This fantasy novel that I have been trying to find for the last twenty five years was responsible for turning me onto the fantasy genre in the first place. I desperately want to revisit this book again, as I read it as a wee boy. I don't remember the story too well, but I have always remembered the lasting impression that it gave me. I hope you can help.

This particular fantasy novel was probably written between 1970 to 1990. It's not for kids by any means as it contains gratuitous violence, and sex and it's written so eloquently.


The story takes place in a conventional fantasy realm and centers on a few special young humans (male and female) that are imbued with extraordinary magical gifts. These special individuals are marked by having magical gemstones embedded in various parts of their body. For example, one guy has a red gemstone implanted in his forehead. Another has a sapphire gemstone implanted in the center of her palm. A blue gemstone in the chest, etc.

There's an evil malevolent female character who is trying to track them down and harvest their gemstones for her personal gain. On the outside, this evil female looks and acts like an aristocrat, but her true form is something of a slithery demon with a forked tongue. I remember she uses sexual seduction to trick and murder one of these special humans.

I realize that these are the barest and vaguest of plot details, but that's all I can recall from when I was twelve years old. These gemstone-implanted people are also featured on the book's cover.

  • 4
    This is a great first question, but you could improve it by adding some details about where you read it, and adding a more descriptive title. Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 21:00
  • Kewl, I'll add it to my read list when found.
    – Möoz
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 21:22
  • This is a long shot, but I'll flesh it out as an answer if it sounds right, but could it be The Unlikely Ones by Mary Brown? There are a few characters (mostly animals) but a couple of humans who all had a gemstone implanted, they're on the run and the witch who did it to them is chasing them (I think, it's been a long time and I can't find a good synopsis anywhere)
    – moopet
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 9:41

4 Answers 4


This is another longshot, but might this be one of the books from Simon Hawke's The Wizards series, or maybe even a partially remembered combination of the books?

I don't recall a plot like the one you describe, but the gems embedded in bodies matches near perfectly. There are three main characters:

  • Wyrdrune has an emerald embedded in his forehead

  • Kira has a sapphire embedded in her palm

  • Modred has a ruby embedded in his chest

The gems were originally runestones being auctioned when Wyrdrune and Kira stole them, and they get embedded in the children's bodies when a spell goes wrong. The first book is about the theft of the gems and the attempts of their villainous owner, Sheik Rashid Ilderim Al’Hassan, to get them back. The other nine (or is it ten? lots anyway) books are various adventures of the three protagonists.

The timing just squeaks in because the first book was written in 1987. There is considerable sexual content (including with a female werewolf in the second book!) so that too matches.

However I only read a couple of the books, and that was a long time ago, and I don't remember an aristocratic villainess trying to dig the jewels out of the children's bodies.

  • Oh my.. god. You may just be right. It may just be the book I have been looking for. I'm going to try to find a copy at my local bookstore and confirm. Much thanks
    – Jack T
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 17:33

This may be a longshot, but could this be Dark is the Sun, by Philip José Farmer? It's been years (literally decades) since I read it, so some details are fuzzy... but maybe...

It's not a "traditional" fantasy world, but it's closer to fantasy than our world.

People have "soul eggs" (which I remember seeming a lot like a gem); the plot is driven when the main characters' soul eggs are stolen. The soul eggs can change color (and are used to determine a "proper" mate), but I forget the details.

The soul eggs were being stolen by the "big bad" character... but I honestly can't remember any details at all. (If this bad character is a seductive female, we may be on to something.)

One of the more memorable aspects for me was the plant-centaur-being who joined them on their quest. There was also a young man and young woman (the standard "love interest").

Being a Farmer book, it would have sexual themes in it.

The cover I remember (the one shown on the linked Wikipedia page) does not have any of the soul eggs on it... but it does show the people who had their soul eggs taken. This might conflict with your cover description; it might also not be the only cover...

  • Sadly, no. But I do appreciate your response very much! Props on your avatar. Buffy is probably my favorite show of all time.
    – Jack T
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 22:51

Possibly Broken Sky but it was written in 99. But otherwise it sounds similar. The antagonists are the king and his daughter, the daughter outlaws the gemstones. And the main characters are twins.

  • 1
    Whilst you've given a nice overview this would be a nicer answer if you edited to explain in more detail how it matches the description given in the question. Do you also know if the cover matches?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 9:55

Imperial light? By Mary Corran :)

  • 2
    Could you edit this to explain how it matches the details given in the question I.e. why is this the correct work? Does it have a matching book cover? Does it fit with the date range? Does it fit the overall plot?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 19, 2020 at 8:58

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