Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Series: Tale of the Iron Seas, 3
Third in the Tale of the Iron Seas steampunk romance series. The couple focus is on Annika Fridasdottor and David Kentewess.
This has been an odd sort of series. Most series either follow the same character or a group of characters who know each other. This series is based in the same steampunk world with a casual mention of the cities and a very few of the same, very peripheral characters. Nothing else.
Brook's description of the problems Annika encounters in different port cities was interesting. It's also a colder version of the Amazonian maidens, the Valkyrie perhaps? Although I doubt the Valkyries had to cope with mechanical trolls!
Brook's revelations about David's father are extremely vague. I do wonder once we learn more, why Brook has avoided discussing his culpability.
This is a lovely story about tolerance and waiting for love with some nice morals. There is honor, loyalty, caring, and sacrifice. Friendship. Family. Doing the right thing. There are some odd bits that Annika has absorbed about sex, but they're more funny than anything. Our Mary turns out to be a surprise.
Not to worry, though, LOL. There is plenty of excitement and adventure from being captured by pirates and escaping again and again! Sieges, rebellions, explosions, and a man headed to the moon.
Really, Brook makes an excellent point. Lineage should follow the woman as you always know who your mother is. Although, considering how many of the daughters are children who have been taken off the streets from around the world...
If only Annika hadn't been so woolly-headed, she could be home right now with all the other women and her sisters. Instead she's being accosted by a guard in Castile. A bother that enables David to step in and help. Another step on his path to find what he has sought for twenty years.
The mistakes in their individual pasts have placed them on this particular path and it could well be a fatal collision as all the bad conspires to catch them up.
The closer the Phatéon gets to Iceland, the more Annika learns how much her tiny, hidden village is threatened. Too many people, too much activity. It almost negates the threat of David's interest.
Annika Fridasdottor is out in the world, hunting for the "sister", Källa, who ran away from Hannasvik in Iceland. It's been five years and no word, no sign of her. Annika's love of sewing enables her to dress as colorfully as she likes. Frida is Annika's mother; Frida had a horrible row with Hildegard (Inga's sister) when Hildegard left Hannasvik to find her own child.
The latest ship Annika signed on with is the Phatéon captained by Vashon. Dr. Lucia Kentewess has served as medical officer for the past ten years; she's also David's aunt and they haven't seen each other all that time. Others on the crew include Elena Pickart, who is her favorite crewmate; Marguerite is the steward's assistant; the gossipy Mary Chandler works with Annika in the engine room; Chief Leroux is in charge of engineering; and, Mr. James is the first mate whom Annika believes doesn't like her.
David Kentewess is a volcanologist. The injuries he suffered caused him to choose to be infected. Inga Helgasdottor was his mother. A woman who never revealed her place of origin. Stone Kentewess was his father and the head machinist on Inoka Mountain. Patrick Dooley is a very honest man, married, and is the digger on this volcanic expedition. Regnier Goltzius is the young botanist appointed to the group. A bit of nepotism as his cousin, the Grand Duchess of Erie, is one of the Scientific Society of New Leiden's most generous patrons. It's due to Goltzius' ancestors that the original Hanna and the other women fled to Iceland.
Maria Madalena Neves and her nurse are heading to Heimaey, a.k.a., Hymen Island, in Iceland. A refuge for virgins who are not ready for marriage. Where the bigotry and ignorance of some of Annika's crewmates is revealed.
Di Fiore's crew
Komlan of Monaghan, one of di Fiore's men, oversees transporting the human labor required in Iceland. Paolo di Fiore is the architect of the Inoka Mountain disaster. Lorenzo di Fiore is his single-minded son who will allow nothing to stand in his father's way. A man who will not take no for an answer. One who likes to observe how people react and has no compunctions about setting them up.
The women and friends of Hannasvik
Captain Ylvasdottor is one of a few captains who brings in supplies from outside for the village. Valdís Annasdottor is a retired captain who set up shop in Smoke Cove in Iceland. She keeps supplies for the women of Hannasvik until they can come in to pick them up. Lisbet is Annika's best friend and an old lover. Camille is Lisbet's mother.
The Horde role in this is more background than anything.
The cover is very swashbuckling with a cocky Annika, her hair gathered loosely up on top of her head, ringlets dangling and wearing a thin white chemise falling off her shoulders and seemingly held on only by her cream brocade embroidered bustier, a leather strap is wound around one wrist with what looks like a key dangling, clutching a sword that's stashed through a belt with multiple riveted rows topping her black trousers, and a pair of goggles pushed up onto her head.
The thin, short-haired David is layered and festooned from the brown jean pants, a white shirt open to the waist topped with a brown patterned brocade vest that is itself covered by a black leather coat. A rough belt crosses him like a bandolier and crosses back again below his hip to hold his dueling pistol. The marvel of his left eye makes him look like a cross between a human and an opthomalogist's testing device while his right hand is both glove and artist's posing hand.
The background itself is Iceland. Misty with craggy, snow-covered hills, grasses peeking up through the drifts. A thin band of perforated black steel crosses the bottom and forms an easily viewed background for the title and the series tag.
The title could be a reference to the overall theme of steampunk, or it could be a reference to all the hookups that happen at the end. Everyone seems to be getting Riveted.