Sunday, August 5, 2012

Early Review - The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

The Iron Wyrm Affair is the first book in a new series called Bannon and Clare. Emma Bannon is a forensic (Prima) sorceress who is employed by the crown of Britannia to look into nefarious activities and protect the Queen from anyone that attempts to harm her or the country in any way. Dr. Archibald Clare is an unregistered Mentath, or one who is used to using his brain to calculate all sorts of equations and try to guess their ultimate outcome.

Bannon and Clare are tasked by the crown, after Bannon rescues Clare from attackers, to find out why so many Mentath's have been killed off, and their bodies mutilated. It also seems that there are those who want nothing more than to bring about the absolute destruction of Britannia by unleashing forces of evil, including dragons, against the crown.

I would say that this story is a cross between Sherlock Holmes, Steampunk, and Alternative History with a little mystery tossed in to keep readers interested in the story. I would also say that I'm reserving judgment towards this series after having read this authors Dante Valentine series and found it kind of amusing and depressing when it went in so many different directions.

Saintcrow has a tendency of writing bizarre and often strange settings that leaves readers scratching their heads trying to figure out what she is talking about. If you've read her YA series, and read my reviews, you know that I was totally appalled at the way that series ended with little or no answers given to readers of the series.

This story is supposedly set during the time of Queen Victrix and most of the story takes place in the city of Londinium. The story is told in an alternating POV by chapters. I really had a complaint against the whole alternating POV's that Saintcrow uses. You get to the point where Bannon is fighting for her life, only to be taken to Clare's point of view in a totally different setting. We don't get to see what happens to Bannon when she's fighting for her life. We only knows that she wears tons of jewelry that keeps her dark powers. We also know that she goes through a ton of dresses in her battles against the evil that intends to destroy Victrix.

There is also a back story that isn't fully explained that left me perplexed and wanting more information. If you are going to use a background story, the least you could do is fully explain the reason behind it, and why there is so much unease between Bannon and her shield protector Mikal.

If you are looking for a romantic connection between Emma Bannon and Dr. Archibald Clare, don't bother. They are from two different worlds, and Clare isn't the kind of male character that is going to blurber his way through any sort of relationship with someone as powerful and set in her ways as Bannon is. There is an undertow between Bannon and another character that I won't spoil.

In the end, this story is actually interesting once you get passed the world building and the build up to the reason behind all the Mentath's being killed off. You also get a very unique and extraordinary character in Emma Bannon who doesn't take crap from anyone. Her powers are actually pretty amazing, whereas Clare isn't a push over when it comes to getting his hands dirty and protecting the crown.

I would have loved to see a glossary of terms in the back of the book. After reading her Dante Valentine series, I came to appreciate the fact that the author described her world in detail. This time around, it was left out. Major disappointment. The only thing that was explained was the levels of sorcerers and witches.

Next in series: The Red Plague Affair releases TBA.

Expected publication: August 7th 2012 by Orbit - Thank you Orbit for providing me a hard copy of this book in lieu of an honest review.

Title - The Iron Wyrm Affair
Author - Lilith Saintcrow
Publisher - Orbit
Release date - August 7, 2012


  1. Oh shucks! I tried reading The Hedgewitch Queen and I can't get her groove, I was thinking that maybe it's because I'm not feeling YA right now which explains why I probably didn't like it.

    I'm so looking forward to reading this, my enthusiasm has been dampened because you mentioned a couple of things that I don't like in my books too and I love a good fantasy book but I don't want to feel like I'm being left out.

  2. bummers, I was really looking forward to this one! Thanks for an honest look at it. I may eventually read this series, but will wait to borrow it from the library as opposed to purchasing it.