The Fire Opal Mechanism

Tor.com. (Gemworld, Bk. 2). Jun. 2019. 199p. ISBN 9781250196545. pap. $14.99. ebk. ISBN 9781250196538. FANTASY
Ania Dem is a librarian at Far Reaches University, fighting to preserve the books in her care as the Pressmen reach her gates. All printed works are being fed to the Great Press, a machine that steals words and knowledge without recourse for those who created them. Ania meets up with young thief Jorit Lee, and together, the two women attempt to escape the Pressmen. They are sent across time via a mysterious clock with a jewel inside. Forced into partnership for their own, and the books’, survival, Ania and Jorit begin to piece together the truth behind the creation of the Great Press, the clock, and the lost history of the magic gems of the Six Kingdoms. At less than 200 pages, this novella is fast paced and the growth of both Ania and Jorit is delightful to follow.
VERDICT This engaging stand-alone sequel to The Jewel and Her Lapidary highlights Wilde’s deft prose and fantastical imagination. Readers will enjoy the intersection of knowledge and freedom to learn twisted into something darker.

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