On the Horizon – the stone in the skull (Elizabeth Bear)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

the stone in the skull (Elizabeth Bear)

Title: the stone and the skull

Author: Elizabeth Bear

Publisher: Macmillian-Tor/Forge

Publication Date: TOMORROW!! (hardback/e-book)

ISBN: 978-0765380135

Source: NetGalley


The first and only book I have read up to this point by Elizabeth Bear was karen memory way back in the days before I had a blog.  And I adored it.  So when I heard she was releasing the first book in a new trilogy I just had to have it.  I starting reading this one in me bunk as day was turning to dusk and I didn’t finish it until night was turning into dawn.  No sleep for me!  But it was so worth it.  The book completely and utterly fit me mood in that moment.  I do so love when that happens.

The story starts out with two people in a caravan trying to get to their destination in order to deliver the message of utmost importance entrusted to them.  One is a brass automaton who once was human.  The other is a human called the Dead Man who was a body guard for a ruler who no longer exists.  I adored their friendship.  Later add in an odd priest and many highly unique strong female rulers.  Plus light politics, intrigue and fantastic character relationships.

The beginning was an explosive entry into the world and while the pace slowed a little after that, I was obviously engrossed.  The world building is fantastic, the characters are extremely diverse, and I couldn’t guess many of the plot twists.  The relationships between characters stood out for me and I loved getting further hints into backstories and motivations as I read.  The only small quibble that I had was there were some insta-lust-ish relationships and a sex scene that was rather abrupt and unnecessary.  I didn’t hate it but would have preferred these things to have been removed or handled differently.  That said I would recommend this book to fantasy readers and am keeping details of plot on the down low so readers can make their own journeys into the Lotus Kingdoms.  I certainly will be reading the next book in the trilogy.  I just don’t want to have to wait so long.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!

Netgalley’s website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the author’s website go to:

Elizabeth Bear – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the stone in the skull – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

12 thoughts on “On the Horizon – the stone in the skull (Elizabeth Bear)

  1. For some reason I don’t quite understand – I was under the impression that I’d read more of this author – until I came across your helpful list and realised that I have only read Ancestral Night, which absolutely blew me away. So I am going to work my way through her back catalogue. Thank you for your helpful review, Cap!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved ancestral night and was super excited to get a copy of the next in the series in eArc form. It doesn’t come out until October and I have a list of other commitments before then. But man, am I looking forward to it. Check machine out on NetGalley if ye haven’t already.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the tip, Cap! I did scamper across immediately – but I think I’m going to do what I did with Ancestral Night – I’m going to wait until it comes out and buy the audiobook and listen to it… I enjoyed listening to the first book SO MUCH – I’m looking forward to doing it again:))


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