3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Steampunk meets fairytale equals one heck of a story,
This review is from: A Clockwork Fairytale (Fantasy Romance) (Kindle Edition)4 1/2 stars
Raised as a boy, seventeen year old Melba is one of the best pick pockets on Royal Malverne Isle but she yearns to move up in the ranks and become a spy. Her dreams come true when she and spymaster Turk run across each other's paths and he accepts her pledge to join his gang. Not realizing Melba is a girl, Turk takes her to his castle to feed and clean up where he makes more than one startling discovery, not only is she a girl but she just might be royalty. Turk's master insists he turn Melba into a young lady and return her to the home she was taken from long ago. Neither Turk or Melba are who they seem to be and begin a journey of discovery, wonder and even love as Turk teaches Melba earth magic, manners and how to be who she was destined to become, along the way running from bad Jinns, good monks and creating flutterflies.
A Clockwork Fairytale is an enjoyable mixture of steampunk, Victorian romance and fantasy. Melba is a contradiction of streetwise urchin and naïve young lady. She can pick a pocket, find her way through the sewer system and fight with the best of them, yet she loves the smell of flowers and is delighted by butterflies (which she calls flutterflies). Molding this little urchin into a lady is a challenge, one she doesn't want and fights the entire way. I loved her spunk, she sees no problems with who she is, thank you very much, she believes in good yet knows there is truly evil out there. She distrusts Monks, the well to do and baths.
Turk is only nineteen years old but has reached the standing of spymaster and is pledged to the highest monk in the Shining Brotherhood. What a contradiction he is, he is a monk and a spy, he dresses in the best clothes, lives in a castle eats fine food and associates with gentry. Turk began his life on Malverne Isle as one of the trash kids, was taken in by the Primate of the Shining Brotherhood, lived and trained as a monk then set up as a spy for the Shining Brotherhood. With his shining golden hair, tall lithe body and good looks, no one suspects he is not what he seems, which makes him the best spy around. Turk is confused by his feelings for Melba, Melba is sure about her feelings for Turk and everyone else has an agenda of their own.
There are some great secondary characters, Gwinnie, Turk's housekeeper gives us more than one moment of laughter and make the perfect foil for Melba's street smarts. Vittorio, the Royal Victualler is a truly nasty piece of work, we know from the beginning that we aren't going to like him and we don't. Gregorio, the Primate of the Shining Brotherhood is completely dedicated to his calling and can be, at times, difficult to like. I'm still not sure if he is a good guy, a bad guy or just an old fashioned monk.
This is my first foray into steampunk, it's not that I don't or can't read it; it's just that I haven't. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy or sci-fi so I always shy away from any book that might lean that way, I'll admit that might have been a mistake. The steampunk and fantasy aspects of this book were not hard to follow and gave the story twists that made it more fun to read. The story is most definitely geared toward the young adult, no bad language, no explicit love scenes, no needless violence, just a good story. While this is a love story, that is not all there is to it, there are a few action scenes, a few comedy scenes, some light romance and some dark moments. The only thing that kept this from being five stars for me was the Prologue was a bit clunky and the ending sucked. I won't give any spoilers but anyone who has read any of my reviews probably can guess what it was. I would most definitely recommend this to anyone, young or old, who enjoys a good clean love story, a little steampunk, a little fantasy and a few pretty flutterflies floating over head.
Reviewed as a Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team