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The Iron Wyrm Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book One Paperback – 2 Aug 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (2 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356500926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356500928
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


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 20111107 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

Book Description

For Queen, for country, for staying alive . . .

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Lynch VINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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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.
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