She was born in poverty, in a dusty village under the equatorial sun. She does not remember her mother, she does not remember her own name, her earliest clear memory is of the day her father sold her to the tall pale man. In the Court of the Pomegranate Tree, where she was taught the ways of a courtesan and the skills of an assassin, she was named Emerald, the precious jewel of the Undying Duke's collection of beauties. She calls herself Green.
The world she inhabits is one of political power and magic, where Gods meddle in the affairs of mortals. At the center of it is the immortal Duke's city of Copper Downs, which controls all the trade on the Storm Sea. Green has made many enemies, and some secret friends, and she has become a very dangerous woman indeed.
Acclaimed author Jay Lake has created a remarkable character in Green and evokes a remarkable world in this novel. Green and her struggle to survive and find her own past will live in the readers mind for a long time.
©2009 Joseph E. Lake, Jr. (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Lively and thought-provoking...Lake effectively anneals steampunk with geo-mechanical magic in an allegorical matrix of empire building and Victorian natural science." ( Publishers Weekly)

2009 Recommended Reading (Locus Magazine)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Beverley on 14-05-10

Good at half the length

If this book had finished half way through, it would have got 4 stars. We had followed the main character through her kidnapping and escape - if it loose ends had been tied up there, the story would have been pretty good.

However, the character now had to discover she was a lesbian and become an assassin for a group of lesbian nuns (for want of a better word). Since she's only 13 this is a little distasteful. The writing also seems to becomes more graphic, gruesome (and tedious) at this point.

The final straw is the narrator's pronounciation - a minor point, but why does somebody with an apparently British accent in all other ways pronounce 'passengers' as 'parssengers', 'passage' as 'parssage' and (for want of an example I can remember) eg 'oddment' as 'orddment'.

I can't see me finishing this.

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Kelly on 16-05-11


I have been highly recommended this audio book, not only did it sound like a plot that would interest me, it was also from an author I hadn't come across before and was keen to give it a go.

I found the plot was trying to be more complicated than it actually was. I kept forgetting that Green in only a Child/Young Adult for the main of this book, as the plot is certainly of a more adult nature.

I found it really odd that the story tends to conclude at just before the half way point. It then goes off on another tangent and one not to my tastes.

This is the first time that I have ever stopped listening to an audio book because it's crude and poorly written charachters. The adult tone doesn't bother me or the lesbian lead, I think it's more the age of the main charchter in relation to this.

It's a shame as this had the promise to be an exciting listen, the suggestion was it would be similar to Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel Legacy, with a deep plot and complicated charachters appealed to me, but it did not live up to the expectations. And if I ever hear the word 'sweet pocket' again.... grrrrr!

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jefferson on 11-02-11

Gods, Cat People, Female Assassins, Whips--

--and Necrolocutors, temples, ships, self-mutilation, violence, love, and more!

The fantasy world that Jay Lake depicts in Green is vivid enough, with gods, myths, different cultures, races, and sentient species. It's a medieval world in which some cultures use some steam and gunpowder, a religious world in which people may become gods and gods may answer prayers or even be killed, a magical world of ghosts and spells to extend life. The themes, concerning the relationship between gods and believers, the mixture of good and evil in human beings, and the difficulty of making the world a better place, are interesting. And Lake has created a strong protagonist in Green, a narrator of conscience and empathy who honestly tells the story of her lonely childhood and youth being trained into a mistress/spy but struggling instead to choose her own path in life. Green abhors the violence she must often use and discovers how difficult it is to act solely for oneself without causing unexpected harm.

The first half of the story is absorbing, as Green details her training in the Pomegranate Court of the Factor's House, but in the last third things get, perhaps, a little too frenzied, fabulous, and divinely influenced. The conclusion ties up the immediate story well enough but also leaves things open for future volumes in Green's autobiography.

Some listeners have objected to the lesbian love that plays a significant (though not overly graphic or frequent) role in the novel. Given Green's education, experiences, and personality, I find it appropriate (and even moving), though her interest in whipping and being whipped seems a bit far-fetched and excrescently kinky.

Katherine Kellgren gives a strong reading, just as she does for Bloody Jack, full of understanding and compassion, modified for different characters, and enhancing the story's exciting, scary, tender, or sad parts. But she has such a distinctive voice that at times I thought "Katherine" rather than "Green."

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Hanako on 11-01-11

Wonderful, Pushing the Envelope

There is nothing more annoying than a protagonist who is whiny, weak and indecisive. This book is none of that. The way a young girl is shoved into an adult world can be unsettling if you are a sensitive person, but this is life on the streets in all its brutal reality.
As for "god possession" and "no such thing as sin", this is Sci-Fi not bible literature, what did you expect?
Its actually a fairly short book, I was hoping for more, but that's how it is with all great stories. The author did a great job of wrapping things up. If you want a long book read Robert Jordan, that will put things in perspective.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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