Kilts & Kraken

The Gaslight Chronicles, #3

Dr Geneva MacKay is trying to establish her medical practice in Edinburgh in a time when female physicians were not common (she is one of the first) and not trusted. She’s finally getting a few steady patients when her father asks her to tend an unknown highlander that has been washed up along the coast. The man is too injured to travel to Edinburgh so Geneva will have to go to him. This is something she doesn’t want to do because she will have to ask another physician to take care of her few patients.

Geneva’s father is a member of the Order of the Round Table. This is a group of men who can trace their lineage back to King Arthur’s Round Table. Each has some touch of magic and each has dedicated their lives to protecting others. In the area where the highlander was found there has been a lot of kraken attacks. The Order would like Geneva to see if she can find out any information on them while in the area.

Magnus, Baron Findlay is the laird of a small island off the coast of Scotland. During a kraken attack he is swept into the ocean. When he is found, Magnus is in very bad shape. However, the pretty female doctor attending him is doing the best she can. Magnus knows he must return to his island home to heal, if he can stay alive that long. Magnus has a magical tie to the island and it’s powers will help him heal, if he isn’t already dead.

With the help of some of the islanders, Geneva agrees to move Magnus. On the island, she discovers that Magnus has been bringing modern inventions to it in order to make the islanders’ lives easier. However, some don’t like it and think this is why the kraken are attacking.

Could there be something to their theory? Could it be something else? And, what is this tie Magnus has to the island and why doesn’t the Order know about it?

This is the third story in Cindy Spencer Pape’s Gaslight Chronicles. This series does not need to be read in order but characters from previous stories do show up in later stories. Still, those characters and their history are not essential to the current story.

This is a steampunk story. The world that is developed is fabulous. There is a wonderful blend of magic, steam inventions, modern marvels and the Victorian age. There is no distinction between what is real and what is imagination. It all fits and becomes a believable society.

The characters are real. Geneva has goals and aspirations. She knows she is an excellent doctor and wants to excel at her profession. When she finds herself drawn to Magnus, this is not what she wants. Living on a small island, even with all its modern additions, is not the life she envisions for herself. Magnus is the leader of the island. He also has to live on it to live. He can not travel to see all the things the world has to offer so he tries to bring many of them to his island. He’s very much loyal to family. He’s also a widower which gives him a different slant on marrying again. Both these main characters come across as real and believable.

Besides a romance, there is something going on. Some of the islanders are very much opposed having things like paved roads and other modern convinces brought to the island. They say that is why the kraken are attacking. They think the magic of the island is being disrupted which is disrupting the kraken. Could they be right?

There is also a secondary love story going on between Magnus’s uncle and the woman who found him. For each it will be second chance at love. Can these two figure it out?

I found this to be a very enjoyable story with a more complex plot than I thought there would be. There is lots going on in this story which kept my attention from beginning to end. As I’ve been reading each new story to this series, I loved seeing some of the children from the first book showing up in this one as adults. What a terrific tie in! There were plenty of twists in the plot which lead up to an ending I didn’t expect. Okay, I suspected some of it but not all of it. I love it when an author does something like that.

If you like steampunk or if you’ve never tried it, give this series/book a try. Ms Pape is one of the best writers of it and this is an awesome series. In fact, I’m ready to read more about these characters, this world and what happens next. I’m sure it’s going to be thrilling, interesting and different, just like this story.

Book Blurb for Kilts & Kraken

Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he's swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.

Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.

As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises—from within the village itself...

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2012 4.50