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Even the Stones
A young queen must confront her destiny, and overcome the powerful forces arrayed against her
When she is kidnapped by enemy invaders, Marwen of Kamilan must escape her oppressive foe and reclaim her throne. But it will be a fight that will test the very limits of her will, both in an ill-matched war against her former captors, and in the political intrigues that await her in her own land. It is only with the help of a battle hardened soldier, that Marwen finds the strength to face her greatest fears, and discovers that love may be the most dangerous weapon of all.
About Marie Jakober
Marie Jakober first gained international recognition at age 13 with the publication of her poem "The Fairy Queen". Since then she has written five books, including The Mind Gods, and Sandinista, which won the 1985 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. She is a graduate of Carleton University with distinction, and has toured, lectured, and served on numerous SF panels. She lives in Calgary, Canada. [MORE]
|Book of the Year
|Even The Stones was also recommended for consideration of the 2005 James Tiptree Jr. Literary Award.
“At the heart and soul of this fine novel is a complex perception of the roles men and women are forced to play by the rules of gender and a desperately keen sense of the cost of trying to change the roles or the rules. It is a fantasy without wishful thinking, both ruthless and tender, not to be forgotten.“ - Ursula K. LeGuin
"This is a first-rate piece of writing. It's more a story of a gender roles, and the cost of changing them, than a sword and sorcery story. The author does a fine job with the characters, and this is very mych worth reading." - Dead Trees Review
"Even the Stones weaves together warfare, politics, religion, and romance to create a complex and engaging story that reads like the last, heroic flourish of trumpets against the inevitable night." - Dru Pagliassotti
"Even the Stones is a rare gem. Marie Jakober tells an artful and thoughtful story focused firmly in this book, not on plot threads for subsequent volumes. The result is a strong, frank and engaging tale with well developed characters clearly motivated through a theme as old as men and women, birth and inheritance - the pursuit of power. ... Marie Jakober is clear that her work focuses on power and how it shapes the world: the power of gender, wealth, religion or sex, of a queen, a king, or a slave-born soldier. She writes about the power of power to create and destroy through indifference and ignorance. Marie is also honest; Even the Stones reminds us that nothing is as powerful or ceaseless as the pendulum that gives and takes power from us all." - Terry Baker, The The Alien Online
"A vividly fantastic and wonderous sage, featuring a strong-willed heroine." - James Cox, The Midwest Book Review
"It is a novel of mythic scope and profound meaning - and even so, itís a canít-put-it-down page turner about love and mystical marriage." - Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Recommended Books columnist
"This book was beautiful. ... At last a Goddess queen can stand strong in her power without a tragic ending befalling her. Thank you Marie Jakober for not making Marwen's story TOO tragic or too predictable." - J. Beck (Orland, CA)
"Even the Stones is a "powerful [and] absorbing book." - Laurie Thayer (rambles.com review)
"Even a casual reader of fantasy will note the amount of females that write these epics. Ms. Jakober tosses her hat in the arena and doesn't disappoint. "Even The Stones" runs deeper than a typical fantasy novel set in a fantasy realm, with the roles of men and women defined and used to push the plotting along. Indeed, the story itself takes a backseat to the human emotions written, a rare thing in so much of todays fantasy." - Armand Rosamilia, reviewer
"Marie Jakober kisses fantasy fiction on the throat, and gives it a seductive twist. Her novels The Black Chalice (2000) and the recent Even the Stones arenít about battlefield heroics Ė they examine authoritarian religion and the way it serves the patriarchy." - Fast Forward magazine
"For Marie Jakober, it's all about power. Lots of it. ... She writes about the tangles interrelationships because they aren't always apparent in the real world." - Fast Forward magazine
"I wanted to send you a quick note to say that I did finish reading EVEN THE STONES and I absolutely LOVED it. I read it from cover to cover and finished it in about two days. It was engrossing and totally hard to put down. Thank you for recommending that one for me. I am now a fan!" - Nicole Givens Kurtz, EPPIE and Dream Realm Award Finalist-SF
"... a stunning tale of adventure and romance ... a spellbinding epic of courage and passion ... It is an amazingly incisive probe of the psychological and political dynamics of partnership and domination, and in this it is also a parable for our times. It will be a classic, a cherished book passed on from generation to generation." - Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade
"This historical fantasy is about an ancient land, and its young queenís fight for her crown, her freedom and the man she loves. Several years previously, Marwen of Kamilan was kidnapped and forced into a marriage with a heartless lord from the neighboring kingdom of Dravia. With the help of Keri, a warrior/minstrel who is part of a caravan passing through Dravia, Marwen escapes. After several weeks walking through forbidding terrain, they arrive back in Kamilan. Soon after the celebrating stops, the Kamilan Council brings up the subject of Marwen, who is barely 20 years old, marrying and producing an heir to the throne. An unmarried, childless queen is not acceptable, so Marwen reluctantly marries Landis, one of Kamilanís nobles. Itís purely a political marriage, until Marwen produces an heir, when the two go their separate ways. Meantime, Marwen resurrects the ancient, and long-suppressed, religion of the hill queens, leaving the Council aghast.
It gets worse when Dravia sends a military probe into Kamilan. Shadrak is a slaveborn commander of an outpost who has been given permission to train a company of men his way. He has also won Marwenís heart. Shadrak defeats the Dravian attack, but according to the Council, he didnít do it honorably. Shadrak used hit and run, guerrilla tactics which greatly limited the casualties among his men. According to the Council, honorable combat means two armies clashing in an open field, swords and lances flying. Marwen and Shadrak have several late night liaisons, which brings the Council to near-mutiny. The possibility of a half-breed ruling Kamilan is almost too much to bear. But Marwen is not alone. She has Keri, and she has Medwina, priestess of the goddess Jana, and those of her people who keep the old religion.
The proverbial final straw comes when Dravia sends a full-fledged invasion force. There are many casualties on the Kamilan side, but ultimately, with some sorcery help, Shadrak and Kamilan are victorious. Marwen only wants the Dravia forces out of Kamilan, but the Council is shocked that she doesnít conquer Dravia. They only see the possibility of more riches and power for themselves, they donít see that Kamilan would have to go on a permanent war footing. Feeling that Shadrak has somehow bewitched Marwen, a plan is hatched to get rid of Shadrak, permanently. This is a first-rate piece of writing. Itís more a story of gender roles, and the cost of changing them, than a sword and sorcery story. The author does a fine job with the characters, and this is very much worth reading." - Plappen, Shelfari.com