I decided that I wanted to read something different so I thought I’d dip my toe into the Steampunk genre. I’ve never been particularly drawn to Steampunk but when someone recommended to me a novel entitled The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato, suggesting that I might enjoy a combinaton of fantasy, magic and steampunk elements, I was intrigued.
Below is the publisher’s blub:
Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.
Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.
After I completed the novel, I can say that The Clockwork Dagger was an excellent recommendation. This Steampunk airship adventure was well-written with eloquent prose and a gripping plot. I especially enjoyed the combination of both Steampunk and magical elements – kind of a magic meets technology theme with a tinge of romance.
Most of the novel’s action takes place on an Airship called the Argus on which we meet many zany – and dangerous – characters. Being true to the genre, the setting for the novel occurs during the prudish Victorian era. Thus, we have the puritan prim & proper attitudes and language combined with mystery, mayhem, danger, gremlins, corrupt governments, assassins, war, swashbucking spies and murder – all of which were expertly weaved into the story.
We are introducted to many strange contraptions, ideas and beliefs which aid in drawing us further into this Steampunk world. It’s a world that’s both magical and mechanical – modern yet ancient. I felt that the author did an excellent job at creating a believable and fascinating society.
The plot is full of surprises, twists and turns and at one point, we – along with our clever heroine – aren’t quite sure whom to trust. Though the setting takes place in an era of Victorian morals and behavior, I loved the fact that Octavia was no pushover and when threatened or in a crisis, she deftly held her own. While certainly a woman of the period, she also demonstrated wit, quick thinking and bravery. Our fiesty heroine was not afraid to break social behavior expectations when necessary.
The Clockwork Dagger was non-stop action and intrigue and I enjoyed the story immensely. In fact, I stayed up way past my bedtime because I couldn’t stop reading. It was a thrilling and engaging read with excellent dialog, well-developed characters, fast-paced action and a storyline that kept me turning the pages.
I look forward to the next book in the series (The Clockwork Crown) and to future books from this author. Because of her, I will be adding additional Steampunk-themed books to my every-growing reading list. Recommended!
You can check out The Clockwork Dagger HERE