The Iron Duke

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The Iron Duke

The Iron Seas Series, #1

Mina Wentworth is a Detective Inspector with the Metropolitan Police Department in London. She’s also the daughter of a peer and the product of a Horde induced frenzy. Any and all of those things can have her harassed but together they guarantee it. However, that does not stop her from doing her job to the best of her ability and that ability it better than average. Still, she’s shocked when they get a message that a dead body has been found on the doorstep of the Iron Duke.

The Iron Duke’s real name is Rhys Trahaearn. He was born in Wales but at 8 years old he was taken to be sold. Reports vary on how or why but everyone knows that Rhys destroyed the Horde tower that had been controlling the population of England for 200 years. They also know that if a dead body was found on his compound, he would take care of it which is why Mina is so surprised she’s on her way to investigate such a case.

Rhys is shocked by what he feels upon seeing Mina. He has never experienced such desire and thinks this will be an easy conquest. Little does he know how hard Mina will be to win! In fact, he’s going to have to do more than give her sweet words to win her trust!

Mina is much more interested is learning who this dead man is than going to bed with Rhys. Even after learning his identity, she has more pressing issues, like trying to figure out who is trying to kill most of the population of England. The problem is, she’s going to need Rhys’s help to accomplish this! She can’t say no to his offer but will she be able to resist him? Her job depends on it.

I love Meljean Brook’s Guardian series and couldn’t wait to try this new one. I quickly found out that this series is nothing like the Guardian’s. Instead, I’m thrown into a steam punk England with a murder mystery and I loved it.

The characters are great. Mina has experienced prejudice her entire life and has now risen to a job that should demand respect. She insists her using her title versus her name to remind people who are not close friends or family. To let someone she doesn’t trust into her life is impossible and earning her trust, almost impossible. Rhys was been many things in his life, slave, pirate and now savor. In reality, he feels that he’s just taking care of his own. He never planed on being the savor of England and more than he planned on being a slave. But his quick wit and intelligence has him making quick decisions that have long reaching affects.

The steam punk world was done with lots of detail giving it a very realistic feel. There are people who have certain professions that require more respect than others such as the Blacksmith. These professions keep society going. Marriage was pretty much disbanded under the Horde and children were raised in crèches. Yet, the wealth class kept marriage and are trying to reshape England into what was.

There are two main groups, buggers and bounders. Buggers are infected with nanoagents which is a Horde technology. Bounders are ex-patriots that ran from the Horde to live in the New World. Only after the Horde was removed from England to they return feeling as if they were the true Brits. From this split comes the Black Guard who want to remove any trace of the Horde, including the buggers.

I absolutely loved this book. Ms Brook did an awesome job as she weaved this wonderful tale. Everything from characters to world was done with care and precision. While there isn’t a ton of romance or sex, it’s still a gripping story and there is a love story mixed in with the mystery. Adventure on the high seas or in the air became the norm and I was right there with Mina and Rhys. I couldn’t wait to see what next and there always was a what next. Even when I thought things would calm down, they didn’t giving a powerful ending.

Any current fan of Ms Brooks, has to read this one and those who aren’t fans, should. Steam punk has never been written so well.

Book Blurb for The Iron Duke

First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

But when Mina uncovers the victim's identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen, as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.


Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2010 5.00