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Friday, August 10, 2012
Book Review: The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Series: Bannon and Clare, book 1
ource: From NetGalley
Buy it here:
For more information visit Lilith Saintcrow’s website
Emma is Sorceress Prime, who works for the Crown. When Mentaths are found dead around an alternate Industrial Revaluation London Emma meets Mr. Clare, an unregistered Mentath. With his help, and the help of her shield Mikal, who she is having trouble trusting, they unravel a plot of treachery against the Crown.
The Iron Wyrm Affair is a Steampunk alternate history romp. Mentaths are extreme logical thinkers who can figure out very difficult equations. Mr. Clare can speak to someone and deduce where they are from, and parts of their personal history. Mentaths work best with logic. Anything illogical affects them in a negative way. On the other side of that there are people with magic and different levels of it. Emma is the highest level, called Prime. There are also different branches of magic.
Emma wastes little time with Mr. Clare before they are off to find out what is going on. Right off the bat someone tries to kill them. There is also a side romantic plot with Emma and Shield Mikal, but that takes a large back seat to discovering why the Mentaths are being killed. The story takes the characters into parts of London that are turned on its head in this magical Steampunk land.
The story trades off between Emma and Mr. Clare in each chapter. It is neat seeing the story from two viewpoints. Emma is different type of heroine. Her first priority is her mission and while a Shield’s job is to protect his or her Prime, it is Emma who is kicking butt. Mr. Clare on the other hand seems less commanding and far more average, and was easier for me to relate to in some ways than Emma.
The language took some getting used to. It is an Industrial age Steampunk story, and it is written as one. A lot of the terms were new to me, because of that it slowed the story down. It also has tons of action. They might be fighting magic forces or mecha Steampunk automations. Either way there is hardly a dull moment. While I enjoy my fair share of epic battles I often times had to go back through battles and figure out just what had happened, most of that is due to the language. It was too easy to get distracted from the story.
It has the clockwork horses and gas lights of plenty. Like most Steampunk stories I have followed down the clockwork rabbit hole, the richness falls into the details. Don’t expect much in the romantic department. The side plot for the romance is a very interesting and complex relationship, but lacks a lot of time or detail. Emma is strong female lead, but a little cold. The most important thing to her is getting the job done. Mr. Clare on the other hand with all his logical conclusions is often time humorous, without meaning to be, and much warmer.