The Alchemy of Stone

The Alchemy of Stone
By Ekaterina Sedia
ISBN: 0809572842
Prime Books
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Read an excerpt at Fantasy Magazine
Art by David Defigueredo.
Cover design by Stephen H. Segal
The LA Times 2008 Summer Reading List

Read Chapter One

Praise and Reviews

“A gorgeous meditation on what it means to not be human. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this beautiful book, from its robot heroine to the Soul-Smoker and stone gargoyles that watch over the city.” —Justine Larbalestier, author of MAGIC OR MADNESS

“The Alchemy of Stone is beautiful and strong. Sedia presents images of wonder and strangeness to rival the Brothers Quay. She draws human emotion and relationship with profound authority. The Secret History of Moscow marked her as a talent to watch. This one’s better.” —Daniel Abraham, author of The Long Price Quartet

“Ekaterina Sedia has once more brought her stunningly lateral view of the fantastic, this time to THE ALCHEMY OF STONE: a steampunk fantasy of creatures, cities and affairs of the heart. Sedia’s fundamentally non-Western sensibility blends brilliantly with her exquisite prose, sense of character and place.”—Jay Lake, author of MAINSPRING and ESCAPEMENT

“Ekaterina Sedia goes from strength to strength, with THE ALCHEMY OF STONE a worthy follow-up to THE SECRET HISTORY OF MOSCOW. This is richly detailed, steampunkian adventure.”—Jeff VanderMeer, author of SHRIEK: AN AFTERWORD and World Fantasy Award winner

“Strange and smooth, sweet and clever, THE ALCHEMY OF STONE is a deeply engaging clockwork fable with real mechanical heart.” —Cherie Priest, author of NOT FLESH NOR FEATHERS and DREADFUL SKIN

“Sedia’s evocative third novel, a steampunk fable about the price of industrial development, deliberately skewers familiar ideas, leaving readers to reach their own conclusions about the proper balance of tradition and progress and what it means to be alive.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“THE ALCHEMY OF STONE may be ostensibly rooted in genre fiction and indeed be quite appealing to the genre fiction audience . . . But such is the alchemy of literary invention that it’s quite clear [it] explores our world within the confines of a world created with language alone.” —Agony Column

“Sedia’s novel captures the surreal strangeness of a city whose power structure is about to be toppled, and her focus on Mattie’s relationship with her creator allows her to grapple with the tiny power struggles inherent in all human relationships.”—io9

“Blessed with exquisite prose, an extraordinary imagination, smarts and wonderful storytelling skills… [R]ead THE ALCHEMY OF STONE, a magnificent tale of change, betrayal and enchantment, and discover for yourself the magic of Ekaterina Sedia” —Fantasy Book Critic

“Even with all the allegories ignored, THE ALCHEMY OF STONE is an enjoyable read that never gets boring thanks to the constant drama and conflict. If you want something different in your fantasy or simply looking for a good read, [it] is highly recommended.” —Bibliophile Stalker

“Sedia’s novel has a steady pace and aims for the ‘slice of life’ feel of the fantasy books of Ursula LeGuin’s TEHANU or any of Patricia McKillip’s work. [T]he reader sees the world mostly through Mattie’s eyes, and feels her terrible loneliness. She’s a misfit toy in a strange world.” —FantasyBookSpot