(Note: This review has been recycled from Lyndi’s Love Notes, March 1, 2011.)
The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas)
by Meljean Brook
First in Brook’s fabulous series “where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas”.
After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power–and fear–of his name. When a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles on a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans. And Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to stay with her Iron Duke.
Brook’s world building give new name to the words “alternate history”. In her world, the Mongol Horde conquered Europe, and ultimately, England, aided by superior technology, including nano technology. Her steampunk world bears some resemblance to the usual Victorian-style setting, with steamcars and airships, but women have more freedom. Mina, the half-Horde daughter of an earl, is also a police inspector.
The romance element is strong, with almost palpable sexual tension and some very hot love scenes. Rhys is very Alpha. He takes one look at Mina and won’t rest until he has her. But she’s a very strong woman and a good match for him. I enjoyed the book, though some readers may find the world building intimidating.
If you enjoy steampunk and/or alternate history mixed with romance, I recommend The Iron Duke. [Note to FCC: I purchased this book and read it on my Kindle.]
Linda / Lyndi