The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

Bannon & Clare, Book 1

Synopsis: Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.

In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.

The game is afoot..

Review: I had this novel for a very long time, to the point where I didn’t remember it had come out in French (yes, because I had the English version). When I read something by this author, usually it either is hit or a miss. But I had wanted something a bit steampunk, so I got into the story!

Emma Bannon is a Prima, a witch in the service of the empire. When she discovers that the mentaths of London are being killed one by one, our heroine’s mission is to protect the last one who is still alive: Archibald Clare. But it won’t be easy. There is also Mikal, Emma’s protector, and I have to admit that he is the character that interested me the most in this novel. I was really curious to see exactly what he wanted, what he was going to do and, above all, what was going to happen with Emma. It was difficult to know in advance how he was going to act.

The novel is very dense and complex. I found the story interesting, although I must say it is not my favorite novel of the author. I will read the sequel I think but I’m not in a hurry.

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