Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Book Review: The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

The Iron Wyrm Affair

Lilith Saintcrow
Series: Bannon and Clare (Book 1)
Publication: Orbit; 1st edition (August 7, 2012)

Description: Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn't help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon's Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.

In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

My Thoughts: This was a very complex story set in an alternate historical London with both magic and steampunk elements. It also drops the reader right into this complex world which left me rather confused. Some paragraphs were filled with so much dialect that they were totally incomprehensible. However, others were filled with such lush description that I was drawn into the scene. 

Since this is the first in the Bannon and Clare novel, I was looking to find out more about these two characters. Emma Bannon is a Prime Sorcerer who works closely guarding Queen Victrix who is the current vessel for Britannia. We learn that she is on the track of some sort of conspiracy which is killing mentaths who are sort of super geniuses. Archibald Clare is one of those mentaths and one Bannon manages to rescue before he can be killed. Clare is recently unregistered and in danger of dying of boredom when he meets Bannon.

I loved all the wonderful descriptions of this steampunk version of London. I liked the variety of characters from indentured servants to Shields to dragons. I thought Bannon was an interesting character with lots of mysteries about her. I enjoyed the action as the two - separately and together - attempt to track down the conspirators and end the threat. The worldbuilding was complex with much more for the reader to discover. 

Favorite Quote:
"We are dealing with an unholy alliance of competing interests, none of whom are being exactly honest with each other. There is at least one party who wishes the destruction of Britannia Herself, one who possibly only wishes to damage Her current incarnation to make said incarnation amenable to coercion, and a third who wishes to sow as much confusion and chaos as possible in order to impair the Empire in any way they may."
I bought this one July 10, 2013. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised I haven't read this. I think I would like it. Thanks for sharing!


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