Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.
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.
The Clockwork Dagger ended up surprising me but in a good way. Why? Because I loved the world building. Most steampunk novels that I have read recently, have been set in a Victorian alternative era England. The story could have taken place in a high fantasy setting and it would have still impressed me. The world is dark, and dreary, and war has left an indelible impression on the citizens who continue to pay the price for their monarchies failures.
I loved the main character 22 year old Octavia Leander and her magical abilities and the fact that she can more than take care of herself. Octavia is a survivor. She survived her parents awful deaths. She survived being raised by Miss Percival as a medician (aka healer). She has a close connection to a powerful deity known as the Lady, and that alone gives her the ability to save nearly everyone she touches.
In the world that Cato has created, Octavia is perhaps the most powerful being alive, but she remains hopeful for a peaceful future without the threat of being used as a puppet by others who don't have her best interests at heart.
I loved that the romance, what little there was of it, didn't take unnecessary time away from the action, or the mystery. I don't mind a bit of romance but, I do mind when there are chapters, on top of chapters of it, and no action or movement in the storyline. Often times I find myself skipping page after page to get to the parts I like. That didn't happen here. The story more than held my attention right to the end
I liked that there was a bit of diversity in the story as you can clearly see from the cover. Alonzo has an interesting past, and doesn't allow his mission to get in the way of saving Octavia from harm. Octavia and Alonzo's journey is fraught with danger, suspicion, betrayal, a hidden princess thought to be long dead, and a wonderful gremlin named Leaf who I don't think we've seen the last of. At least I hope not!
I love the fact that The Clockwork Dagger is apparently part of a duology and therefore readers will enjoy one more journey with Octavia and Alonzo. The ending is open ended, and therefore some interesting questions, and problems remain. I am eager to read the next installment since Cato has a rather large world to discover, and plenty of enemies that haven't been appeased.
Author - Beth Cato
Title - The Clockwork Dagger (Clockwork Dagger # 1)
Published by Harper Voyager
Releases: September 16, 2014
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy
Format: Paperback 368 pages