Publication Date: Sept. 2010
Short synopsis (Goodreads): It is the dawn of a new age... The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.
“I was not a bard or a djeli or an historian or a scribe and I was certainly not a sage, but that didn't mean I wasn't curious…”
Young Cat Barahal thinks she understands the world she lives in and her place in it, but in fact she is merely poised, unaware, on the brink of shattering events. Drawn into a labyrinth of politics involving blood, betrayal and old feuds, she will be forced to make an unexpected and perilous journey in order to discover the truth, not just about her own family but about an ancient secret lying at the heart of her world.
Cat and her cousin Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the Cold Mages come for Cat. New dangers lurk around every corner and hidden threats menace her every move. If blood can't be trusted, who can you trust?
From one of the genre's finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle.
My Review: I’m giving this book a 5, not because it was perfect, but because I loved it so much.
What did I love, might you ask? Well, I actually had a couple of false starts with this book. While the first few chapters are ok, things didn’t start flowing for me until a little bit later and then the action really started to pick up. This is book is a great mix of magic, self-discovery, best friends, accidental and infuriating husbands, loyalty, traveling, fleeing, fighting and humor. I could go on, but I think you’ve got the picture. It’s not really a steampunk novel, and I didn’t go into reading it with that idea, but going back through the summary is makes it sound like machinery plays a huge part and that’s not the case.
Cat was a fantastic character. We only scratch the surface of who she is and I’m excited to get to know her better in the coming books. Her cousin, Bee, was actually a fun character as well. Usually her type of character annoys me but in this case she wasn’t too girly or witchy or spastic as the sisters or relatives of the heroines usually seem to be (that could just be me though). She has her own abilities and I’m eager to see what happens to her as well.
Andevai, well, he was annoying at the beginning, but then we get to know him more, and there’s this part towards the end *squee!!!* I really can’t say much more than that, but I am SLOBBERING to continue this series!!! I LOVE tension that you know is going to be resolved epically and this is the case!!!*still squee-ing*
What I didn’t like so much about this book was every once in a while it would get a little verbose about some history of the people or where the magic came from. It lasted only for a few paragraphs at most and I was able to skim it so it didn’t detract too much, but things could have flowed a little better. That, honestly, is my only complaint.
Worth all of its 500 pages!