
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