Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Clockwork Dagger, by Beth Cato

Beth Cato's Wings of Sorrow and Bone was nominated for a Nebula this year, so I wanted to read it.  But it's a later part of a series, and my library doesn't have it.  I thought I'd read the first one, The Clockwork Dagger, to see if I wanted to catch up.

The promotional material says it's a "steampunk romance", and the steampunk part is there, but Cato doesn't really expand on it.  The technical development is aircraft before their time, zeppelins and gyrocopters.  But the focus is magic in the form of a connection to the Lady, initially a grief stricken human who somehow transformed into a world-supporting tree of magic.  The protagonist, Octavia, is a medician, one who wields that magic to heal.

The book is a straightforward romance novel, which is not so much my cup of tea.  We have a plot of intrigue involving a missing princess, but mainly this is about Octavia's relationship with hunky Tamaranian Alonzo Garrison, who turns out to be an agent of the queen, a Clockwork Dagger.  Adventures in keeping them alive, and intense hand holding, ensue.

The series didn't get off to a flying start, but it might get better.  I may catch it up later in the year.  For now, I give this one 2 stars.

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