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The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon and Clare) Paperback – 7 Aug 2012
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Praise for Lilith Saintcrow:
" Saintcrow scores a hit with this terrific Steampunk series that rockets through a Britain-that-wasn't with magic and industrial mayhem with a firm nod to Holmes. Genius and a rocking good time." - Patricia Briggs
"Saintcrow...never fails to deliver excitement." --- RT Book Reviews
"Lyrical language and movie-worthy fight scenes are staples in Saintcrow's novels, and this one is no exception." --- midwestbookreview.com
"Lilith Saintcrow's foray into steampunk plunges the reader into a
Victorian England rife with magic and menace, where clockwork horses
pace the cobbled streets, dragons rule the ironworks, and it will take a
sorceress' discipline and a logician's powers of deduction to unravel a
bloody conspiracy." -- Jacqueline Carey
" Saintcrow scores a hit with this terrific Steampunk series that rockets through a Britain-that-wasn't with magic and industrial mayhem with a firm nod to Holmes. Genius and a rocking good time." "New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs""
"Saintcrow melds a complex magic system with a subtle but effective steampunk society, adds fully-fleshed and complicated characters, and delivers a clever and highly engaging mystery that kept me turning pages, fascinated to the very end." Laura Anne Gilman"
"Innovative world building, powerful steam punk, master storyteller at her best. Don't miss this one....She's fabulous. " Christine Feehan"
"Lilith Saintcrow spins a world of deadly magic, grand adventure, and fast-paced intrigue through the clattering streets of a maze-like mechanized Londonium. The Iron Wyrm Affair is a fantastic mix of action, steam, and mystery dredged in dark magic with a hint of romance. Loved it! Do not miss this wonderful addition to the steampunk genre." Devon Monk"
"Lilith Saintcrow's foray into steampunk plunges the reader into a
Victorian England rife with magic and menace, where clockwork horses pace the cobbled streets, dragons rule the ironworks, and it will take a sorceress' discipline and a logician's powers of deduction to unravel a bloody conspiracy." "Jacqueline Carey""
"This isn't just fantasy with cogs stuck on. A really good read" "SFX""
"Fast paced and full of plot twists, this is a lightweight summer read for fans of Gail Carriger and Meljean Brooks." "Booklist""
"A fast and furious ride through an alternate Victorian London that occasionally stops for polite afternoon tea, just to let you catch your breath. Exciting, great characters and one of the best books I've read this year. Roll on the next instalment! " "thebookbag.co.uk""
"A fast-paced blend of Victorian-era urban fantasy and steampunkish technology." "Shelf Awareness""
"Sensual writing, intricate plotting, and sympathetically quirky, satisfyingly competent characters make this series one to watch." "Publishers Weekly""
For Queen, for country, for staying alive . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
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.
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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