Release Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Steampunk | Epic Fantasy
Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger
Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?
The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.
Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.
And so Octavia Leander's journey ends on a high note on Beth Cato's epic steampunk duology, CLOCKWORK CROWN. I didn't realize until now the level of excitement trees can bring into a story.
Why I loved CLOCKWORK CROWN
- It's a duology! With so many great books around and multi-novel series at that, a 2-part series or standalones are a wonder and a relief at the same time. I wasn't bogged down with books to add on my already hulking TBR nor do I have to deal with crazy cliffhangers and long waits.
- Clockwork Dagger is a steampunk epic fantasy. The series isn't set on either 19th century Victorian London or Western America. instead it's in a fictional land where Queens rule with dissedents and rebels abound, where religion or spirituality is supreme, and prophecies must be fulfilled. Caskentia is such a wondrous place and the novels come equipped with maps! It's a personal sign for me, when a novel comes with a map, it's more often than not, going to be an epic adventure.
- That said, both Clockwork Dagger and CLOCKWORK CROWN weren't riddled with descriptions or conversations about steampunk-ish inventions. The gadgets are familiar (guns and other explosive mechanisms, robot-like creatures, etc.) and were told in a very simplified way non-steampunk readers won't get dizzy trying to imagine what these things look like.
- CLOCKWORK CROWN's romantic angle is very chaste and took a back seat in the story. Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett's romantic pairing was slow burning and these heroes understand priorities. They didn't do a quick romp in the hay to profess their love for each other nor used it as an excuse to release their unbridled passion for each other.
- The MC's are real heroes who aren't trying to be heroes. Meaning they didn't want to be martyrd and made sure everyone knew about the sacrifice they're doing. For Octavia and Leander, they're merely doing their job, the difference is they want to do it well.
- I love the conflict of CLOCKWORK CROWN and the series in general. One would think that Octavia is going to be put in the middle of politics a la Katniss Everdeen. I was surprised to discover that the main conflict lie on Octavia herself. When her fate was revealed, Octavia fought it to the bitter end. Some may see it as selfish on her part, pursuing a personal goal over something that will benefit a lot of people. I saw it as an honest and realistic view on things. The fact that Octavia didn't want the role that was forced upon her is already proof that she won't be effective in it.
- Lastly, the frickin Tree is magnificent! From book 1 everyone's talking about this Tree, like it's the Tree of life where it's self-aware, full of magic, and the source of both good and evil in BCato's world. We finally see/meet the Tree here and I was just wowed by it.
I guess I'll be sticking with fantasies for a while now. CLOCKWORK CROWN is a great start to my reading with and I hope not to jinx it with my next one. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend, Supies!
P.S. Don't forget to check out and enter my 4th Blogiversary giveaway! It's open Int'l so nobody is excluded!