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?
Genre: Steampunk/alternative history
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 liked this book from the first sentence; ”The history of the world begins in ice, and it will end in ice.” After that I just liked it more and more and cursed the fact that it had been sitting on my shelf for 5 months before I read it.
The author describes the book as this: “Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendants of troödons.” Now if that did not catch your attention then I do not know what will.
I do not know how to start to tell you about this book. The Roman Empire lasted longer than it should have (and is still around just smaller), and when it fell Europe broke down into places ruled by Princes and more. The plague of ghouls in Africa made the Mande people come to Europe where they met the Celts and formed the Mage Houses. There is magic (we meet the Cold Mages in this one), spirits and the spiritworld, trolls and airships. It’s a world struggling between new things and magic. And the north of the world is covered is still covered by ice.
Cat who is the heroine is someone I liked at once. She had a lot of things to figure out. I do not want to tell you too much but something will make her stand in the middle of something bigger. She does not know who to trust. And I read on and on wondering what would happen next and what really was going on. Then we have Andevai, and I can’t tell you what I feel about him and I just gonna leave you with this and insert an *evil smile*. I know what I feel but to tell you, nope that might be a spoiler. Bee her cousin was nice and sweet and the cousins truly cared for each other and would walk to hell and back to save the other one. Then there is Rory, oh I loved him, and again *evil laugh* I will not tell you anything more.
Again I can’t do the book justice. I could not put it down; it grabbed me at once with its mysterious and its wonderful worldbuilding. It’s such a rich world to explore. And the story never slows down, there is danger and there are questions and she has quite the adventure. There is also a hint of romance that might get explored more in the next book.
Anyway to make a long story short: I liked the book, I really liked it.
I recommend this book to fans of fantasy and steampunk. It’s such a wonderful mashup of genres and I fell fast for the book. I can’t wait for book 2 to come out so I continue the story and yes I hope I can buy it a once and read it.
Go and read it.