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The Sauder Diaries - By Any Other Name (Volume 1) Paperback – June 11, 2012
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The protagonist, Hans Sauder, is a gentleman's son who is on his way to university when his airship is waylaid by the nefarious pirate ship The Bloody Rose. Confronted with a decision to join the crew or be tossed overboard into the most volatile wilds of Europe, Hans reluctantly steps into the role of a pirate. As he is given the kind of education no university could have prepared him for, Hans finds himself at the center of a paradoxical world, where the Captain conducts piracy with a gentleman's keen business sense, the most lethal crew members are the women, and the dark underbelly of a "peaceful" Europe is exposed at every turn. No shallow, cardboard characters populate this story; every pirate - from Italian Ethiope beauty Arietta to the seemingly indestructible Blauchuk - is a multilayered soul with peculiar backhistories that feed the plot throughout, and drop curious hints for the series to come.
Being a history teacher myself, I am notoriously picky when it comes to the books I read. The Sauder Diaries defied my skepticsm at every turn - and won the duel, hands down. Romance, warfare, intrigue, humor, and espionage were all interwoven with meticulous attention. Historical and mechanical detail nails down every scene with credible believability, yet is never off-putting for those who might not be history buffs, or of a mechanical mind.
If I had known at the outset what a gem of a book this would be, I would have gladly paid more than the current asking price. This tale is an absolute gem, and I look forward to the promised sequel with school-girlish impatience. Highly recommend it!
While some steampunk authors pay scant homage to the actual workings of the airships and steam-powered mechanisms in their stories, Mr. Vaillancourt presents a narrative schematics of the runnings of his airship "The Bloody Rose" as he unfolds his tale, helping the reader imagine himself actually walking the decks of the airship and partaking of the action. Plenty of danger, intrigue, and excitement unfold in the story, but there is an abundance of intellectual fodder to stimulate the mind as well as the imagination.
I am eagerly awaiting "A Bloodier Rose" and expect many more excellent books from Mr. Vaillancourt!
It's very well written,and clever by turns.
I happened upon this book as I entered a D&D game being run online by the author, to whom I was introduced my mutual acquaintances in World of Warcaft.
The writing and maps created for that world were suitably impressive for me to purchase the books on that merit, and I am happy that I did. I'll be starting the second volume immediately.
Stylistically, works brilliantly that each chapter begins with an extract from Hans's diary, followed by the rollicking adventures.
It's a fine line to balance the harsh consequences of actions with hope and mercy. "By Any Other Name" does this well.
It's part coming-of-age, part quest ... and opens the door to a series that I hope we get many more of. The characters are complicated and appealing. The world is vivid.
What I found that Mr. Valliancourt had written was an absolute joy to read, and an incredible look into the Steampunk world, with amazing twists and turns and brilliant writing. I've spoken with the author many a time while reading the book, and had some rather animated discussions, and it just helped immerse myself within the story.
From the daring and brave Hans, to the dangerous and mink-like Annika, to the sleek and slick Arietta, and then to the Kapitan himself, the characters come alive and move seamlessly through their world in the book. You can see it come to life in your mind's eye due to Mr. Valliancourt's amazing writing.
All in all, 20 out of 5 is my rating, and it is definitely one of my favorite books of all time.
Most recent customer reviews
I must say the cover and the blurb created a certain atmosphere. I expected a fast paced adventure with steam driven technology, airship battles and pirate...Read more
and they couldn't even desing this cover properly - it should be cropped...Read more