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The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
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The Court of the Air (edition 2009)

by Stephen Hunt

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,026528,260 (3.16)1 / 78
Member:fiadhiglas
Title:The Court of the Air
Authors:Stephen Hunt
Info:Tor Fantasy (2009), Edition: First Edition, Mass Market Paperback, 608 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, sff, steampunk, magic, don't own, read 2009

Work details

The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt

  1. 10
    The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist (RocknRain)
  2. 10
    The Difference Engine by William Gibson (rakerman)
    rakerman: Babbage's Difference Engines reimagined as the steam-powered transaction engines of The Court of the Air
  3. 00
    Iron Angel by Alan Campbell (hairball)
  4. 00
    Steampunk by Ann VanderMeer (graspingforthewind)
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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I liked much of this book, but there were definitely a few detractions.

1.) Steam-punk to the face: magic, machines, outlaws, "Carlist" Marxists, faiery/"fey" powers, other dimensions, Chtuluian old gods, orphans **huge inhale**, pirates, mutants, and ice age, underground cities... It does all sort of hang together, but it is like a fire-hose of tropes to the face.

2.) Characters do seem thin. Partially this is because of #1: one of the main characters is an orphan girl... who seems a lot like a generic, spunky orphan heroine. And partially this is because there isn't a lot of time left, even in nearly 600 pages, to flesh out all 20-ish main and important supporting characters.

On the plus side, the world was interesting, perhaps too much so, even: parallel worlds/higher levels/etc.; deep history; outlines of a much larger and politically stable, if not necessarily peaceful, world; and plenty of loose ends to lead to further books (a number of which I see have already been written.)

And, in disagreement with what some have written here, I though the book moved along quite quickly. ( )
  dcunning11235 | Jun 19, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book, but somewhere in the middle I put it down and felt no interest in picking it back up again. I think there was a lack of coherence and/or urgency to the plot. It skipped between two main characters' stories. Presumably, the two protagonists meet up eventually, but for whatever reason I lost interest before that happened. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
Such interesting ideas but, in my opinion, poorly executed. My biggest complaints are (1) the voices of the VERY DIFFERENT characters didn't vary enough one from another (i.e., the robot king had the same voice as the 12-year-old boy with fey powers who had the same voice as the 17-year-old girl on the run from everyone....) and (2) the "action scenes" had the same tone as anything else, including the (extensive) expository portions. ( )
  avanders | Apr 24, 2015 |
The blurb and storyline gleaned from descriptions and reviews seems intriguing, but the pacing, writing-style and Mary-Sue orphan characters really made me feel it was perhaps not worth it. A possible return if I completely run out of anything else to read. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
I was thinking about giving this book 4 stars but really I said, "Man this book is awesome" way too many times to not give it 5 stars. It's really about action and ideas and a fully realized world. The action is almost constant and it's fun. The characters are badasses (not right away but at some point). People also die so it doesn't feel like a Disney fantasy where everything works out perfect. It's brutal and gritty and political.

All I have to say is voodoo practicing steam men and insane insect gods feeding off the still warm hearts of 1000's of humans, airships dropping dirtgas on protesting socialists and a king with no arms. I think you get.

I actually read the 2nd book in this series first The Kingdom Beyond the Waves but it didn't make much of a difference. It's not the same characters just the same world. I actually like this one more. ( )
  ragwaine | Feb 16, 2015 |
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Dedication
Thanks where thanks are due. You know who you are.
First words
Molly Templar sat dejected by the loading platform of the Handsome Lane laundry.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765360225, Mass Market Paperback)

When streetwise Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has recently been apprenticed to, her first instinct is to run back to the poorhouse where she grew up. But there she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it slowly dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack. For Molly is a special little girl, and she carries a secret that marks her out for destruction by enemies of the state.

Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. But when he is framed for his only relative's murder he is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of thieves, outlaws and spies, and gradually learns more about the secret that has blighted his life.

Soon Molly and Oliver will find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago. Their enemies are ruthless and myriad, but the two orphans are also aided by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue, and adventure.

The Court of the Air is a rollicking adventure set in a fantastical Dickensian clockwork universe that will appeal to fans of Susanna Clarke and Philip Pullman.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:28 -0400)

Streetwise Molly witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel where she has recently been apprenticed and runs back to the poorhouse where she grew up. There she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack. For Molly is a special little girl who carries a secret that marks her for destruction by enemies of the state. Oliver has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. When he is framed for his only relative's murder he is forced to flee for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of low-life rogues, but learns more about the secret that has blighted his life. Soon Molly and Oliver will find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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Stephen Hunt is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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