[Reading] ➶ The Iron Wyrm Affair By Lilith Saintcrow – Multi-channel.co

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

10 thoughts on “The Iron Wyrm Affair

  1. says:

    The most succinct way to describe The Iron Wyrm Affair is a convoluted mess It is really disappointing to have looked forward to this book for the last few months only to be let down so thoroughly Not just let down I have rarely been so frustrated by a book that I wanted to hurl my Kindle across the room If the following review sounds confused and incoherent, that is because I just wasted the last few hours of my life reading one of the most incoherent books I ve ever had the misfortune to come across.There is little I have taken away from this story other than the following Archibald Clare is supposed to be a mentath and one half of this Bannon Clare story but was outshone by one of Emma Bannon s Shields, Emma Bannon has a short temper and serious trust issues and this was an urban fantasy novel disguised as steampunk.Firstly, those who re reading this as a steampunk novel should be quickly disabused of this notion there is little of the steampunk variety here other than vague mentions of automatons, logic engines and various mechas They attack our heroes, although it s not very well established why this happens it just does Magic is really the name of the game here, since Emma Bannon is a sorceress through and through Apparently one of the most feared classes of sorcerers in the realm, she tosses it around without a thought, defeats enemy after enemy with her powers and so on it s frankly hard to see why it was even necessary for there to be machines if she could do everything with her magic I would be greatly distressed if people walk away from this book feeling like the steampunk genre is not for them Let me assure them that this is hardly a representative example.It s fairly obvious from the cover that The Iron Wyrm Affair has borrowed from the Guy Ritchie film in the most outrageous fashion about the only noticeable difference is that we have a girl on the cover rather than two guys The things immediately established at the outset only confirm that this is a failed attempt to imitate Sherlock Holmes Archibald Clare constantly harps on about his powers of deduction , except rather than impressive showings of logic, he only ever waffles on about things that I figured out long before he put a stop to his verbal diarrhea He even has an arch nemesis, Dr Vance, who is mentioned in passing but never appears at all Instead, Emma Bannon charges into his house and drags him off with great urgency, they are attacked by various supernatural natural beings this entire episode was such a mess that I could hardly follow it and it is thus established that Clare s genius is in danger Oohhh.After this most confusing opening, it only gets worse The author appears to think that if she d just toss out new terminology and insert character place names as she goes, readers will simply figure it out NO It doesn t work that way, particularly when we are given no context whatsoever on most occasions More often than not, details are either not explained or a passing remark made MUCH LATER will finally enlighten me Really, I shouldn t have to find myself wondering things like, What the heck is a the Shadow when characters are talking about it, only to reach the next chapter and it d be finally placed in context so that I realize, Oh, I think it s the name of a place There are also many instances where the tension builds to a climax and you re at the point where a character s fighting for their lives and then you re ripped away and dropped into a different POV By the time you return, the action s over and you re only told what has happened Worse, the magic system, which Emma constantly references and is obviously central to her scenes, is only explained 4 5ths of the way through the book at page 246 By then, I had given up on understanding it, only to be greeted with a one page infodump.This is all unfortunately coupled with overly verbose prose that is often grammatically incorrect or simply clunky it s an obvious effort to twist words around so that they d sound as complicated and historical as possible Take the following sentence, for example A traitorous warmth bloomed in her belly, was sternly shelved.Or this one Clare freed himself with a violent, wrenching twist, losing his top hat, and made it up to one knee, his freshly loaded silver chased pepperbox pistol out.What I had to read that sentence several times.I could forgive these poor attempts to imitate period language if it wasn t so obvious that the author couldn t decide whether to make Londinium yes, not London, because that would be too normal, see true to the Victorian Era or turn it into a totally unique fantasy world There seemed to be a reluctance to commit to either, so we end up with a weird combination of both Emma talks about hiring hansom cabs, there are apparently social norms for well bred ladies that she s clearly not following, there s a queen and her consort, a Duchess of Kent, Buckingham, etc However, the queen has been renamed Victrix and her husband Alberich, the spirit of Britannia apparently chooses vessels and are surrounded by sorcerers it s really a badly disguised alternate London I d probably appreciate it if there was better world building, but I lost my grasp of anything in this novel somewhere at the beginning.As for the characters, they re little better developed than the rest of the novel I ve already mentioned Clare s so called logical deductions that are less deductions than they are gigantic, unexplained mental leaps that serve to move the plot along Emma is much better developed and it is thankfully her POV that we get most of the time, but she irritates me almost as much as Clare s completely useless self because she spends much of the book insisting on her distrust of her Shield bodyguard, Mikal This is after he has saved her life repeatedly, worried about her safety like a mother hen and made it obvious to everyone who isn t BLIND that he thinks the world of her.On the upside, the complicated burgeoning relationship between Emma and Mikal was not only a very pleasant surprise, but also the only thing that kept me reading this horrendous mess The slowly unfolding details of their history was fascinating, and I gave it one star for this sole reason I might even have considered picking up the sequel and only reading their sections if the author interview at the end of the book had not taken away this one point of satisfaction with her comment that view spoiler Mikal was not so much a love interest as a way for Emma to release a little pressure hide spoiler

  2. says:

    While I don t know exactly how I feel about this book it intrigued me enough to read the second one anyway After reading a few chapters of the 2nd I can say I will not be finishing this series I loved the idea and while I believe people who enjoy steam punk, sorcerers and murder mysteries will enjoy this book The writing style was not for me 2 and half stars 1 5

  3. says:

    I don t know exactly what s happening with the summary, but I read magic , sorceress , and London , I m in.

  4. says:

    I did not like the writing style of this at all It was choppy and jumped all over the place The changing POVs were confusing because I couldn t always tell at first that they had changed, and the world building was basically non existent I feel like I missed an entire book that actually explained the world, the magic, and all the terms that were randomly thrown at me throughout There were many scenes that I had to go back and re read because I realized that I had no idea what I had just read They were garbled and confused, and re reading didn t always help That s when I started to skim I skimmed until I found explanations and scenes that I could actually understand And I skimmed until I had enough of a sense of the story that I was half way interested in what was going to happen, and then I managed to care enough to finish the book while still skimming the confusing parts.The thing is, I think there s a good story in there somewhere I had to dig really hard to find it, and it was obscured by choppy and chaotic scenes But it was enough in the end for me to give this two stars instead of one, if only because I m a sucker for historical fantasy steampunk settings like this.

  5. says:

    Emma Bannon is a powerful sorceress in service to the British Empire When the mutilated corpses of mentaths super geniuses start showing up, she is the only one to link the deaths to a potential threat to Britain itself She manages to save the last mentath from an assassination attempt, then enlists him to her cause While Emma investigates the sorcerous conspiracy, Archibald Clare the mentath pounds the pavement looking for clues.Archibald Clare is the weakest part of this book He s supposedly this fantasy steampunk world s version of Sherlock Holmes, but he talks in a bad knock off of a dithering public school accent lots of I say and Good day sir and how improper I m not exagerating in the least these are actual samples of actual dialog He s a genius, but I saw no examples within the text For instance, Emma mentions that she was a poor orphan, and three pages later he deduces that she grew up poor based on her table manners She just told you, dimwit Alas, it seems that he is a permanent main character.Emma s sections of the book are just as silly as Archibald s but at least she does things Her magic is dramatic and dark The dragons she encounters are easily the most interesting aspects of the book, being both intriguing twists on the usual bodies dragons get and sounding quite frightening And I loved that she was a balls to the wall kind of badass, who throws her all into a battle and then, having barely survived, immediately fight another She has a series of furious rides that are downright inspiring Fans of Anne Bishop s Black Jewels series will like her I certainly did She s like a normal dark sorceress cranked up to 11 The plot is basically just a bunch of random ideas Saintcrow throws at the heroes, without much development or explanation So don t read this if you re expecting a mystery, because there aren t clues or hidden threads or anything like But do read this if you re in the mood for flashy clockwork creatures and campy pseudo Victorian dialog.

  6. says:

    Sorcery, conspiracy, extreme mental prowess and hey STEAMPUNK You d be hard pressed to find a action packed ride then The Iron Wyrm Affair Indeed I was blown away by just how nonstop the pace was with this particular novel Whenever I think of Victorian London I just picture things moving along at a nice steady civil and proper pace chuckles but how wrong I was and delightfully so This alternate Victorian London has a rich world building that I m happy to say I haven t come across before and marvelous fun set of characters A high strung sorceress if there ever was oneNow when I say high strung I don t mean that at all in a bad way Simply that Miss Emma Bannon knows what she is about and she knows her status and capabilities She s a prime sorceress Now get used to hearing that word Prime and prima what her bodyguard Mikal calls her because she focuses so much on her rank that a few times I found it rather annoying Sorcerers always have Shields that act as their protectors and go about with them everywhere because while Sorcerers can be extremely powerful using their skills can keep them so occupied that it can leave them vulnerable to attack Someone of her station would normally have 4 or Shields but right now Emma only has the one, Mikal Her relationship with him is a very interesting one indeed and I have to admit very unexpected for me since I thought if there was going to be any romantic interest in this novel that it would have been between Emma Bannon and Archibald Clare but again I was delightfully wrong But don t expect romance because really there isn t any just a tense mutual interest you can see simmering at times on both sides.Oy I m having some trouble attaching I wish that there were downtime or insight into Emma s thoughts so I could have gotten to know her character better Because of the pace of the book I felt like I didn t get as attached to her as I did to Archibald Clare Though the reason for this was likely because of the narrative style of the book I really don t believe we actually did get internal thoughts much at all Except for Clare since he spoke his thoughts aloud This luckily enabled me to get behind Clare as a character because of his penchant for voicing his thoughts and opinions out loud something I already noted as mostly lacking with Emma This undoubtedly was my biggest sticking point about the book I do think things moved so fast I didn t get to know the characters as well as I should have but I think that could have been resolved if the style of narrative had been tweaked somewhat I even went so far as to look up 1st, 2nd and 3rd person narrative styles to try to figure out which exactly this was being delivered in but I m still at somewhat of a loss but I think it was mostly 3rd person If anyone else has read it and has a beat on it, do let me know lol.Did anyone call for a Sherlock Have you ever read any Sherlock Holmes Watched any of it Ok admittedly I haven t read any but I love the movies starring Robert Downey Jr and I have to tell you that Archibald Clare reminds me so much of Sherlock Holmes in those movies with all of his logical deductions and his scrappiness He is a mentath, and in this novel that is pretty much equivalent to a human logic machine Give him a puzzle, riddle, mystery or what have you and he will undoubtedly be able to deduce all of the answers He s quite the character and not opposed to getting into a bit of scrappy action when need be which I wouldn t have expected from a mentath but then again I guess I should if I liken him to Sherlock aye There is some crazy business afootI ve had quite the run around of a time keeping up with the squirrely plot line in The Iron Wyrm Affair but I mean that in the most endearing way However there were times when there was soo much going on that I had to go back and reread or re listen to parts entirely because I felt I had gotten lost in the deluge of descriptive information being given The way the mystery unfolds in the storytelling kept me engaged and an active participant More so during Clare s parts probably because of Clare s knack for talking things out from time to time I thought the way that the elements of sorcery and steampunk were blended together were done quite nicely The sorcery area focuses on Emma s character since she is the sorceress and that s what we see whenever she is on the scene and of course the mentath Clare gets to tackle quite a few cool steampunk incarnations The descriptions given of them are excellent It s overall action to the max that is in store for you with a very big mystery that needs unraveling, so much so that there was no telling what would happen next I m ready for the next Affair

  7. says:

    The plot itself was fine even interesting by the end but you could barely see it under the heaving mass of purple prose The style deployed selected, I assume, to embody the ornate power gradation heavy world ultimately harms the text as a whole Unnecessary details make the story and world seem clunky, particularly as the same unnecessary details tend to be repeated nearly verbatim on a regular basis I understood that Bannon s face was childlike the first time around and didn t find it a very convincing physical manifestation of her actual vulnerability versus her perceived immense strength then By the sixth or seventh time the same description and implication was given I began to suspect that the author, who clearly had easy access to a thesaurus, didn t really have much of a mental picture of the heroine herself in either a physical or figurative sense and so could not provide still superfluous details Bannon s interior monologues were similarly dramatic and while this did allow for a nice contrast with Clare, the regular failure to match Bannon s perception of what others think and are doing with what they actually appear to be thinking and doing makes her seem both unreliable and unpleasant as a narrator This is particularly true of the many instances in which she attributes excessively anti feminist thoughts and motivations to characters around her only to have her interactions with those characters come across with far ambivalence I m not sure if this is a failure of the author to depict the very sexist world Bannon seems to feel she lives in, if Bannon is actually just highly unpleasant and the antipathy some people express towards her is product of her personality, or if Bannon s dark view of gender relations is the result of past trauma that now lingers on in her worldview that at least might explain the atrocious She was, indeed, a spectacular failure at femininity except in the area of weakness line Clare s portions of the book, on the other hand, were generally better His first several chapters were, admittedly, slow but the gained speed about halfway through the novel and became genuinely entertaining by the end this was true for the entire plot, really Because Clare s bit was so very entertaining I will likely try the second book in the series as well and hope that the other faults improve.A pro tip to the author The next time you find yourself writing sentences that include the phrase his organ of Remembrance set down your pen, shut your Lisa Frank branded notebook, and lay your head down on your desk for awhile.P.S There is no way to make bondage and enslavement, even marginally willing bondage and enslavement recast as servitude, sexy Please stop now.

  8. says:

    I listened to this book on audio, and it was definitely a distinctive read I have to say that while I enjoyed it, it was challenging to listen to I found it hard to visualize some concepts I honestly have no brain for mechanical concepts, so listening to descriptions of the mecha devices was difficult for me I decided to stop analyzing and go with it Not worry about trying to get a crystal clear image of those parts of the story, but just enjoy what I could understand The ideas were interesting, but I was a bit clueless about what exactly made Clare what he was, and the exact interplay between his physiology and his abilities At the end, I determined that he was heavily depending on the continual processing of information for his well being, but he could think too much and end up in trouble Perhaps he also has some enhanced sensory abilities which also make him susceptible to different environments While the magic system was very intriguing, it took me a long time to understand it or get a handle on it I absolutely loved some parts They were darkly beautiful They inspired a deep sense of unease with the arcane natures of the magical acts and the beings perpetuating them, but also a sense of awe While I have no real life interest in magic whatsoever, I do love reading about magic in this kind of fictional setting And I thoroughly enjoyed the fact magic is so intrinsic to the fabric of Great Britain in this novel It was very cool that the present monarch is a host for the spirit of Britannia I haven t encountered that concept before.As far as characters, Emma really came to life for me She s such a complex person She s a mix of good and bad, and her manner of interacting with others can inspire winces as often as wows I loved how vigilant and fierce she was She took her role as a Prime sorcerer very seriously, and her vow to protect Britain And it often cost her personally The scene near the end brought shivers down my spine I also loved Mikhail He was luscious The way the moderator spoke his parts was utterly appealing Especially the way he spoke to Emma and called her Prima It sounded like a verbal caress I was surprised at the direction that the author took with Emma s relationship with Mikhail It added to the complexity of her character I wish I had answers about what Mikhail is I have to be honest that he is a big draw for me right now, although I also find Emma very appealing as a heroine, although not always laudable in the way she acted towards some characters Clare was interesting I enjoyed his deductive reasoning and analysis of the very strange situations he encountered after being recruited by Emma as the sole surviving unregistered mentath As I mentioned earlier, I didn t always get what he was doing and how it affected him I hope that will change with later books I also liked Valetinelli I have a fondness for roguish characters who are insanely good at being lethal That s definitely him The moderator made his voice very fun He spoke with a blatant Italian accent that was lyrical and appealing I think the major reason why I didn t give this a higher rating was that I had a hard time getting a grasp on the story to the extent that I desired I had a lot of questions As far as the writing having an appeal and impact on me, that was very well done Saintcrow has a way of bringing magical and arcane elements to vibrant life that stays with me That imagery was very well depicted As a visual reader, I could feel and experience the powerful magics that the characters employed, although some parts were just plain weird and my brain didn t know what to make of those I also give this book points on having such a distinctive heroine Not always pure in her motives, but underneath, driven to do what is right That s a hard thing to conceptualize in a novel without polarizing your audience.I have to give this 3.5 stars because it was flawed in some ways, but in others a very good book I will continue this series with the hopes I will be enlightened on some of the world building particulars and to explore of Emma, Clare, and Mikhail, and not to mention, Supernatural Victorian Great Britain.Recommended with reservations.

  9. says:

    Ahh, I fell for the This cover looks real neat, maybe the story will be too trap again I have to stop doing that But then, it wasn t just the cover that pulled me in, it was the synopsis too I mean Alternate Victorian London Steampunk Sorcery Sherlock Holmes influenced I was in.It gave me everything I expected, alright, but all in an inferior and poorly written way London became Londonium, Queen Victoria became Queen Victrix, her husband, Prince Alberich Mayfair became Mayefair And then after that, it seemed like the author gave up and kept Hyde Park, the Seven Dials, etc as they were in real London I get that this was supposed to be AU Victorian London but the name changes came across as rather unnecessary and, well lame And their mode of speech Clearly the author has not read many historical novels because then she d know that inserting complicated words and jumbling up sentence structures do not equal period speech If you re an avid reader of Victorian Era set stories, this is not for you Yes there was Steampunk, if steampunk meant things with gears in them.If one read proper steampunk novels, they d know that d be untrue Sorcery, check Emma chants we never know what she chants , says a word again, we re not shown what it is she raises her hand and stuff happens Oh and she s from this really scary discipline that she makes cryptic statements about Maybe it s because I just ended an Urban Fantasy High Fantasy binge, but I would have expected a bit exposition on the dynamics of her sorcery, considering that half of the book is in her perspective.Then we come to Clare, the mentath aka the diluted Sherlock clone He wasn t so much as a nod to Sherlock Holmes but rather close to a blatant plagiarism Close, but not exactly He plays the viola play chromatic scales to fruit flies, yes I got that reference but it just me facepalm , he s super bored and a deductive genius, as apparently all mentaths are His deductions aren t very clever, they only sound clever cause he likes to do a kind of intellectual word vomit where he just spoutns of complicated words and tries, tries to make them fit into one coherent sentence.This isn t for people who like Historical, Alternate Historical, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy, Sherlock Holmes I know that s kind of the genres this book is in, but if you re familiar with these genres, then you d know good from.TLDR It s vague and a bit amateurish I read half of the book and skipped to the last few chapters, and I am fine with that.

  10. says:

    A really well done, exciting new mystery steampunk series Really a steampunk alt history set in Victorian Brittania, the reader is thrown into the middle of the story when Emma Bannon, a Prima sorceress along with her guardian Shield, Mikal, rescue Archibald Clare, a mentath a logic is his life, very aspergers like in manner, Sherlockian detective There s no backstory, so you re figuring out the past of all three as you go, which makes this book fascinating since by the end you are left wondering some things, which make you want to read the next one A very satisfying use of allusions to a romance without directly using the romance as a tool also was ingenious Loved it Emma is bad ass lady For those who like Gail Carriger.