Release Date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.
Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.
Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.
A map! Any fantasy book that opens with a map herald of good things are coming my way. Same with a glossary of words, OMG, when I see a glossary I get instant bookgasm because I KNOW that the world building is going to be one heck of a visual. CLOCKWORK DAGGER by Beth Cato is a solid, fantastical, Steampunk that's just amaze-balls! The map in the beginning instantly gave me epic fantasy feels and after reading the book, it does give off that vibe. And I've never read a Steampunk book like this so hats off to BCato for reimagining the genre and leaving it with her own unique mark.
CLOCKWORK DAGGER has a few unique things going on for it and here's the standout reasons why I love this hard!
- It's a duology people! It means the plot is fast paced, the conflict straightforward, and the resolution (I hope) strong. No multiple books to read, wait for, catch up with etc.
- I mentioned that the world building is a great mash-up of Steapunk and epic fantasy. 95% of the story happened in a dirigible or an aircraft. The myth is very pagan involving a Tree and The Lady who guards it or is probably The Tree herself. The Tree is a powerful life source and people like Octavia are rare and gifted in that they can harness The Tree and The Lady's powers in curing people.
- The world of CLOCKWORK DAGGER is in turmoil and the people are restless. There's the tyrannical empire on the right and there's the Wasters on the left. Also the backstory behind the ruling royals is reminiscent of Russia's Romanovs down to the legend about the lost Princess, Anastasia.
- Octavia Leander is a medician, medic/magician, and she is the most powerful medician of her time, maybe ever, and is seen as both a threat or an asset, depending on which angle you're looking at.
- CLOCKWORK DAGGERs are assassins of the empire and the hero and Octavia's love interest, Alonzo Garrett, is one. I'd also like to note that this is an interracial pairing in case you missed the cover art... which needs so be tweaked IMO. It's not really attractive, right?
- There's nothing that I disliked in particular but as this is book 1, it only follows that the book dealt with a lot of building and forming so the core of the series wasn't revealed til almost the end.
CLOCKWORK DAGGER really impressed me and it's one of the most stand-out Steampunk novel that I've read in a long time. Now y'all know that I'm a big Steampunk pimper and since I've already recommended great books of this genre for romance lovers to try, CLOCKWORK DAGGER is something epic fantasy readers can get lost in. Or if you simply love reading unique, long spanning adventures set in a different time and place, then please check Beth Cato's latest series, it's a winner.