Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.
Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?
The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.
Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.
Five Things to Know About The Clockwork Crown:
- The Clockwork Crown is the sequel to The Clockwork Dagger. The series is steampunk fantasy. It blends Victorian and Edwardian clothes, morals, and technology, but adds a strong magical twist. Plus, it takes place in a fresh setting off Earth.
- My heroine is Octavia Leander. She’s gifted with profound healing powers. When she is near people, she can hear their injuries and illnesses in the form of song. This enables her to use rare herbs to cure them, but also makes it difficult to go anywhere in public. She’s utterly overwhelmed by the songs and needs of everyone around her. She can’t save everyone, but she wants to.
- My hero is Alonzo Garret, a dark-skinned young man who lost part of his leg during his time as a soldier. When he first meets Octavia in The Clockwork Dagger, he’s an airship steward. As Octavia soon discovers, there’s much more to him than that.
- As The Clockwork Crown begins, Octavia and Alonzo are fleeing for their lives through snowy wilderness. Octavia’s healing powers have attracted the wrong sort of attention. Some people want her dead, some alive, and some for other sordid, selfish purposes. She and Alonzo are not only fighting to stay alive, but they want to understand why Octavia is so powerful… and why her abilities are becoming stronger so quickly.
- The stakes are high and the action fast, but the novels aren’t dark. In the first book, Octavia saves a little gremlin and names him Leaf. Leaf has a knack for taking over the whole story, and in The Clockwork Crown, more gremlins join the cast. These creatures are like furless green cats with bat wings. They can’t speak words, but they meow, purr, and make their feelings quite known. Many people around Octavia regard gremlins as pests, like flying rats that like to steal silver, but Octavia befriends and defends gremlins. She sees something of herself in gremlins: beings that aren’t understood or accepted by society, and just want to be loved.
The Clockwork Crown was a fast easy read; with an interesting world setting, some quirky characters / creatures and a touch of magic, it falls right in the middle zone of my comfort reads. I found the mystery behind the magic to be most captivating factor in this duology.
Octavia and Alonzo as main protagonists are likeable enough though I don’t understand Octavia’s choice at the end. Oh, I know the reasons of why she made her choice but I just don’t get it (or maybe I just wanted it to go a different way. Really wanted it to!). I guess, the ending was pretty predictable so I wanted something shocking or even tragic (I’m really not a sadist… well, maybe, sometimes…).
There was plenty of actions with some interesting twists. However, there was one where I’d just had to roll my eyes at; I just couldn’t believe how naïve Octavia was! The romance was kind of sweet though there really wasn’t much of it. It’s a very clean romance with some kisses (only) and even those, are very tame.
Overall, whilst I enjoyed a very relaxed reading of The Clockwork Crown; it wasn’t quite memorable. It was missing a certain spark… there was a lack of feels (it wasn’t really dark nor funny nor sweet) so it was just an average read for me (3 stars).
Thanks to Harper Voyager for copy of book in exchange of honest review