Tag Archives: Steampunk

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

Overview
The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, #1) by Colleen Gleason

Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Author: Colleen Gleason
Series: Stoker & Holmes #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Historical fiction, Steampunk, Time travel
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: I couldn’t imagine what it would be like not to have any adults about, meddling in my daily life.

Synopsis

“Tonight, I ask, on behalf of Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales: will you do what no other young women are called to do, and place your lives and honor at the feet of your country?”

Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood, so to speak. And when two young society girls disappear – one dead, one missing – there’s no one more qualified to investigate. Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve a murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The pressure is on and the stakes are high – if Stoker and Holmes don’t figure out why London’s finest sixteen-year-old women are in danger, they’ll become the next victims.

Thoughts

This is one of those books that’s been on my wish list for ages – I finally managed to find a second-hand copy. And, from the very moment I received it… I was kind of desperate to read it. Turns out that my instincts were correct. This book is amazing. I love how it takes elements of steampunk, historical fiction and two very well-known literary figures to create an amazing storyline.

Having read both Dracula and Sherlock Holmes, I was intrigued by the idea of Stoker & Holmes as a team. What I didn’t expect was Irene Adler appearing at the very beginning of this story. That somehow, Gleason would manage to incorporate some of the best aspects of the original classics, without making it all feel like a total repeat. There was a great sense of fun and uniqueness that swept me away and left me smiling very happily as I dived further and further into this amazing world that Gleason has created.

Although this was a steampunk, this story had very much a cozy mystery feeling to it. I’m not quite sold on it sitting upon that shelf, but there is definitely that kind of feel to it. This story makes you constantly wonder who the culprit is. And you wonder how the women are going missing and why. But, you don’t really get that graphic, horror feeling that you would get from an actual mystery or thriller. You also get the fast-paced adventure feel of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

I loved this novel from beginning to end. It was fun and filled with a great setting. The mix of steampunk and historical / literary fiction worked brilliantly together. Then, there is the great characterisation of the two girls. Taking some of the character points from Holmes and Dracula, but spinning them into their own women who are capable of being strong and independent. I can’t wait to see how much further this story takes me and, ultimately, who the Big Baddy is.

<- More Colleen GleasonThe Spiritglass Charade ->

Image source: Goodreads

Ice and Embers by Melanie Karsak

Overview
Ice and Embers by Melanie Karsak

Title: Ice and Embers: Steampunk Snow Queen
Author: Melanie Karsak
Series: Steampunk Fairytales #2
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Steampunk
Dates read: 19th – 29th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Clockpunk Press
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: “You’re very kind.”

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Synopsis

When actress Elyse McKenna fell in love with Lord John Waldegrave, she was prepared to keep their liaison secret. What she wasn’t’ ready for was how her newfound love would rock her relationship with her dearest friend, Doctor Kai Murray.

With the 1814 London Frost Fair in full swing, Elyse and her troupe at the Ice House Theatre find themselves at the heart of the excitement on the frozen Thames. But when an exotic ship captain, whose vessel is trapped in the ice, turns her attention to Kai, everything Elyse thought she knew about her feelings for her old friend gets flipped upside down.

While the Ice House Theatre’s production of A Midwinter Night’s Dream thrills the London crowd, Elyse’s life begins to take on a distinctly Shakespearean turn.

Elyse must find a way to discover the truth about the captain, Kai, John, and her own feelings if she hopes to escape the Thames with her heart intact.

Ice and Embers is a retelling of the classic Snow Queen fairy tale set in Regency London.

Thoughts

I must admit that The Snow Queen is one of my all time favourite fairy tales. Which meant that a steampunk adaptation of it was immediately going to draw me in. Particularly when the other two adaptations I’ve read by Karsak (Curiouser and Curiouser and Wolves and Daggers) were just so damn good. And you know what? This didn’t disappoint. It was fantastic and wonderful and did absolute justice to the original fairy tale (thank goodness).

Although the original fairy tale focuses on two children, I loved that Karsak bought this into adulthood. It wasn’t necessarily sexual (although there were moments of that), but Elyse’s battle and journey was that little bit more intense and serious because she was an adult. That, and the fact that it was partnered with Shakespeare, although I probably didn’t pick up on all of the references because I’m a little bit “eh” about The Bard. It was all very well done and completely seamlessly executed.

It may have taken me a bit over a week to read this novel, but the majority of it I actually read in one night. A night when there were thunderstorms overhead and the rain beating down on my tin roof. Which was an absolutely perfect setting for the Frost Fair on the frozen river Thames. Something about the winter setting and my own winter nest was really nice and fun. Cuddling up beneath my blanket while listening to the rain pour down and having my heart beat alongside Elyse’s… it was something very beautiful and thematic. Or at least, my fanciful heart felt so.

This doesn’t have as much of a steampunk feel as Curiouser and Curiouser. It’s a little more a regency feel with a few dashes of steampunk thrown in. Yet, I liked it. It was a nice way to show different classes and people within the same social setting and whilst I loved the Bandersnatch, I don’t think Elyse would have been so suited with so much machinery around her in her adventures…

<- Curiouser and CuriouserBeauty and Beastly ->

Image source: Goodreads

Madam Damnable’s Sewing Circle by Elizabeth Bear

Overview
Image result for dead man's hand book cover

Title: Madam Damnable’s Sewing Circle
Author: Elizabeth Bear
In: Dead Man’s Hand (John Joseph Adams)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Steampunk, Strong women, Weird western
Dates read: 30th September 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Titan Books
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: Go on.

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Synopsis

In a parlour that offers services to those willing to pay, there are a certain set of rules. Ones which, if broken, can have some damnable consequences.

Thoughts

This short story was a lot of fun. Mostly because it was filled with a lot of blatantly obvious innuendos which had me giggling a little to myself. I’m a big fan of the subtle, but sometimes, it’s great to be… not so subtle. Specifically when you’re dealing with a story that is talking about a saloon…

There’s not many prostitute stories out there. Even fewer that are lighthearted and positive. It was exactly the kind of tale that I love. And, since I’ve now read a few of Elizabeth Bear’s short stories… it’s made me want to see what she can do in a full length novel… more books for my ever growing wishlist. Yay!

The only thing that I didn’t like about this short story… it ended. And now I’m sitting around, wondering where I can read more Elizabeth Bear and enjoy more of her unique and fun style of writing…

<- Alvin and the Apple TreeStrong Medicine ->

Image source: Amazon

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Overview
Ink and Bone, Novels of the Great Library : Book 1 by Rachel Caine |  9780749017224 | Booktopia

Title: Ink and Bone
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Great Library #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Dystopia, Historical fiction, Steampunk
Dates read: 19th August – 5th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: You’d do well to spot the danger quickly.

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Synopsis

Knowledge is power. Power corrupts.

In a world where the ancient Great Library of Alexandria was never destroyed, knowledge now rules the world: freely available, but strictly controlled. Owning private books is a crime.

Jess Brightwell is the son of a black market book smuggler, sent to the Library to compete for a position as a scholar . . . but even as he forms friendships and finds his true gifts, he begins to unearth the dark secrets of the greatest, most revered institution in the world.

Those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn. . . .

Thoughts

I absolutely loved the foundational idea of this story – that knowledge is power. But, it takes it that little bit further – power always corrupts. So, in the instance of the world of The Great Library, knowledge and books = power = corruption. It’s a fantastic idea for a series and an idea which drew me in from the very beginning of the story. It was powerful, brilliant and just all around wonderful.

I didn’t connect to Jess as a lead character immediately, which sometimes happens when I read a book series. But I did eventually get there. And then all I could do was hope for the best for him. And I spent the whole time trying to figure out who was going to do the poor boy the most damage – his family, the library, his mentors, his peers…. The whole story was filled with potential pitfalls and warrens for Jess and once I felt a little in love with him, I was completely immersed in making sure he didn’t fall flat on his face.

I love how each chapter had a short excerpt from letters or correspondences written – it added a whole heap of context to the story that I would have missed otherwise. Not only with the corruption and secrets, but these excerpts helped me see into Wolfe’s history. It’s amazing, complex and beautifully intense. I absolutely adored that not only are you constantly worried about Jess, but you are also wondering what is happening with Wolfe and who is out to get him too… it was a wonderful and beautiful way to tell a story that has so many glorious twists and turns…

The plight of the Obscurists and Morgan completely broke my heart. It was seriously twisted and tragic. And this, more than anything else, makes me want to read the next book in the series as soon as I feasibly can. (Feasibly here means as soon as I have money). I loved this novel and can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

<- More Rachel CainePaper and Fire ->

Image source: Booktopia

Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Overview
Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Title: Ink, Iron, and Glass
Author: Gwendolyn Clare
Series: Ink, Iron, and Glass #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Historical fiction, Steampunk, Young adult
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Square Fish
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: So, that left only one option available to her: she would have to scribe a laboratory for herself.

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Synopsis

Our best weapons are words.

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother – a noted scriptologist – constantly alters and expands their reality.

But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology – and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of thse fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created – and only she can stop it.

Thoughts

Wow. This was just… wow. And I don’t even remember when I bought it. Or why I didn’t read it straight away. Because… seriously… wow. This was awesome, powerful and brilliant. It was filled with all of those wonderful steampunk moments, and the aspects of young adult stories that I already know that I love. The fact that it is based in historical Italy, instead of Victorian London like many steampunk stories… that just added to the feeling of “wow”. I should really find a better word, but this one just seems to work so well…

One of my favourite things about this novel is probably just how powerful Elsa is. Most of my books feature a female lead who is powerful. But there is something so much… extra about her. Something which definitely drew me in from the very beginning. Add that to the creation of different worlds and realities… and the access to these realities is through a portal in a book… I found this to be one of my favourite worlds that have been built in a long time. There was something so eerily and beautifully familiar about all of it… whilst being completely new and refreshing.

I love that there are three main affinities for the “mad children”. And one of those is Alchemy… I’m still a little vague as to exactly what alchemy encompasses. But I do love that Skandar is the creation of one such “mad boy”. He may be my favourite, quirkiest creature yet. Definitely the most unique, a squidlike cuddle monster who can also attack and kill others… I may be a little ghoulish and blood-thirsty. But it was an idea and execution that I particularly enjoyed. And it kind of helped to make some of the more serious moments… less serious.

Leo and Elsa are a great couple in this. I love the way they fall for each other and the constant banter that they have. Their histories are intertwined and their futures even more so. And although there are moments in which you’re not entirely sure if they’re going to actually make it… you really just can’t help but hope for the best. Or at least, that’s what I’m hanging out for in the next book… when I have enough money to actually buy the next book…

<- More Gwendolyn ClareMist, Metal, and Ash ->

Image source: Goodreads

Wolves and Daggers by Melanie Karsak

Overview
Wolves and Daggers by Melanie Karsak

Title: Wolves and Daggers
Author: Melanie Karsak
Series: Steampunk Red Riding Hood #1
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Fairy tales, Retellings, Steampunk, Werewolves
Dates read: 25th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Clockpunk Press
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Sitting outside the hangar were two autos that I recognized from the warehouse night before.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Who’s afraid of the big, bad werewolf?

When London’s brightest tinkers and alchemists come up missing, Red Cape Society Agent Clemeny Louvel is on the case.

To help her get the problem in hand, Queen Victoria assigns her a temporary partner—a werewolf with a knightly history and a tendency to be far too flirtatious for either of their good. Can she trust him to help her chase down the monsters they’re hunting?

Wolves and Daggers is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale set in Melanie Karsak’s bestselling steampunk universe.

Thoughts

This really wasn’t quite what I was expecting from a Red Riding Hood retelling. It was great. It was unique. And it was completely unexpected. Which is probably what I enjoyed so much about it. I can see how the entire series will unfold as an overall retelling, rather than just this one story. There are so many aspects to the original fairy tale that just weren’t in this retelling, and I can’t wait to see how Karsak continues to weave Red Riding Hood into her wonderful world of steampunk.

One of the things that I love about this author is her ability to write steampunk retellings in a way that makes you feel really reminiscent of the original fairy tales. But also, to make an entirely new and unique story line. There are certain aspects which are seriously familiar, but there are so many completely new aspects which draw you in and leave you feeling happy, compelled and intrigued. In the case of Red Riding Hood, the wolves are werewolves and “Little Red” is a werewolf hunter.

I absolutely can’t wait to read more about “Little Red” and Sir Richard and all of the hunting and controlling of the werewolves that they do. There is just something fun and a little entertaining about Karsak’s take on such a common and well known fairy tale. I also love that although it is originally a French fairy tale, the story and the characters are just oh-so-British. It added a great extra layer to the adventure of Little Red and the Victorian steampunk setting.

It’s kind of impossible not to love this book – it has werewolves, hunting and a great steampunk setting. Not to mention the fact that it’s a world of fairy tales. Not quite like you remember them, but still kind of amazing and really, really fun. I absolutely adored this novel and can’t wait until I have the money to buy the rest of the series!

<- More Melanie KarsakAlphas and Airships ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer

Overview
The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer

Title: The Last Necromancer
Author: C.J. Archer
Series: The Ministry of Curiosities #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Historical fiction, Paranormal fantasy, Steampunk
Dates read: 23rd – 24th May 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: C.J. Archer
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: I wouldn’t have stood for it if I were her.

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Synopsis

The Last Necromancer

Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn’t raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly “made” creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world – Charlotte – but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he’s been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn’t trust?

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they’re hunting.

Thoughts

I bought this book because I needed a book with the word Necromancer in the title. I’d also heard of the author C.J. Archer in the past, and knew that she was one that I wanted to read. So, the combination of the two seemed like this was the perfect book to put on my shelves. And I was right. The Last Necromancer ticked all of my boxes. It took me to my happy place, featured a great storyline and was just impossible to put down. It’s been a while since I got this happily hooked into a novel.

This whole journey was thoroughly enjoyable and seriously fun. It also had the moments of darkness that I always love in a good novel. After all, if it’s all sunshine and light, there aren’t so many heart stopping moments. And, honestly, I just don’t find the storyline quite as realistic, and therefore harder to relate to. I love that this story featured a battle of wits between two wonderful characters who end up suiting each other really, really well.

I absolutely adored the way in which Archer was able to weave together the past and the present in this story. Whilst you start when Charlie is an adult and has been alone for five years, you constantly refer back to a time when she wasn’t. A time when she had a family. And what happened when that family was taken away. And destroyed. There is also the mystery surrounding exactly where she got her necromancy talents from and how everything in her life came to be. Different battles which you want to find the conclusion to… again and again and again.

This novel was definitely one of those enjoyable, love that it’s in my shelves, can’t wait to buy the next book in the series books. It was just a really great, fun read. And one that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. I’m very grateful that I had to buy a book with the word necromancer in the title… it meant that I got to have the great enjoyment of filling my head with this wonderful tale.

<- C.J. ArcherHer Majesty’s Necromancer ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Chosen by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Overview
Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu

Title: The Chosen
Author: Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
Series: Monstress #4
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Graphic novels, Steampunk
Dates read: 27th March 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Graphic novel
Publisher: image
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: It will just take time for lesser beings to grasp the truth.

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Synopsis

A new war between humans and Arcanics is bubbling to the surface. A rift in the sky has revealed the devastating potential of the long-imprisoner Monstra. And Maika Halfwolf is at the center of it all.

In this fourth volume of MONSTRESS, collecting issues 19 – 24, Maika comes closer than ever before to the answers she’s long sought – but those answers carry a steep price. As her friends and allies reveal long-held secrets and shifting allegiances, Maika finds herself at the mercy of the Lord Doctor, a charismatic demagogue whose connections to Maika and Zinn run deeper than anyone could have imagined.

Thoughts

This is a glorious graphic novel. Just like the rest of the books in the Monstress series. They are dark, twisted and intense. Completely, beautifully graphic. And I honestly can’t tear my eyes away from the pages whenever I open that first page.

The plot is seriously thickening in this series. I am waiting impatiently for the next collection to come out because, as with every other volume in this series – it ends on a bit of a cliff hanger. There is something about this that makes you ridiculously excited to pick up the next story and immerse yourself again and again and again. But, now I have to wait…

Graphic novels are a medium that are seriously growing on me. However, I still do find that I can’t keep track of the characters as well as I do when it’s a novel written in prose. So there were probably a few important moments throughout this that I missed. A few key characters from the past that are reappearing, and it took me a little longer than it usually would to recognise them. Yet, this makes the adventure so much more fun. After all, I’m stretching some new mental muscles in doing so.

This is definitely a book that I’m going to pick up again and again and again. Whenever I want something a little bit dark, and kind of easy to enjoy. It’s just fantastic and completely impossible to forget.

 <- Haven ReviewAwakening Review ->

Image source: Goodreads

Foundling by D.M. Cornish

Overview
Image result for book cover foundling d.m. cornish

Title: Foundling
Author: D.M. Cornish
Series: Monster Blood Tattoo #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Dark fantasy, Steampunk
Dates read: 1st – 9th January 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Scholastic
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Could I see the gastrines, sir?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Meet Rossamnd a foundling, a boy with a girl’s name who is about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor of the Half-Continent. What starts as a simple journey becomes a dangerous and complicated set of battles and decisions. Humans, monsters, unearthly creatures . . . who among these can Rossamnd trust? D. M. Cornish has created an entirely original world, grounded in his own deft, classically influenced illustrations. Foundling is a magic-laced, Dickensian adventure that will transport the reader.

Thoughts

My mum gave me this book when I was still in high school, early teens. And I just couldn’t get into it. I liked the storyline, but, back then, I really wasn’t used to reading books which had another language. I just found it way too overwhelming and put it aside. Now I’m really wondering why. This book was amazing, engaging and impossible to put down. It was fun and interesting. Something that completely drew me in and totally enthralled me.

I love that this kind of employs Murphy’s Law – everything that Rossamund experiences is just one problem after another. Starting with getting on the wrong boat. Which you totally knew, and you completely expected things to start going haywire. Just, maybe not as haywire as what actually happened. It was glorious, entertaining and makes me excited to grab the next book. This story was just an absolutely insane adventure. It not only helped that Rossamund was constantly confused and questioning everything – which helped to explain the world that was being built around you as you were catapulted with him from one misadventure to another.

I loved the world building in this story. You kind of expect fantastic world building when there’s literally an entire dictionary at the back of the novel. But there was something even more phenomenal about this. Something that I found difficult to put down. I loved the creation of Rossamund and his friends. The monsters and people that he encounters. And the roles of the world – I didn’t expect a Lamplighter to be such a dangerous task!

It’ll be interesting to see how Lamplighter will unfold. Already, Rossamund’s adventures are revealing little cracks in the agreements of the world. The discussion of whether monsters are bad or good. The realities of living outside of the orphanage. Seriously, this book is amazing. And I love that it is also written by a fellow Aussie!

 <- Factotum ReviewLamplighter Review ->

Image source: David (D.M.) Cornish

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Overview
Image result for book cover the falconer

Title: The Falconer
Author: Elizabeth May
Series: The Falconer #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Fae, Historical fiction, Steampunk, Young adult
Dates read: 27th September – 19th October 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: I walk downstairs, inappropriately carryinig a cup of tea from one room to another.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Lady Aileana Kamerson was destined to a life carefully planned around Edinbrugh’s social events – right up until a faery murdered her mother.

Now, between social engagements, she slaughters the fae in secret, determined to track down that faery, and to destroy any others who cross her path.

But midwinter is approaching, and a battle looms.

Aileana is going to have to decide how much she’s willing to lose – and just how far she’ll go to avenge her mother…

Thoughts

I’m totally in love with this story. I can’t wait to get the next book in the series… because seriously?!?!? The cliff hanger at the end of this! I actually turned the page about three times because I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Who ends a story on a sentence like that? But it was so damn good… now I just have to wait until next payday… if I can.

Although I recently read The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance, I have very few books on my shelf which feature Scotland. Let alone fantasy historical fictions which feature a strong, young female lead. Definitely something that needs to be expanded on in my collection…I loved the court intrigue that I find in English stories, but there was a little more language and history in amongst the Scottish culture. Probably also intrigued me because I have a Scottish background and it’s something that I know a lot less about than my English heritage.

Women who are inventors are becoming a quick obsession for me. Whilst I’m not an inventor, I have a science background and I love when women share that same STEM, analytical interest. The fact that Aileana is an inventor in a steampunk version of historical Scotland was kind of ridiculously exciting. I actually squealed out loud a little when I started reading about her inventions. Particularly because all of her inventions are also weapons that she uses to have her fun and kill multiple fae. The darkness combined with inventions and steampunk hit my total happy spot and was written in a way that felt completely plausible.

Fae is something that has fascinated me ever since I was a teenager and read Wicked Lovely. And I’m talking traditional fae – the ones that prey on humans and aren’t nice and cuddly like Tinkerbell. This follows that tradition – fae are not nice in this story. They are multifaceted, tricky and incredibly dangerous. Just like much of the folklore within the tales which traditionally come out of the UK. The adherence to more traditional knowledges and practices were amazing. And I loved that at the end of the book, May includes a section which details each of the fae incorporated in the story in far more detail. I think I’ll have to flick back to this a little more when I finally get my hands on the next books…

 <- The Fallen Kingdom ReviewThe Vanishing Throne Review ->

Image source: Snuggly Oranges