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The Iron Duke (A Novel of the Iron Seas) Paperback – Bargain Price, October 5, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Top Customer Reviews
The Iron Seas world that Brook has created is fascinating - an alternate Victorian/Regency society which is still struggling to recover from years of enslavement by Mongol invaders. A familiar-yet-not world in which some of the conventional values of the time are still in force but with just enough of a twist added by what the people have survived under their oppressors - and still endure due to the technology that shaped their lives - to create a truly unique framework for a story which is 'smart' and so much more than a romance.
I really loved interactions between the leads: dangerous larger than life former pirate and national hero Rhys Trahaern and Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth, the brave and intelligent woman whom Rhys is determined to possess. However, the relationship between the pair in the Iron Duke isn't as romantic as some of Brook's other romances. And several of their sexual encounters aren't as much about romance as they are about character discovery or moving the relationship between the Mina and Rhys in a new direction - and one in particular goes to an uncomfortable place while doing it - so there wasn't quite as much steamy payoff for my inner romance reader.
In addition to the leads several of the supporting characters are standouts. I am hoping to see a great deal more of swashbuckling airship captain Lady Corsair, the savvy Lord Scarsdale, and adventurer Achimedes Fox in future books.Read more ›
THE IRON DUKE is the start to a steampunk romance series by Meljean Brook, who is better known for her paranormal Guardian series. It's my first book by this author and probably my last. If I could split the steampunk from the romance, I'd give the former 4.5 stars and the latter zero. The novel is an odd mixture of originality and romance clichés, subtle socio political nuances and romantic sledgehammer tactics. The character of the hero and his "good" rape of the heroine were deeply problematic in my eyes.
The "good" rape is a cliché often found in old school romances, where the heroine is not raped by a villain, but by her hero. The consent of the heroine is substituted by the (unconscious) consent of the reader, who knows that there is going to be a Happy End between rapist and victim eventually. The rape is used as a turning point in the story. Starting with this event everything that stands between a romantic and/or sexual relationship between hero and heroine is moved aside. The heroine gets over the trauma quickly and is allowed to live out her sexuality. In a way this ultimate loss of power empowers her. Since the power to say "no" was taken away from her, she might as well say yes and enjoy it. The victim also gains power over her rapist, who has to repent his act of sexual violence in order to become an ideal lover and/or husband and thus fulfill the HEA recquirement. On top of it the hero always has some (not) good excuses. Intoxication (substance abuse or some magical quirk), misinformation (she wasn't an adulteress, she was a virgin!Read more ›
What a strange way to create sexual tension in a romance book.
The plot of The Iron Duke is one of the most complex I've read in a long time. The last author who made my head spin in such a way was Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy. Bishop's books have such intricate world-building, where it's nearly impossible to explain it all. The same applies here with The Iron Duke. What I can tell you is that the world Meljean has created is a very scary and uncomfortable place, and one I wouldn't want to live in. For the past two-hundred years, the Horde has ruled most of Europe, very much like a terrorist organization that sends fear into the hearts of many, including England. The Horde has far reaching hands, but those who were lucky enough to escape parts of Europe, mainly England, to America, are now slowly returning back to the land they left behind. The reason the British fell to the Horde was that the Horde hid things called nanogents, invisible bugs, into tea and sugar where they traded it very cheaply. Then the Horde the activated the bugs. This gave them control over the British. Can you just imagine, with a touch of a button, where someone has the power to make your body do whatever it wants?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
IF you like steampunk, then you will like this novel (nanoagents, The Blacksmith, airships, zombies). The romance is good too. There was no rape or forced sex in this novel. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Georgia Rose
i didn't think I'd like it ... I'm not really into steampunk But this was fantasic I loved the world building and the concept!! Worth every cent!!!Published 2 months ago by snow
Reading all the reviews dealing with the rape / forced seduction issue made me quite apprehensive going into this book, but I loved The Kraken King (which a read first, out of... Read morePublished 2 months ago by monadh
Up dated version of that old romantic standard-The Lady and the Pirate. Very interesting alternative world with England recently freed from the Hord which used nano technology to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by E.P. McLean
This is my first foray into what I consider "heavy" steampunk. I read the Gail Carriger books a few years ago, but I don't remember them being as immersed in steam... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bambi_Unbridled
I loved the combination of steam punk and romance. Wonderful characters, witty dialog, a richly imagined alternate world, suspense and surprising plot turns. Great book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by susan Sherwood
Excellent escapist fare: adventure, mystery, machines, strong female and male protagonists, humor, and a dash of romance set alternative, but familiar world.Published 6 months ago by Mary Kelly