This exciting and mesmerizing fantasy epic introduces a beautifully rendered world that combines steampunk, incredible battles, skin-crawling threats, and imagination-stretching scenarios in one delightful Saturday matinee adventure of a read. I love the remarkably detailed stories that this author creates to immerse one in a world that is so vivid and filled with action that one’s ears are buzzing and eyes are crossed before the story is finished. The challenge of trying to carve out enough time to read the adventures of these characters is well worth the effort as one is introduced to a world where ships fly, crystals talk, cats are recognized as citizens (although they occasionally need a translator), and (shiver) silkweavers can be used as weapons.
I love stories that constantly surprise me, provide a perfectly logical sequence of events in a wonderfully fantastical universe, and ramp up the suspense while providing plenty of opportunity to cheer for the heroes and boo at the villains. I am a big fan of a certain science fiction series that had its own eccentric engineer who was constantly trying (and usually succeeding) to wring that extra increment of power out of the engines to support his captain and this story definitely reminded me of the breathless excitement of watching and hoping that the good guys would prevail. There are plenty of wryly humorous interludes to give one a brief space to catch one’s breath, balanced by the sorrow as brave souls sacrifice their all and the exhilaration when someone manages to outwit evil or overcome apparently insurmountable odds. This is definitely not a book for the squeamish but most certainly one for those who enjoy rousing imaginative adventures that keep one on the edge of the seat and thirsty for more. I anxiously look forward to returning to this remarkable world.
“The Aeronaut’s Windlass” by Jim Butcher is the first book in the ‘Cinder Spires’ series and introduces the remarkable world of Spires, centering primarily on Spire Albion and the disparate collection of individuals recruited by the Spirearch, His Majesty Addison Orson Magnus Jeremiah Albion, to protect it. Ranging from the significantly undertrained but remarkably accompanied Bridget of the House Tagwynn (known as Littlemouse to her very opinionated companion Rowl), the amazingly self-possessed and distressingly blunt aristocrat Gwendolyn Margaret Elizabeth Lancaster, to her warriorborn cousin Benedict who is already a Guardsman, a disgraced drummed-out captain Francis Madison Grimm (and his ship Predator) and a couple of etherealists—Ferus and Folly, plus a host of other remarkable characters…this odd conglomeration of folks tangles with a truly inimical villain and minions determined to be victorious. The challenge will be to find out which side has the most reserves and resources to remain standing at the end of the battles.
Now In Mass Market Paperback - July 5, 2016
Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…