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The Adamantine Palace

(The Memory of Flames #1)

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,949 ratings  ·  183 reviews
One man wants to rule the wealthy Empire. He is ready to poison the king as he did his father, murder his lover and bed her daughter. Is he fit to be king? Unknown to him, a dragon is on the loose. Returned to full intelligence and fury, it could wreak havoc. Also, actions of an unscrupulous mercenary may loose hundreds of dragons.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 19th 2009 by Gollancz
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3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,949 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Aug 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-as-an-adult
Are you tired of never-ending fantasy series where nothing ever happens? Have you been hoping someone would write a fantasy story with less character development and minimal details of the world in which the story takes place? Then take heart, because your wish has come true. In The Adamantine Palace things never stop happening. A major character is killed off in the prologue. Every chapter, indeed every paragraph is full of scheming and double crossing; back-stabbing and screaming; dragons and ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I'll keep this brief as I am waiting for a plane to take off.
A pretty good read really. For easy to follow and the characters are fun for the most part. It's like 'how to train your Dragon' for adults.
The main character is but if a self centred git, A princess who is a tomboy dragon loving tough girl who you just know is going to end up with the Prince Git.
Basically Dragons are raised from the egg and given secret potions to keep them docile and subservient. But one escapes and goes rogue and
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I adored it.

This is the kind of book that I’m always searching for. A book with awesome badass sentient dragons. That’s all I need in a book and this one definitely delivers.

Thre is definitely more politics in this novel than action scenes but that is not a bad thing. There are very few likeable characters in this book but Stephen Deas has the ability to ensure you do not need to like them to want to read about them. In fact I found that the morally corrupt characters were far
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Drugged dragons, people who played way too much Forgotten Realms in high school
How can you love fantasy and not like dragons? They're kind of like vampires: everybody uses them, everybody who wants to make their mark on the genre tries to come up with a clever new way to use them, and usually they fail, so as a fantasy reader, you're inclined to roll your eyes at any book with a dragon on the cover. And yet, dragons are still pretty damn cool, when they're done right.

The Adamantine Palace is a mediocre effort in the field. It's not awful, like anything with "Dragonlance" i
Feb 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any fantasy fan who wants fresh plots
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
The Adamantine Palace is the prize that one prince seeks and through all manner of realm craft, diabolical planning, love craft, cruelty, potions and poisons he schemes his way throughout the novel to seize his price. Meanwhile, Snow, a dragon, which was to be a gift for the prince from Queen Shakiza was attacked by a party of dragonriders and escaped into the wilderness with her Scale, a man charged with watching over her from birth. Unknown to both however, the dragons are drugged by the alche ...more
Brandon Zarzyczny
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have mixed feelings regarding this book. While there are a lot of interesting concepts, and it's written well, I really didn't care about any of the characters. The book isn't too long, yet it took me awhile to read it, as it really wasn't a page turner. There are definitely interesting characters, but none of them are likable, even as villains. There also isn't too much of an arcing story, it's basically just a political power struggle. Also, there are dragons. So, I'm really not sure if I wa ...more
Simcha Lazarus
Sep 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It’s been many years since I last read a book featuring dragons because for some reason dragons just don’t appeal to me now as much as they did when I was younger. But after reading The Adamantine Palace I found myself wondering what I might have been missing out on over the years because this books was really fantastic. The Adamantine Palace is one of those books that remind me of why I was attracted to fantasy in the first place, though it is rather more sophisticated than those fantasy books ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Babcock
I can’t tell if this is a compliment or criticism, so I’ll just put it out here and let you decide: I spent most of this book trying to cast different actors from Game of Thrones to play the characters in this book. The similarities are just so glaring—not that I’m saying The Adamantine Palace is in any way derivative of A Song of Ice and Fire. Its world and plot and characters are entirely its own, and Stephen Deas definitely has some interesting ideas cooking here. But the overall tenor of the ...more
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas
Published by Gollancz, March 2009 (ARC copy received)
350 pages
ISBN: 9780575083738

Ah, Dragons! Otherworldly, yet surprisingly comforting.

So here we have a new book from a new writer that is pretty much about a medieval-style world with dragons. It’s probably a little quirky in that the title of the book doesn’t really reveal it is about dragons (though I suspect the cover will.) Although the Palace and its many eyries are an important setting for the novel, it
Книжни Криле
В началото на май ме налегна остра фентъзи жажда. Огледах се с какво да я утоля и... веднага се спрях на сагата „Спомен за пламъци” на Стивън Диас и „Студио Арт Лайн”. „Елмазеният дворец” е първият роман от поредицата, а красивата му корица обещава приказен свят на властни аристократи и люспести, достолепни дракони! Прочетете ревюто на "Книжни Криле":
Jun 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Realms are a manipulative place. Dragons are being manipulated through the form of potions to serve humans as glorified war horses. Speakers are manipulated to pick their successor. Sell swords are manipulated into embroiling themselves in wars that will easily cause their deaths. The Realms are not a soft place to live, in this, the first of a trilogy written by Stephen Deas.

Let's say this right off the bat: some fantasy novels currently fool themselves into being serious literary fiction.
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
There was very little that I really liked about this book, and rather a lot that I absolutely hated. Still, I can't give it one star because there's at least something about it that's interesting.

The Daily Telegraph's comment of "Dragons are restored to all their scaly, fire-breathing glory" just makes me wonder if anyone who writes for that paper has actually read much fantasy at all. The dragons are indeed fearsome and their actions and appearances are fairly well-done...albeit in a rather pri
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All fantasy lovers
The power of the Realms depends on its dragons. Jealously guarded, nurtured by their handlers, ridden by the aristocracy, they are bred for hunting and for war. But only the alchemists and the mysterious liquid they administer to the dragons stand between the Realms and disaster. For without the liquid, the dragons would return to their natural fury-- unbiddable, terrifying, strong, and able to destroy an entire army and to burn a kingdom to ashes.

Prince Jehal is thinking of other things. Of pow
Jessica Strider
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a novel full of plots, poison and dragons. Part of the fun of the novel is trying to figure out who is betraying whom and why. With some characters double crossing their partners, it's not clear until the very end what everyone's goals are.

Though all of the characters had logical reasons for their actions, I found it hard to like any of them and cheer them towards their goals. There was no 'good' character. Just a bunch of people trying to achieve something. Normally that would kill a bo
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
After watching The Lord of the Rings series in a massive movie marathon, I was inspired to introduce some fantasy books to my repertoire. The Adamantine Palace is a story of dragons and humans living together in a different world consisting of many Queens and Kings of the different realms.

After a somewhat slow start, the book took an exciting turn when one of the dragons starts communicating with the humans. The story really picks up here, and I thoroughly enjoyed the drama, conflict and the sec

Fun and page turner where the main heroes are a traitorous and murderous Prince who has a way with Queens and Princesses and a mercenary who is willing to help a renegade dragon "liberate" the drugged dragons at the possible cost of civilization itself.

The seemingly straight-up characters - though with dark secrets of their own - are an easy target for manipulations, but it's just book one.

With an extra hundred pages this novel would have stood very high among the fantasies of 09; this way it
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the First Law series
Recommended to Lance by: Baby Adam
Shelves: adam, fantasy, series, 2017
"We are alike. We both miss our kind in the same way. We miss what they could be, or should be, not what they truly are."

The Adamantine Palace is a great set-up for an pocket court intrigue with enough characters to keep track of in your working-memory. Let's see, we've got Jehal (in no way similar to his doppleganger from the First Law series Jezzle), who is the obligatory tyrannical schemer. "'How could anyone not covet it? I simply don't understand.'" Then there's his conspirator-cum-nemesis
Pauline Ross
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Well, this is a whole heap of rip-roaring fun and no mistake. It's not profound, the characters are all selfish and devious bastards, the world-building is a bit flat and the writing is capable if not particularly memorable, but - what a cracking story. Of course, it's the dragons who make it. I've heard it said that dragons are a bit out of favour these days, and publishers are avoiding them. Maybe so, but I for one just love them, and these dragons are terrific - big, powerful monsters, just l ...more
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, sf-2010
In _The Adamantine Palace_, scheming nobles lie, cheat, spy, steal, and kill to improve their social position. Their plans are elaborate and full of surprises, and how they play out constitutes the main thread or "A" plot of the story.

The nobles' actual power in the world is based on their control of dragons. They breed dragons, ride dragons, fight on dragons, and decide who else gets to use dragons. The "B" plot of the story focuses on a growing threat to their exclusive access to dragons, and
Lynda Bester
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 04, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The dragons in this book are not cuddly creatures. In fact, they think of humans as bite-sized snacks most of the time. But still, they are in service to the various dragon kings and queens that populate this tale only because they've been drugged since birth and taught to obey their dragon riders. But if a dragon were to say, go off its meds...? That would be bad. Much of the book has various nobles of the realms jockeying for power and being treacherous. Some other characters are just trying t ...more
Jul 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
c2009. Oh dear. This was a dreaded DNF. The synopsis attracted me - who can resist dragons for Heavens Sake. Sadly, I found the multiple POVs disjointed, little or no world building, one dimensional characters with too many secrets in the offing. Half way through the book, when other reviewers have mentioned that the story got going, I found to be inevitable and plodding. At this point, I did not care for any of the characters either the good ones or the bad ones. Joe Abercrombie's quote is "A f ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Fantasy readers can be a bit, well, snooty about how they take their dragons (fans are rarely ambivalent about the works of George R. R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, and Naomi Novik, for instance), and Stephen Deas takes a chance by making those most misunderstood of fantasy elements the focus of his debut novel. Although Deas gives his imagination free rein in The Adamantine Palace and his short chapters (70 in a relatively brief book) keep things moving, critics call into question his world-buildin

Baby Adam
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: waste-of-paper
Maybe I'm a little biased, having just finished David Anthony Durham's Acacia trilogy, where even minor characters have a personality and nuance and subtlety, but I had to set this one aside less than 40 pages in. I really just don't need to be beat over the head repeatedly with what type of person the character-of-the-moment is. We get it....he's ruthless. We get it....SHE'S ruthless.

Kind of sad, given all the glowing praise, but reading a few of the not-so-glowing reviews makes me think I made
Crystal Anderson
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Not a bad dragon book, but not a great one either. It is not near the levels of Anne McCaffrey's Pern or Naomi Novik's Temeraire series which are, in my opinion, the highest echelons of dragon fantasy. I found it a bit slow at times and similar to Game of Thrones in the focus on politics, treachery, and human power struggles with all the "players" oblivious to the impending, inevitable, all consuming danger to all of mankind.
harlequin {Stephanie}
Mar 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
got to around 15%. Some of the characters seem intriguing, but the writer won't stay put long enough for anything more than a brief glimpse. The writing is easy enough to follow save for the giant holes. This reads similar to a rough first draft.

I might have continued despite all that, but i can't forgive a book about dragons that doesn't provide the imagery. They are not even described, it's just dragon.
Sep 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
With this fast-paced story, full of plot twists and surprises, set in a world of dragons but ruled by kings and queens who have a full-time job of political scheming and manipulating each other, S. Deas puts himself in the league of major authors as Martin and Abercrombie. Very recommended!

Rating: 4 stars
Един дракон ще се пробуди от своя сън...
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Stephen Deas is an engineer in the aerospace industry, working on communications and imaging technology in the defence sector. He is married with two children and lives near Writtle in Essex.

Also writes as Nathan Hawke and S.J. Deas.

Other books in the series

The Memory of Flames (7 books)
  • The King of the Crags (The Memory of Flames, #2)
  • The Order of the Scales (The Memory of Flames, #3)
  • The Black Mausoleum (The Memory of Flames, #4)
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“They'd tried, him and Snow. They'd tried and they'd failed, and that felt so much better than not having tried at all.” 5 likes
“He stared out across the lake. And suddenly he felt the fire and iron of her presence, a moment before the water began to churn.
Little One Kemir, I am hungry.
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