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Magpie's Song (The IronHeart Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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This story is mostly steam punk with a hefty dose of mystery, some Sci-Fi and a little dash of horror that creates a world, atmosphere and characters that literally leap off the pages to grab you by the throat and drag you back in. Pang has a way with words and descriptions that breathes life into her worlds for readers to enjoy; after reading her other series I was anticipating this one and was NOT disappointed. The end of the book is a definite cliff hanger and I cannot wait for the next one. As mentioned before, there is a lot of development before you get into the meat of the story but, personally, I didn't see that as a detractor with this particular book.
From the first page Mags is a large character that demands to be noticed. A young woman with no memory of who she was before her twelfth birthday and now a reviled, almost invisible Moon Child struggling daily just to survive. Like other Moon Children Mags is dreading the thought that one day she might be sent to the Pit with those who have succumbed to the wasting disease they refer to as Rot. All Mags has to care about is her friend Sparrow but when Mags finds the body of a dead man she sets in motion a chain of events that very quickly change her life forever!
Wow there's a lot of world building being set up here with not just the reason some children change in their twelfth year but a disease that might not be as unexplained as Mags always thought. Yes religious zealots have latched on to the idea that it's the sins of many that condemn them but as Moon children are immune to the Rot they are considered to be sin eaters and forced under tithe to accompany and look after the afflicted in their final days. Plus there's the system they live under on the street which reminds me of gangs ( think Gangs of New York) that are violent, territorial and living hand to mouth. Then there's the one thing that overshadows the plot and that's the Meridions who live above in a floating city tethered to Brightstone and it's that race who have technology but in this the first book in many ways they are a mystery as the few we meet on the streets of Brightstone have changed and lost their' shine' . They are ruthless, violent and its apparent that corruption is rife but as the plot thickened ( which took longer than I wanted) it's clear that the Rot and the Moon Children are no coincidence.
This story for me was character driven and Mags is a colourful character whose bravery knows no bounds. She's also a mystery to be solved but alas I cannot divulge why. What I can say are the characters around her are not quite what they seem. Ghost a young man who is a fellow Moon Child clearly likes Mags but he has secrets of his own. We meet Lucian, a doctor desperate to find a cure for the Rot but you need to pay attention as he's a man of two sides! Then there's the madam of the brothel with her pointed teeth and ambition who doesn't seem to like Mags much. Plus the author throws in crazy steampunk automatons that vary from human sized to small and delicate and one in particular has taken a shine to Mags but why?
This story thunders along but some revelations (such as Lucian) felt rushed and perhaps could have waited for another book. As it comes to a close there is no resolution, it's a hollow ending really although it does leave Mags with a quandary. This book felt dark and it's an oppressive world described but surprisingly the end gave this reader hope. So in conclusion if you want to read about a tenacious heroine who can be brash and foul mouthed then Mags will charm you. Clearly her adventures have just begun and I for one can't wait to see how everything plays out in this dark inhospitable setting the author has created.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are my honest and I believe fair opinion
Going into this book, I didn't know a lot about it which is a good thing because then I didn't have a mind set as to how I thought the story would be and I was able to enjoy it a lot more without expectations.
Magpie is a nineteen year old Moon Child which is a person who has light blonde hair, very fair skin and judged harshly as apparently much of society sees these people as the oddballs living in the Warrens. Her kind is harshly judged because they are immune to a disease known as The Rot that is essentially the Wasting Disease. It's a very poor, run down area. Meridions are considered High Society and live in a huge city that floats above the town that Magpie lives in and then there's also Brightstone which is a cross between middle and lower class. She hasn't had an easy life but she doesn't complain about it and instead has found a way to survive in such a harsh world where food is often scarce, being able to escape out of tricky situations is essential and having street smarts is required if you plan to reach adulthood.
She comes across a mechanical mini Dragon while salvaging to make money with her best friend Sparrow at her side which is apparently from Meridion and eventually leads to a whole heap of trouble. What trouble you say? You'll have to read to find out!
I seriously adore Magpie and Ghost who have had their own share of hardships but work so well together. I can't tell yet if there will be a romance there but it certainly has potential!
This book was a fascinating mix of Steampunk, adventure, friendship, unexpected allies, a dash of heartbreak and lots of surprises.
It was such a pleasure to read this book and I look forward to reading more in this series!
Most recent customer reviews
buuuuut it also be dystopian…
Oh! Look! A clockwork dragon!Read more
Okay team the problem with reading amazing ARCs? The fact that it means sequels are that much further away.Read more