book review, fantasy

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

All the steampunk, gremlin, Lady Tree awesomeness of The Clockwork Dagger, but this time turned up to 11.

Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garret are on the run, seemingly wanted by everyone, each side desiring to use Octavia’s growing powers to further their own agenda. They flee to Alonzo’s home country of Tamarania, a country rooted in science and devoid of magic. There they hope to find answers to what is happening to Octavia, and how to keep the crumbling peace between Caskentia and The Waste.

However, Octavia’s adventures see her unwilling return to Caskentia, a discovery of a centuries old secret, and a need for her to heal a disease that might endanger the Lady Tree herself.

Full of excitement, magic and intrigue, The Clockwork Crown is even better than its excellent predecessor.

The world introduced in The Clockwork Dagger, full of medicians, chimera and airships, was expanded to great effect in the second part of the duology. Learning more of Caskentia’s history added depth, and, combined with the central crisis at the heart of the plot, elevated the entire story to something greater than the sum of its parts.

While it was nice to see the secondary characters return (especially Leaf), two new characters – Tatiana Garret, Alonzo’s sister, and Rivka – stole the show. They are two of my favorite literary characters. I love Tatiana’s intelligence, strength and ability to get her way, while Rivka’s determination and quiet resolve makes her an admirable character. Two young women from very different backgrounds and with extremely different personalities, yet both realistic and attention grabbing.

Alonzo’s character was further developed in this book, and it was nice to see him as more than the love interest. The introduction of his family, and his home provided some much needed background.

The icing on the cake was the increased information about the Lady Tree, the spiritual source of healing for the medicians, one of my favorite elements from the first book. Without giving away any spoilers, this aspect of the story had me riding a roller coaster of emotions that included genuine fear for Octavia, before I reached the book’s satisfying conclusion.

I award The Clockwork Crown

The Clockwork Crown is available for $7.46 ebook and $14.99 print book on Amazon.

Read my review of The Clockwork Dagger here.

Read my interview with author, Beth Cato, here.

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