Book Reviews

Magpie's Song: Volume 1 (The IronHeart Chronicles) by Allison Pang

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List Price: £9.37

 

Paperback: 324 Pages.

Published: 07 August 2017 by Allison Pang

ISBN: 0998534315

EAN: 9780998534312

In the slums of BrightStone, Moon Children are worth less than the scrap they must collect to survive. It doesn’t matter that these abandoned half-breeds are part-Meridian with their ancestors hailing from the technologically advanced city that floats above the once-thriving, now plague-ridden BrightStone. Instead they are rejected by both their ancestral societies and forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, joining clans simply to stay alive. Not to mention their role as Tithe, leading the city’s infected citizens deep into the Pits where their disease can be controlled.

Nineteen-year-old Raggy Maggy is no different, despite the mysterious heart-shaped panel that covers her chest. Or at least she wasn’t… Not until her chance discovery of a Meridian-built clockwork dragon—and its murdered owner. When the Inquestors policing the city find Maggy at the scene of the crime, she quickly turns into their prime suspect. Now she’s all anyone can talk about. Even her clan leader turns his back on her, leading her to rely on an exiled doctor and a clanless Moon Child named Ghost to keep her hidden. In return, all she has to do is help them find a cure for the plague they believe was not exactly accidental. Yet doing so might mean risking more than just her life. It also might be the only key to uncovering the truth about the parents—and the past—she knows nothing about.

Reviews

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Well Constructed World & Plot

As with any fantasy book that is creating a new world, this book had many areas which were quite slow. This book took a while to get going and I took a while to get my head around the world that the author has created. I won't explain it in too much detail as it is best discovered slowly within the book. However, this is a steampunk fantasy world which is a mix of Victorian & Edwardian with fantasy elements.

Mags is a street urchin. She is a moon child, a half-breed who is wanted by no-one. She is destined to scratch out a living in a street gang before being consigned to The Pit to care for the sufferers of "The Rot". Mags' world is turned upside down when she discovers a dead body & takes a clockwork steam dragon who seems to have a life of its own. Mags is then thrown into a complex group where the discovery of the causes of "The Rot" are vital. Who does she trust and just what is being kept secret by the higher levels of society? In fact what is being kept a secret by these people she needs to trust with her life?

This book started quite slowly with a lot for the reader to get their head around. However there is plenty of action and the book soon got underway properly. I got very involved and lost within this book. In fact I was so engrossed that I was cross when the ending came. Talk about a cliff hanger - the next one had better be out soon!

The characters in this book are very three dimensional and quite complex. Not everyone is exactly who they seem to be and have extra hidden agenda. Mags gets involved with Ghost, a moon child without a clan who is certainly not what he seems. There is also the Doctor, the brothelkeeper and the gang leaders. The world is quite complex & dangerous for Mags and indeed most of the residents of Brightstone.

The creation of Brightstone is not unique. There are many resemblances to similar steampunk style fantasy worlds in recent fantasy books. There are, however, some aspects such as the Moon Children and "The Rot" which make this world different. I enjoyed this world which was interesting and quite easy to understand once I had got the hang of it.

I loved the plot in this book which hung together well. It was intricate but well constructed. There were no gaping holes where things didn't fit together.

I am very much looking forward to the second book in this series. This book does rather leave on a cliffhanger and I am keen to see what happens next!

I was given a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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