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The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon and Clare) (edition 2012)

by Lilith Saintcrow

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4634722,413 (3.41)40
Member:Wictoria
Title:The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon and Clare)
Authors:Lilith Saintcrow
Info:Orbit (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

  1. 10
    India Black by Carol K. Carr (4leschats)
    4leschats: The heroine-hero banter and government protection aspects create a similar tone.
  2. 00
    Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster (SunnySD)
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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
This is well-planned and readable, but the characters are so two-dimensional they would give paper cuts if approached in the wrong way: fine as a bit of light enjoyment. The characterisation meant that this hovered only a little way from the Eight Deadly Words, but the plotting finally pulled ahead to make it a readable light jaunt. ( )
  jsburbidge | Jun 12, 2016 |
Emma Bannon is a powerful sorceress in service to the British Empire. When the mutilated corpses of mentaths (super-geniuses) start showing up, she is the only one to link the deaths to a potential threat to Britain itself. She manages to save the last mentath from an assassination attempt, then enlists him to her cause. While Emma investigates the sorcerous conspiracy, Archibald Clare the mentath pounds the pavement looking for clues.

Archibald Clare is the weakest part of this book. He's supposedly this fantasy/steampunk world's version of Sherlock Holmes, but he talks in a bad knock-off of a dithering public school accent: lots of "I say!" and "Good day sir" and "how improper". (I'm not exagerating in the least--these are actual samples of actual dialog.) He's a genius, but I saw no examples within the text. For instance, Emma mentions that she was a poor orphan, and three pages later he "deduces" that she grew up poor based on her table manners. She just told you, dimwit! Alas, it seems that he is a permanent main character.

Emma's sections of the book are just as silly as Archibald's but at least she does things. Her magic is dramatic and dark. The dragons she encounters are easily the most interesting aspects of the book, being both intriguing twists on the usual bodies dragons get and sounding quite frightening. And I loved that she was a balls-to-the-wall kind of badass, who throws her all into a battle and then, having barely survived, immediately fight another. She has a series of furious rides that are downright inspiring. Fans of Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series will like her; I certainly did. She's like a normal dark sorceress cranked up to 11.

The plot is basically just a bunch of random ideas Saintcrow throws at the heroes, without much development or explanation. So don't read this if you're expecting a mystery, because there aren't clues or hidden threads or anything like. But do read this if you're in the mood for flashy clockwork creatures and campy pseudo-Victorian dialog. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Overall, I enjoyed the world itself, with its magical classes and an ancient spirit called "Britannia" ruling Britain through a series of hosts. But I found the characters and plot less interesting. Sorceress Bannon, our hero is rather too perfect and too powerful. Clare, a mentath (sort of like Sherlock Holmes jacked-up) is slightly more interesting, but still reads like a Holmes rip-off. The supporting cast is more intriguing. However, it is truly the "world" itself that kept me reading past the first 50 pages and will probably insure that I pick-up the second book in the series. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 4, 2015 |
Overall, I enjoyed the world itself, with its magical classes and an ancient spirit called "Britannia" ruling Britain through a series of hosts. But I found the characters and plot less interesting. Sorceress Bannon, our hero is rather too perfect and too powerful. Clare, a mentath (sort of like Sherlock Holmes jacked-up) is slightly more interesting, but still reads like a Holmes rip-off. The supporting cast is more intriguing. However, it is truly the "world" itself that kept me reading past the first 50 pages and will probably insure that I pick-up the second book in the series. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 4, 2015 |
Overall, I enjoyed the world itself, with its magical classes and an ancient spirit called "Britannia" ruling Britain through a series of hosts. But I found the characters and plot less interesting. Sorceress Bannon, our hero is rather too perfect and too powerful. Clare, a mentath (sort of like Sherlock Holmes jacked-up) is slightly more interesting, but still reads like a Holmes rip-off. The supporting cast is more intriguing. However, it is truly the "world" itself that kept me reading past the first 50 pages and will probably insure that I pick-up the second book in the series. ( )
  ThothJ | Dec 3, 2015 |
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For those who serve in shadow
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When the young dark-haired woman stepped into his parlor, Archibald Clare was only mildly intrigued.
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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...
Haiku summary

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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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