book review, fantasy

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

A healer heroine, a detailed magic/spiritual world and endearing animals – it’s like Beth Cato wrote this book just for me!

Octavia Leander is a medician – a mixture between a doctor, nurse and a faith healer. Deeply spiritual, Octavia combines her knowledge of herbal law with her ability to hear infection and wrongness in the body, praying to the Lady’s Tree, goddess of the healers, to bless her work and magically heal her patients.

War orphan, Octavia was saved from life on the streets by Miss Percival, who took her into her school and taught her the healing arts. Now an adult, Octavia is setting forth into the world to bring healing to the war torn country of Caskentia.

Seeking independence and blaming Caskentia for their blighted, dying land, the Wasters have been locked in a brutal war with the kingdom of Caskentia for decades. Despite the illusion of an armistice, spies from both sides are everywhere, including the Clockwork Daggers, the queens elite group of assassins.

What should have been an uneventful trip to start work in the town of Leffen, instead thrusts Octavia into a world of spies, intrigue, new friends, potential lovers and devoted animal companions.

The author has created a complex fantasy world that is believable at every turn. From the suffering on the streets, to the luxuries in the airships, to the spiritual life of the medicians, the world is lush and delightful. The steampunk elements add an extra level of interest to this engaging world.

The characters cover a diverse background of social levels, countries, occupations and belief systems, which provides deeper understanding of the world they come from, as well as enriching their development and providing conflict. Of particular interest are the gremlins – scientific chimeras that live around the cities and are considered pests by the majority of the population.

I loved this book. Octavia is caring, spiritual and strong. Her caring for all living creatures, especially saving the gremlin, Leaf, endeared her to me. I also appreciated her beliefs and prayer life.

The only slight negative in this book, and it is very slight, is the romance between Octavia and Alonzo. There was too much emphasis on his physical appearance for my liking.

I award The Clockwork Dagger

The Clockwork Dagger is available for $7.50 ebook and $14.99 print book on Amazon.

6 thoughts on “The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato”

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