The Standing Dead Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Standing Dead

Osidian, emperor elect, and Carnelian, son of ruling Lord Suth, have been kidnapped and sent to their deaths as slaves. They pass into the hands of tomb robbers then raiders while Carnelian tries to keep injured Osidian alive as they run from their enemies in the Guarded land. Osidian shows some of the talents of Lords of Osrakum and begins to establish a reputation as a warrior amongst the plainsmen who have captured them. Carnelian uses memories of his foster-mother to gain them acceptance within the tribe. Carnelian is content to live in exile, but Osidian plans to recover his birthright by forming an army from the plainsmen. He uses cunning and ruthlessness to pit warrior against warrior, tribe against tribe, until all are united under his command. Carnelian is sickened by his behaviour and the death he brings upon the tribe that accepted them, but has no choice but to follow in his wake as their enemies in the empire realise that they live.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Pearce

Tor, Mar 2003, 27.95, 560 pp.
ISBN: 0312872097

Masters Carnelian and the Emperor elect Osidian are lovers. However, the latter's enemies have slavers kidnap them. The duo is fortunate that the nomadic Ochre tribe rescue them on the dangerous Earthsky. Carnelian, who grew up outside the hedonistic capital of the Three Lands, Osrakum, adapts to the tribe's way of life and quickly becomes assimilated. On the other hand, Osidian is in a depression but also believes these wild wanderers are beneath him and fails to communicate with anyone except his lover.

As Osidian heals in mind and body, he becomes angry with those who betrayed him. He seeks vengeance and realizes this tribe is the first cannon fodder tool to succeed. Carnelian tries to talk him out of it as he enjoys his new lifestyle and just wants to live in peace. However, the charismatic Osidian begins rallying the impressionable young around his cause while Carnelian attempts to stop the rising tide.

As he did in his first book THE CHOSEN of the Stone Dance of the Chameleon trilogy, Ricardo Pinto paints an extremely complex world filled with deep social systems. The varying races and tribes seem so authentic and the Masters come across as the ruling upper caste. Though it helps to read the first novel because the audience will have a greater understanding of the predicament that the lead couple face at the start, fans of violent barbaric fantasy that hides nothing will appreciate the middle endeavor.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Standing Dead

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   overthrowing govt/kingdom War or Invasion    -   Yes Major kinds of combat:    -   hand to hand Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age:    -   20's-30's


Terrain    -   Jungle    -   Desert    -   Mountains    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   during "Tolkien" (fairytime) times Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   explicit references to deaths Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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