Title: The Court of the Air
Author: Stephen Hunt
Synopsis: “When streetwise Molly Templar witnesses a brutal murder at the brothel she has recently been apprenticed to, her first instinct is to run back to the poorhouse where she grew up. But there she finds her fellow orphans butchered, and it slowly dawns on her that she was the real target of the attack.
Oliver Brooks has led a sheltered existence in the backwater home of his merchant uncle. But when he is framed for murder he flees for his life, accompanied by an agent of the mysterious Court of the Air. Chased across the country, Oliver finds himself in the company of thieves, outlaws, and spies.
Soon Molly and Oliver will find themselves battling a grave threat to civilization, an ancient power thought to have been quelled millennia ago. Their enemies are ruthless and myriad, but the two orphans are also aided by indomitable friends in this endlessly inventive tale full of drama, intrigue, and adventure.”
Review: I love steampunk. The mix of mechanical and magic fascinates me. This novel was full of both. Molly and Oliver are lovable characters, whose struggles tugged at my heartstrings and kept me reading until past my bedtime. In the midst of a civil war, in which they are both valuable commodities, these orphans are struggling to find a purpose for their lives. Molly searches for meaning with the mechanical men that she has a mysterious affinity for and Oliver struggles to accept his forbidden magic.
The Court of the Air is one-part coming of age story and one-part adventure. Because of the multiple story lines and the introduction of a vast new world this novel is both rich and complex. The complexity of this novel was both fascinating and distracting, at times I found myself going back and rereading sections because I felt I had missed something. Despite this, I loved this book, and look forward to reading more of Hunt’s novels.