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May 31, 2015

Steampunk Sundays: The Shadow Revolution by Clay & Susan Griffith + Series Intro

Series: Crown & Key 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Steampunk
They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.

As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.


Let me forewarn you that in the next few days or weeks, you'll see Clay and Susan Grffith's THE SHADOW REVOLUTION popping up in the blogosphere. If they sound vaguely familiar to you, the writing duo penned Vampire Empire, which I know some of you are familiar with, have read, and probably loved. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting their vampires, but I'm happy to report that Crown & Key is off to a fantastic start. Let's whip out the bullets!
  • I know a few of you don't read Steampunk. Understandable. Now even if Crown & Key is filed under this genre, THE SHADOW REVOLUTION is not riddled with Steampunk components, such as steamships, archaic/futuristic gadgets, and cleverly coined nouns. It's more historical paranormal similar to Kristen Callihan's Darkest London series minus the romance. 

  • Speaking of paranormal, the lead, Simon Archer, is by all intents and purposes, a (sexy) druid, and he's up against a pack of rabid werewolves. I love the supernatural element in this one, the magic is aether-based and the wolves are very scary. There's not much lore or myth incorporated just yet, just enough mentions to give us a good grasp of what Simon is and what he's capable of. 

  • Simon has a serious crush on Kate Anstruther and it's obvious that the feeling is mutual. However it seems that it's going to be a slow-buring one. I guess our heroes are more intent of ridding London its werewolf problem than scoring a few gropes and kisses. 

  • THE SHADOW REVOLUTION is packed with fast paced action, very character driven, engaging dialogue, and likable characters. The climax in particular came in waves and each one is better than the last. I had total bookgasm especially in the last quarter of the novel. 

  • I love Simon and Kate, they're flawed yet very ideal heroes. Both are very smart, discerning, witty, and they perfectly complement each other. Simon is the braun while Kate is the brains. Also Simon has this bad boy thing going on for him, infamous and known to be a trouble maker; while Kate is learned, an aristocrat, a bit haughty, but just as brave and daring as Simon.

    The secondary characters are just as great. Nick, Simon's partner/mentor, is like an elder Sherlock Holmes/Nicolas Flammel. Malcolm MacFarlane, aside from being a Scot (instant sexy points!) is super hunky and every bit of an Alpha. Charlotte, the young werewolf is perhaps my favorite of the cast. She's simply amazing! If you've read or have plans of reading THE SHADOW REVOLUTION, pay attention to the epic battle that ensued in the last quarter of the book. Charlotte kicked some serious ass during the battle! Woot!

Going back to my post intro. Even if you're not a reader of Steampunk but love a good action fantasy novel, please do yourself a favor and pick up THE SHADOW REVOLUTION. You won't be bogged down by engineered marvels and endless talk about machinery. You'll instead have a grand adventure in Victorian London, fighting off evil werewolves vicariously through Simon & Co. It also helps that the books are released in close succession so you don't have to wait too long to get your next fill. 

Instant gratification + extraordinary adventure = fantastic Summer read. Win-win!



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The Birth of a Series

The background concept of CROWN & KEY came to us originally from our publisher, Del Rey. They had developed an outline about a hidden history of the world where magic was real but secret. We were thrilled that they asked us to take this sprawling outline and craft a trilogy of novels introducing the world to readers. After much debate, we decided to focus on a few of the main characters (our favorites) and develop their histories. In the early 19th century, the ancient guild of magicians that has always controlled the shadowy world of sorcery as well as the horrific population of monsters shatters because of simmering rivalries and betrayal. The once orderly world of magic flies apart into revolution and bloody chaos. There are those who are trying to bury the old order and those who are desperate to revive it before the world is forever corrupted. Our story places our heroes into this treacherous world and reveals their hidden pasts as well as the mystical legacies of their fathers and mothers. All the while, the reader discovers the amazing magic around the world.

CROWN & KEY is designed to be a thrill ride of a series, but the best kind of thrill ride. While it is certainly fast-paced and action-oriented, it is populated with terrifying villains and memorable heroes who will stick with you. Our main heroes include Simon Archer, the handsome and jovial rake who hides the fact that he is the last surviving scribe, once one of the most powerful styles of magic on Earth. His primary partner is Kate Anstruther, brilliant scholar and alchemist, the headstrong daughter of a famous explorer, who is desperate to keep her family together and make a mark on the world with her mystical science. Malcolm MacFarlane is a grim Scottish monster hunter, tormented by his past and forced to confront his own intolerant view of his enemies. Penny Carter secretly worked her way up through a man’s world as an engineer, crafting weapons and tools of power based on steam and arcane energy sources.

The three books in the CROWN & KEY trilogy will be published in quick succession (The Shadow Revolution on June 2, The Undying Legion on June 30, The Conquering Dark on July 28) which means fans won’t have to wait long to get their hands on the entire series. This publishing scheme allowed us to view the entire trilogy a bit more omnisciently and fine tune the details over the course of writing three books. We could insure that important themes resonated through the entire series. We tightened the plot and linked the characters through subtle twists and turns that we might not have been able to accomplish if the early books were already published as we were writing the third. We are very pleased with the results and we hope readers will love and cheer the members of CROWN & KEY as much as we do.





Clay & Susan Griffith are a married couple who have written and published together for more than a decade. Their credits not only include two novels for Bantam Doubleday Dell in the mid-1990s and another novel for Pinnacle Entertainment Group in 2002 but also numerous short stories published in many anthologies, some featuring noted genre characters like Kolchak the Night Stalker and The Phantom. They've also written scripts for television and published graphic novels.


Follow Clay & Susan
Website | Facebook | @clayandsusan | Goodreads







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38 comments:

  1. I haven't read a Steampunk novel yet. I wasn't sure that I would like it. Just haven't found one that I wanted to read. But this one sounds interesting for sure.

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    1. If you love romance, I suggest either Callihan or McMaster, if you want paranormal, then this is what I recommend you read to induct you to the genre.

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  2. Oh yes this one sounds really good. I heard great things about it but when I asked for it I was denied and I didn't ask for it on NG, now I think I made a mistake. I'll have t buy it! Great review!

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    1. Request for it again, I think this is perfect for you as you and I share the same love for fantasy

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  3. I so wanna read it. But NG did not approve me so...will wait for xmas

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  4. I already read and reviewed this. I totally loved this as well. Simon is just a great male lead. He's everything I love about having a male protagonist. Plus Kate is a strong female and not going to let Simon overpower her. SW, Great Review.

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    1. We should tag team the next novel!

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  5. The Shadow Revolution actually sounds really good, Braine, and both the steampunk and the paranormal elements would definitely appeal to me. Add a sexy druid, and I'm completely sold ;)
    Have a great week ahead!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. It says on the complete blurb that it echoes Hearne's Iron Druid series.

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  6. Squeeze! Where do I begin with the awesome? Vampire Empire was so good it sits on my favorite shelf right now :) And the fact that they're releasing the books one after another? Sweet angels in heaven, why don't they all do that? Yes!!!

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    1. Fantastic, you're already a fan! Then move on to this series, Ramona!

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  7. This sounds really good, my friend keeps trying to get me to try reading Steampunk and have never gotten around too it. Great post!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

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    1. Hit me up when you're ready, we can talk recommendations :)

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  8. Not much for steampunk but I do love action fantasy. I will try it out.

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    1. the steampunk here is very watered down, it's more paranormal actually. Something you can definitely get in to

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  9. This sounds like a great series Braine! I like the sound of the slow building romance, and how this doesn't feel like a steam punk read. Awesome review!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

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    1. grazie, mille, naomi, I hope you get around to trying it.

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  10. I think this is one of those series I could jump into if I ever want to rid my aversion of steampunk. I like that it eases non-readers into the genre.

    Great review, and thanks for the intro, Braine!

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  11. I just peeked at your rating and will have to come back and read your review thoughts since I'm reading it now. Glad it was a hit!

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  12. I really enjoyed this one too, Braine! From the setting and action - to the fantastic mix of characters and SUPS, I'm hooked on this series as well! I need more, lol.
    Thank you for the great guest post on the series! :)

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  13. Love the perfectly flawed characters and their romance

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    1. It lends the novel a sense of "realism"

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  14. Great review and guest post, I'm not a huge fan of Steampunk so it's good to know that there's not a huge amount of characterizations of that genre in this novel. Thanks!

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  15. Oh boy, this sounds awesome. I do love a good steampunk every now and then so I am up for this one. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  16. These Sunday posts always remind me I need to read more steampunk.

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  17. A Druid?! And how did I not hear of this?! This sounds exactly up my alley!

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    1. Now you have and you're most welcome :)

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  18. Added this to my wishlist *o* as I do with so many steampunk books.

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    1. Where have you been?! I missed you!

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  19. Ahhh I have got to get to them. They're even my state authors. *hangs head* I have their other series on audio (had to since it's done by Spike lol) I was just telling someone else I think that might need to be my yard work "read" this coming week. Hmmmm.

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    1. read and do your yard work. Multi-tasking. Win-win!

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