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The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

The Iron Wyrm Affair

by Lilith Saintcrow

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4204325,247 (3.45)40
Recently added byJay-Freeman, kara-karina
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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. 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. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
I expected a different kind of story. The author says this isn't a steampunk book, but even though there is more magic than what is generally expected in a steampunk novel, it has that steampunkish feel with all those Altered people and animals.
There are a lot of things I didn't like in this book. Changed names were really not necessary. Victrix could have been Victoria, Themis could have been the Thames and so on, and it would not ruin the story. Next, most chapters end with a cliffhanger. There are two POVs (Bannon's and Clare's), those cliffhangers are often not resolved when it is that character's turn.
I like the idea of Britannia's spirit and her vessels, more than one treason and the fact that the main characters aren't supposed to be romantically involved. ( )
  Irena. | Nov 3, 2015 |
Definitely a setting-the-stage first novel, but the characters are intriguing and the story is the start of a well developed steampunk.
  LibraryGirl11 | May 19, 2015 |
The Iron Wyrm Affair is book one of the 'Bannon & Clare' series. This series genre is steampunk with mystery thrown in.

To be honest this book is a huge breath of fresh air. I enjoyed The Iron Wyrm Affair immensely.

I couldn't put the book down. ( )
  DaffiMere | Jan 11, 2015 |
Fun, fast steam punk novel. Interesting world building. Huge, over-the-top cinematic climax (loved it! - I could almost hear the soundtrack). ( )
  borbet | Oct 21, 2014 |
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For those who serve in shadow
First words
When the young dark-haired woman stepped into his parlor, Archibald Clare was only mildly intrigued.
Come now. In theory, yes. In practice, no. All we care about is practice, correct? We have not achieved our position by being impractical. . . .
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Book description
Archibald Clare is a detective of truly uncanny abilities-a mentath, capable of feats of deduction and logic that border on the supernatural. He is also abruptly, uniquely, the only unregistered mentath left alive in Londoninium. Someone has murdered the others and, if not for the timely intervention of the Prime sorceress Emma Bannon, there would have been no one left to stop... whatever is coming.

Mentaths and sorcerers are dying-or worse, being seduced into betraying Queen and Country. Bannon and Clare must uncover treachery, conspiracy, and sorcery of the blackest hue. And in a Britannia where magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, time is short.

The game is afoot...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031620126X, Paperback)

Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn't help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon's Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.

In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

The game is afoot..

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:05 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. Unfortunately, they can barely tolerate each other..."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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Average: (3.45)
1 5
1.5 1
2 9
2.5 5
3 26
3.5 14
4 31
4.5 6
5 13


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