Saturday, March 19, 2011
Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
In alternate-world Europe, the mysterious Iron Duke, Rhys Trahaearn, freed England from the Horde’s centuries-long control. In the nine years since the monumental event, times have changed, but very much for Inspector Mina Wentworth, whose Horde blood makes her life difficult.
When Mina’s latest case throws her and the Iron Duke together, they discover a plan that will be deadly to most of the British population, and are forced to cooperate with each other as they journey through Europe to stop the conspirators before it’s too late. Further complications ensue, however, when they cannot fight their attraction to one another…
Oh my gosh. I am head over heels for this book. Besides for being a hot and lingering read, THE IRON DUKE is also a stellar example of steampunk worldbuilding, and is a book that I know I will be returning to for years to come.
THE IRON DUKE is without a doubt the most well written steampunk novel that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This is steampunk at its finest: an alternate-history England where man and machine cannot live without the other, where Meljean Brook unfolds scene after scene, detail after detail so elegantly one begins to wonder how this world could NOT exist.
Rhys and Mina are a pretty standard romance coupling, particularly Rhys as the dark, damaged, and very male love interest, but it is Mina who steals the show. Mina’s physical differences from most other Londoners ensured that she grew up quickly and does not easily trust people. Her outsider status, even among the people she’s lived with her whole life, captured my sympathies, and I was rooting hard for her the entire time to finally find acceptance and happiness.
THE IRON DUKE does not belong in the genre of books that I usually review, and as a result it’s hard for me to talk about why it’s so good. But mark my very inadequate words: if you like romance, and if you like steampunk, then you can’t get much better than this first book in Meljean Brook’s fascinating new series. I am so buying the next book as soon as it comes out.
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: I like the color scheme and the steampunk details. But the guy is a guy, and honestly, he reminds me slightly of a vampire rather than what I imagined Rhys looked like.
Berkley Trade / Oct. 5, 2010 / Paperback / 384pp. / $15.00
Personal copy, yeeeeeehawwwww!