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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A successful new beginning
I absolutely love reading a brand new book in a brand new series. I rarely ask for books from The Library Thing, unless I really, really want one, but I saw this, put in for it, and then forgot I put in for it. Then it came in the mail - unfortunately it didn't come in time for me to post about it before the release date, but it's close. The Iron Wyrm Affair is one of...
Published on 11 Aug 2012 by Mardel

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ennoi'ing wurdes
This is a steampunk tale with magic and logic (although the latter is really a form of anti-magic), set in an alternate history England. As promised in the other reviews, the conclusions of the main characters aren't spelled out to the reader, which is a pleasant change from many similar books and adds a little spark.

Emma ("I am not a lady") is a rather...
Published 22 months ago by Paul Lynch


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A successful new beginning, 11 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One (Paperback)
I absolutely love reading a brand new book in a brand new series. I rarely ask for books from The Library Thing, unless I really, really want one, but I saw this, put in for it, and then forgot I put in for it. Then it came in the mail - unfortunately it didn't come in time for me to post about it before the release date, but it's close. The Iron Wyrm Affair is one of Lilith Saintcrow's newest novels, and it is unlike anything she's ever done before. Although - I know she's written some paranormal romance that I haven't read (the Watcher series- I think they're romance, anyway). I have read her two urban fantasy series and they are dark urban fantasy, both of which I enjoyed very much. If you're looking for something like that, you're not going to find it here. However, this is a very well written steampunk novel. There's magic, clockwork horses, altered people, Victorian setting and dialogue...Saintcrow has done a wonderful job of writing something completely different.

The Iron Wyrm Affair is the first of the Bannon and Clare series. Bannon is a sorceress, a very powerful one. Clare is a mentath - a man who MUST use his brain to solve patterns, problems, etc. or his brain will go mad. They live in an alternate historical London - it's actually called Londinium. In this version of history - there are sorcerers, prime (the most powerful of sorcerers) witches, gryffons, etc. It's a very rich world. As the story unfolds, you learn a bit more about the world and it's history.

Mentaths and sorcerers have been found murdered and Bannon is in charge of not only keeping Clare alive, but finding out just what the threat is, and who the real threat is ultimately for.

Lilith Saintcrow has once again delivered a novel that is full of plot, believable and fitting dialogue, rich environments (not $$ rich, rich in atmosphere) and mysterious pasts of characters. There is plenty of action, and just the barest tease of relationships. There is danger and twisty plots. A very enjoyable book - and I am looking forward - very much - to the next novel in the series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ennoi'ing wurdes, 3 Nov 2012
By 
Paul Lynch (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a steampunk tale with magic and logic (although the latter is really a form of anti-magic), set in an alternate history England. As promised in the other reviews, the conclusions of the main characters aren't spelled out to the reader, which is a pleasant change from many similar books and adds a little spark.

Emma ("I am not a lady") is a rather overpowered magic user, and appears to be highly placed. It seems that she could do anything she wished, including solving the plot that this novel is based around, with a click of her fingers. I feel that she tells me rather more about the author than I need to know. Clare (male, surname) is a poor copy of Sherlock Holmes; the abilities without the character. The other principal characters are rather flat - Ludo, the Italian assassin who switches accents at the drop of a hat, and the rather forgettable "Bavarian genius".

The world has a history, as do the main characters, none of which is fully spelled out. This is probably a good thing, as we are given enough to drive the main parts of the plot. The main annoyance was that the story is largely set in a London that corresponds very closely to our own, with similar, but different for absolutely no reason, place names; the setting is a steampunk Victorian era. The history of this world obviously diverged a long time ago (I would guess pre-Roman), in the "Age of Fire" before the "Age of Bronze", and yet we are expected to accept the setting. The changes to names (St Jemes Park, or Victrix for Victoria, etc) are unnecessary given that we accept the setting, and so manage to annoy.

Unless you enjoy this authors other works, one to skip. Extra star for world building and background; two each deducted for annoying spelling and flat characters.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 Meticulous attention to detail, very enjoyable!, 28 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One (Paperback)
Leave it to Lili to venture into steampunk and make her first book the most steampunkish I've read this year. She just doesn't do anything by halves.

Unbelievable, meticulous attention to detail. Clockwork horses and altered mechanically, seedy criminals of the underworld, reincarnated Britannia in each queen of England, here be dragons, griffins... and rise and fall of sorcerous forces each dawn and dusk.

The trademark of Miss Saintcrow's writing is still here, - extremely strong main heroine, Emma Bannon, a sorceress and Prime of the most dangerous of magic, Death magic, serving the Queen herself and trying to protect her by any means possible.

Emma crushes and subjugates everything and everyone in her way, she is destructive force of nature, paranoid and afraid that her own warrior-protector, her magical Shield, Mikal, is ready to kill her and works beside her back.

Archibald Clare is an entirely different matter. He is not an equal partner to Emma and there is certainly no romantic spark between them. He is a mentath, a person whose brain has to find logical connections in everything, even the most minuscule parts. He is like Sherlock Holmes on crack, he will go mad if his brain is not occupied by a complicated task.

But someone is killing mentaths one by one and taking their body parts, so Emma's task is to protect Archibald and at the same time work with him on uncovering a multi-layered conspiracy which threatens the foundations of British Empire.

It's a fantastic adventure, but it took few chapters for me to get used to the overabundance of detail and pretty rigid main heroine. However, once you warm up to this book, it really gets to you. There is sly humour and well-rounded characters, - Mikal, desperate to gain his sorceress's trust, Clare, curious and analytical about everything, Ludovico, a grubby assassin, who is tasked with Clare's protection and Emma herself, whose true nature shows through her actions towards those she protects, not through her cold and ruthless talk.

I am extremely excited to know more about the world Lili created and looking forward to Emma and Archibald's further adventures. Recommended to all fans of steampunk, especially Iron Seas series by Meljean Brook, and Miss Saintcrow's writing style in general.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Dante Valentine!, 22 Aug 2012
By 
Paul (Worcestershire) - See all my reviews
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Lillith Saintcrow's take on SteamPunk, which she says is unintended, has produced a fascinating world in which the spirit of Britannia, the Queen, is reincarnated in a child when the old Queen dies. Clockhorses, a blend of flesh and mechanicals, pull the hackney carriages (when you can find one) through a strange city as the blended Flashboys serve crime lords, and the Sorceress Prime Emma Bannon rescues the Mentath Archibald Clare from boredom as she investigates to the death the conspiracy against Her Majesty... There's never a dull moment in this action-packed novel, as Bannon blasts her way from Londinium to Wales and back. The love interest is provided by Mikal, Bannon's Shield, and the characters are well-drawn with their own secrets, even the logical and emotionless Clare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some nice ideas, but..., 6 Mar 2013
By 
Karen Dewson (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One (Paperback)
I really wanted to like this book. It fits into the steampunk, Victoriana, mystery category and I love the idea of clockwork horses! But it's soooo slow - I got about a third of the way through and nearly gave up but, after re-reading the reviews on Amazon I thought I must be missing something so, persevered. It's not very often that I don't finish a book - this is one of them.

It's not clear, but this might be a young adult book - that might explain some things but, still it could be so much better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and interesting, but probably 3 1/2 stars, 4 Nov 2012
I liked this book very much, because it is a cross of my two favorite genres, fantasy and mystery. It is set in an alternate victorian-era London and is best described as steampunk meets Sherlock Holmes. It is well written, the world-building is superb and the plot enthralling. It is the first of a series,so we are not told all the answers to the puzzle or all the characters' secrets, but it stands very well alone.

The balance between sorcery and deduction is not as perfect as the summary would make one think; magic does tend to overrun this world, being so much more impressive and powerfull than logic, and Bannon, the sorceress, is very much in the forefront. She is more fleshed out, has more power, authority and knowledge and generally dominates the story in comparison to her supposed partner, Clare. He is less engaging and interesting and appeares to be in many ways her tool; not quite a sidecick, but very much a junior partner. I wouldn't call this a defect of the book exactly, but, since I was eagerly anticipating the "detective" part of the story, I was a bit disappointed. Also, I would have to agree with a previous reviewer: the changes in names were completely unnecessary and got mildly annoying. The only serious problem I had with the book was with the "love-interest". Beware, mild spoilers ahead!

SPOILERS

Sorcerers of Emma Bannon's class have Shields, human bodyguards who are pledged to their service and protection, among whose duties appear to be sexual services to their sorcerer. Bannon has a kind of relationship with her Shield, decidedly unhealthy, because there is such an unequal distribution of power between them. Yes, he seems to want her, even be somewhat obsessed with her, but the fact remains that she has all the power in their relationship: he has to obey her in all things and, if he leaves her service, he will be killed. And there is a very disturbing scene, in which she appears to inflict some kind of physical punishment to him by means of her magic. I found this whole subplot distasteful, but it really is a very minro part of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic romp, 28 Oct 2012
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I have just finished reading the Iron Wyrm Affair. I raced through it in a few days and am hugely disappointed that Book 2 will not be available until next year. This is a well crafted narrative that assumes a level of intelligence on the part of the reader. I loved the fact that I was required to 'keep up' with the writing; that I had to 'join the dots' rather than having every detail minutely explained. A fantastic read and a glorious romp - can't wait for the next book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid new title in a brand new world for Lili., 1 Aug 2012
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One (Paperback)
Whenever a favourite author starts a new series, I'm always a little apprehensive. Not that I doubt, their skills, but it's the feat that the characters that I loved from the previous series will leave a huge gap in my reading pleasure. In this new saga from author Lilith Saintcrow the reader gets a tale that brings the best of Steampunk Victoriana with a touch of magic. Whilst the lead in this title is a hard kickass lady, it's clear from between the lines that our lead heroine started out a lot lower in social class than where she currently is, throw in a traumatic event (that happened previously to the title) alongside a tough case that forces her to face demons and her own nagging emotional conflict and all in it's a satisfactory story.

Add to this a host of supporting cast members that not only help to flesh the world but add their own threads into the tapestry and all in it's a satisfactory read. Finally whilst I did enjoy this book I was a little weary of just how powerful the principle player was, that is something that is going to have to be carefully managed in future instalments otherwise it will make the whole series a little one sided.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Poor fan fiction steampunk, 9 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One (Paperback)
This book is surfing the steampunk bandwagon and has all the usual cliches but without any of the historical research. The mix of magic and technology doesn't work well for me and the borderline plagarism (the genius term 'mentath' for Saintcrow is clearly derived from Herbert's 'mentats' - no h - in the far superior classic 'Dune') annoys. The muddled attempts to develop characters via flashbacks to previous events doesn't work either, making me feel like I would have preferred to just read the events in question and have this book as number 2 of a series. Feels like very amateur writing and in need of a decent editor to pull it into shape.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Steam Punk, 9 Mar 2014
By 
K. J. Stone - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One (Paperback)
Very good steam punk, loved the world building. Characters not quite as engaging as the world they inhabited, but chemistry good.
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The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One
The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One by Lilith Saintcrow (Paperback - 2 Aug 2012)
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