Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ekaterina Sedia's "The Alchemy of Stone"

Ekaterina Sedia's is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Secret History of Moscow.

In her new novel, The Alchemy of Stone, "Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets-secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart ... literally."

Sedia applied the “Page 99 Test” to the new book and reported the following:
This is page 99 of the ARC of The Alchemy of Stone. It is shockingly representative of the book, because this paragraph serves to illuminate the ambivalent relationship between Mattie, the intelligent automaton, and her creator Loharri. Here it is, in a nutshell:

She realized that her feet, of their own volition, were taking her to Loharri’s house. It was only natural, she supposed—she passed this market so many times, up the slight incline of the ancient hill eroded almost to nothing, to the white house almost hidden by overgrown rose bushes. Loharri paid little mind to the plants now that Mattie who had planted them wasn’t there to take care of the succulent green growth that seemed to become more audacious with every passing year. Ten years since she first planted the roses, and now they were taking over, erecting themselves into a formidable hedge. The first pale and red blooms studded the thorny branches,
a decoy of beauty hiding their murderous intentions. Mattie imagined that one day the plants would take over the house and bury Loharri within ... she could almost live with this thought, if it weren’t for the key he wore around his neck.
Learn more about the book and author at Ekaterina Sedia's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue