A Rumor of Gems
Ellen Steiber
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A Rumor of Gems

Ellen Steiber
464 pages
June 2005
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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Alasdair came to the city of Arcato to escape, but the gems followed him. He can talk to the gems and use their magical properties, but the stones have a will of their own. Moonstones and rubies begin to appear in coffee cups, people’s shoes, and in all sorts of other odd places, causing rumors to spread through Arcato.

Sebastian, a mysterious shape-shifter, stirs up trouble in Arcato. He appears to be smitten by Lucinda, but she does not trust him after she learns he used a god to get to her. Her doubts about him are cemented after she learns about his nature. Confused and hurt, Lucinda finds herself on a journey to the lost towns.

Eleven-year-old Michael is caught up into trouble when, one night, the gems influence him and he ends up killing another boy. Alasdair tries to assist him, feeling guilty about not having stopped the murder. Michael proves to be the key to a turning point in the novel that ratchets the story up a notch in adventure.

Mysterious gods at play liven up a unique plot, and the creative characters will have you mesmerized from page one. Lucinda is a hard case who just wants to be loved; Alasdair is a quiet soul who finds he is more brave and useful to the world than he ever thought he could be.

The town of Arcato comes alive in the telling. Readers simply want to wander its streets and be a part of it. The perfect mix of contemporary and old world fantasy, anyone could feel at home there.

The colorful writing and perfect pacing make A Rumor of Gems a comfortable but fun read. Its plot is unusual – not strange, but uniquely exquisite with its perfect blend of romance, mystery and fantasy. This proves to be a wonderful new style of fantasy one could definitely get used to. A clever world, interesting characters, and instructive information about gems wrapped in clever fantasy prose leaves this reviewer looking forward to new adult fantasy novels by Ellen Steiber.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Calissa Leigh, 2006

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