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The Iron Duke [Paperback]

Meljean Brook
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 April 2012

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power - and fear - of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can't afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and becoming Rhys's lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans - and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241956676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241956670
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


I can't resist a book by Meljean Brook! (Gena Showalter )

Page-turning romance (Publisher’s Weekly )

Brilliant, heartbreaking, genre-bending - even, I dare say, epic (Marjorie M. Liu )

About the Author

Meljean Brook lives in Oregon with her family. She is the author of the Guardian series. For contact information please visit

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lesley TOP 1000 REVIEWER
My first encounter with the author Meljean Brook came about in the anthology Burning Up (Berkley Sensation) where I read the story written by her which placed characters in this alternative reality. I was definitely intrigued and planned to check out this particular novel once it was released. I'm glad I did.

This book takes place in such a different world that many readers will be like me and not have encountered it before. Nanoagents were introduced into the human body when the people ingested sugar or tea. Once infected the "bugs" were in place to allow the Horde to control most of the population. Many upper class Englishmen escaped to the New World, but now that the Horde control has been destroyed they are making their way back to an England populated by many different kinds of people. Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth was conceived when her mother was caught up in a Horde frenzy and thus Mina shows her obvious Horde lineage. Because of this she must try to do her job while being hated and persecuted because of the way she looks. Rhys Trahaearn is a scoundrel and pirate who has recently been made Duke of Anglesey as a reward for destroying the method the Horde was using to control the nanoagents. When the body of a partially frozen dead man is discovered on the steps of the Duke's home, police intervention is called for. Although certainly not by the Duke.

If you decide to read this book I would suggest that you pay very close attention to the first three or four chapters, since this is where so much of the explanation for this world is given. Not all of it, but an awful lot.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Unlike the other two reviewers, I bought this book primarily for its steampunk credentials, a genre I am really beginning to get into at the moment, and was actually pleasantly surprised by how interesting the steampunk world was. At first glance, Meljean Brooks has created an alternate Victorianesque London, albeit without Victoria on the throne, but the backstory of her world is much more intriguing than that, and it is in the historical details that Brooks really shines, such as her inclusion of Marco Polo's trip to visit the lands of Kubilai Khan, something which happened in reality, only without nanoagents.

The Horde, recognisable, if you know your history, as the Mongolian Empire of the Khan's (only lasting a few more centuries) kidnapped a group of European scientists, centuries ago, and forced them to make war machines, including the nanoagents that many people are 'infected' with. These left British society under radio control, where religion, marriage, and many other conventions were completely dispensed with, creating a moral vacuum when Horde control was destroyed by Rhys Trevelyan, the eponymous 'Iron Duke', nearly a decade ago. The attempts of the people left behind to rebuild their society from the ground up are what makes this book so interesting for me, and will keep me reading the series in all probability.

The plot of this first 'Novel of the Iron Seas' begins with a body landing on the Iron Duke's doorstep, bringing the heroine, Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into Rhys's life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 18 Dec 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
SEt in a totally different world, sort of Victoriana on steroids. Steam is the only propulsion method as the internal combustion engine (ie petol/diesel) never made it. The Horde (eventually I worked out that they were Chinese/Oriental) invaded Europe and England several hundred years previously after infecting the westerners with nanoagents (bugs) via imported tea and coffee. Those who could afford to fled England for the USA to avoid the infection - but they still considered themselves English. Once enough people were infected, the Horde set up control towers that quashed resistance (and emotions, and could control people physically. The Horde also alter people surgically, giving them 'enhancements' so that they can do specific jobs (so miners have their hands replaced with mining tools, seamstresses with sewing tools etc etc - think Borg from Star Wars). Occasionally the Horde need more workers, so they use the control towers to instigate a Frenzy where random matings happen. THe children created like this get brought up by creches. Several hundred years later, Rhys, a pirate/privateer captain, storms the control tower in London, which leads to a revolt that drives the Horde from England and Europe. A few years after the Horde have been expelled from England, the 'English' in the USA start to return. True to form they are Puritanical and slightly evangelical in their beliefs about purity and what constitutes a human being. THey take back their ancestral seats (the aristocrats do, anyway) and they start to take up positions of authority too.
London can't be lived in without being infected by the nanoagents - this is because of the pollution.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How refreshing - a good story, interesting characters AND a workable...
I first came across Meljean Brook's work in a short story, and was favourably impressed, mainly by the fact that the werewolf heroine was capable and reasonable. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Brunneria
1.0 out of 5 stars Unpleasant book about an abusive relationship
A very disappointing book. The steampunk elements are very well written, although it's very confusing when there is no real distinction between airships and ocean ships, for a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Enter the world of the Iron Seas, you won't regret it
Meljean Brook first introduced us to the world of the Iron Seas with the short story `Here There Be Monsters', in the anthology "Burning Up". Read more
Published 21 months ago by Houston
2.0 out of 5 stars a SteamPorn short story
This novel started with a fascinating world, well-rounded characters, and an interesting plot; five stars for the first third of the book. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars great start to a steampunk series
I absolutely adored this book. Steampunk romance at it's finest. The author invents a completely alternative universe. Read more
Published on 16 July 2012 by J. Heynert
3.0 out of 5 stars Iron Seas book 1
The Iron Duke is the first steampunk book I have ever read. I didn't quite know what to expect. I had a vision in my head of what a stempunk world might look like and I wasn't... Read more
Published on 1 July 2012 by Kate Phillips
2.0 out of 5 stars Spoilt by sloppy editing
Having read a perfectly competent short story that introduced this world, I had high hopes of this novel. Read more
Published on 20 May 2012 by delphine
3.0 out of 5 stars Potentially great book spoilt by male lead
This book is set in an interesting world with a lot of dramatic possibilities and based on the sample/reviews I read, I settled in to what I was sure was going to be an absorbing... Read more
Published on 13 April 2012 by L Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk magical mayhem
In a world where people want something that could have been, Steampunk is a genre that is fast growing. Read more
Published on 1 April 2012 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Steampunk Romance
This was my first Steampunk novel and also my first look at author Meljean Brook's writing. Both of which I was suitably impressed with. Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2012 by The Demon Librarian
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