Friday, 14 October 2011

Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape

Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.

Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess.

When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...

Steam and Sorcery appealed to the author side of me in that if I want to put something in my book I should be able to because that’s what I want to write. I’m talking about things that may not necessarily fit, that stand out, and I’ve discovered with reading the Steampunk genre that it sates my desire to have things in the book that feel deliciously odd. A mechanical dog contraption that so shouldn’t be in that era but is—along with a fantastic list of other mechanical things that “don’t fit”. I shall be reading more Steampunk in future!

Steam and Sorcery is a great tale, and I love the way Ms Spencer Pape world-builds and shows me exactly how and where her people live. With her books, you’re guaranteed something a little different, and I really like that.

I had a dose of bad vampyres, children with powers, adults with powers, a plot that thickens wonderfully, and two adorable leads who are falling in love. The interaction between Merrick and Caroline is lovely to see, and watching them grow closer as the book unfolds, knowing they’ll get together, was delicious anticipation I wouldn’t have missed for the world. These two are very enjoyable, their banter, their internal thoughts, and the way they both grow to love the children in Merrick’s care is heart warming.

There are secondary characters who fit very nicely into the book—the children, Dorothy, a couple of the house staff, which only makes the book richer and very much like a household might have been during that era.

Nudding and dramb (LOL)

“Whad do you wand?” (ROFL)

…until his aunt and the staff got the little buggers under control.

“Tommy, would you remind the others that this is why it’s not a good idea to slide down the banister?”

…as the running shapes sorted themselves into individual children…

“Miss Bristol, what the bloody hell is going on in here?”

Caroline couldn’t believe Merrick had talked her into riding in an airship on the trip to Oxfordshire.

And she was going to knock him right off his with an umbrella was soon as they were alone. (LOL)

A fabulous book that ticked all the right boxes for me. Endearing, heart warming, tense, funny at times, well written, lovely word-building and a fabulous voice—I couldn’t have asked for more! Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Katalina Leon said...

Cindy Spencer Pape always pens a great read with a lot of humor and heart.