mulliner, April 6, 2010 (view all comments by mulliner)
The third (and conclusion?) to the Mainspring series. I adore Jay's clockwork earth, and the characters. This one introduces the stoic, loyal, and dangerous Bernard Forthright Kitchens. (That name is second in wonderful only to Threadgill Angus al-Wazir.)
I think the mysterious monk is new, too, though I suppose I might have forgotten her in the year or more since I read "Escapement". I love the strong women in these books. In addition to the monk, Paolina Barthes and Emily McHenry Childress are both back -- the teenager and the older librarian who are changing the world. Not to shortchange the men, which are interesting, too. Cataloger Wang is another librarian caught up complex politics and war, doing the best he can. Boaz the Brass is a wonderfully realized whatever-he-is, transforming into a something richer (I hesitate to say human), and falling in love with Paolina. There's a climactic battle that is too, too wonderful, but I don't want to reveal any spoilers.
BTW, these books have the most beautiful damn covers out there. Of course, the artist had good material to work with. Cliffs! Dirigibles! Robots!
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Tor Books -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Political conflicts and philosophical arguments find closure at last in this splendidly baroque whirl of geomancy and Victorian clockwork. Young Paolina Barthes, the gear-minded prodigy who became a target for the empire-building ambitions of rival governments in 2009's Escapement, is on the run, heading south over the Wall that God built to divide the hemispheres and keep the Earth's gear turning through the heavens. As spies and ancient secret societies scramble to find her, Paolina struggles to learn how to control her world-shaking abilities, while her heart pulls her toward Boaz, a golemlike man of brass. Lake wields big themes — magic and religion versus science, free will, colonialism, and a bit of romance — with surprising elegance, and readers will enjoy cherishing the characters and pondering the concepts of this 'clockpunk' world." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Rejoin the adventure in Lake's Clockwork Earth, in which the author engineers a fine tale of humans in search of liberation from the clockwork and customs that ensnare them and us as well (Sci-Fi Weekly).
"The delight is in what's seen en route, as Lake has configured his world-dominating empires, one British, the other Chinese, with huge and devoted attention to the last detail. The delight of the next volume--prefigured with unrelenting clarity in Escapement's final pages--should be the discovery that the destination adds up."
--Washington Post Book World on Escapement
Rejoin the Librarian and the Chinese submarine captain, the British sailor, the clockwork man, and the young sorceress who has gone south of the great equatorial wall. This adventure in Lakes Clockwork Earth continues the tale begun in Escapement.
"The very cosmology of this world is an enigmatic astonishment, and it underpins every single bit of action and character….Lake has a ball transporting his characters up and down this magnificent world, subjecting them to all sorts of perils and escapes in a wild variety of settings. His three main protagonists all exhibit distinct and memorable personalities that allow us to filter their world through three prisms of intelligence and attitude….Fantasy has always been "escapist" in the best sense of the word, and Lake engineers a fine tale of humans in search of liberation from the clockwork and customs that ensnare them and us as well."
--Sci-Fi Weeklyon Escapement
Rejoin the adventure in the third novel of Lakes Clockwork Earth series. Paolina Barthes, young sorceress, is crossing the Equatorial Wall, attempting to take herself and her magic away from the grasp of powerful men in the empires of the north. Emily Childress is still aboard the renegade Chinese submarine, along with her devoted Captain, and the British chief petty officer Angus al-Wazir. They are all being sought most urgently by the powers that secretly rule the Northern Earth--the Silent Order and the White Birds. And a third power, of the Southern Earth, has its eye on Paolina; she will not be allowed to bring the political turmoil of the North into the more mystical South.
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