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The Iron Duke Paperback – 12 Apr 2012

4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 451,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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 www.meljeanbrook.com


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
200 years ago the majority of England was infected with nanoagents by the Horde. Only the wealthy aristocracy were able to escape infection by leaving the country and moving to the New World. After the population was contaminated the Horde activated the nanoagents and were able to take full control of every person. For 200 years the population lived in fear and poverty, stripped of their emotions and forced into having mechanical upgrades by the Horde. Everything changed when The Iron Duke destroyed the control towers, the Horde was overrun and driven out of England. Now the aristocracy (known as Bounders) have returned to claim the land they believe is rightfully theirs, those who remained behind and were infected (known as Buggers) are resentful of their return and struggling to deal with the return of their emotions. Mina is a Detective Inspector but because of the circumstances of her birth and the fact she is obviously of Horde heritage she doesn't receive the respect she deserves. She crosses paths with Rhys (The Iron Duke) when a body is thrown out of an airship onto his property and she is sent to investigate. But whose body have they found and why was it delivered to Rhys? Is it part of a conspiracy against the whole of England and will Mina be able to stop it in time?

I've had The Iron Duke on my wish list for quite some time now, I've heard nothing but good things about this book and the author so was really looking forward to reading it. I have to admit I'm still fairly new to steampunk but it's a genre I've really enjoyed discovering. Meljean Brook has done some amazing world building and I can't wait to continue reading the series.
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