I have read this entire series up to date but this is the only book I'll write a review for. Why you ask? It is simply because I have a tendency, if I am in the zone with a series that I plow through it and read any book available like a locust through a crop. I REALLY like this series.You shouldn't be reading this review if you haven't read the other books or you want to read this series ok?
You have been warned, I assume you can read since you're on GR, so don't moan if you come across something that seems spoilerish because you didn't read the other books prior to this.
I have always felt the heroine, Amaranthe, to be heavily Mary Sue but Buroker does it in a way that makes her still very likeable and enjoyable to read. Amaranthe is like a Disney Princess with a Law and Order penchant running around trying to gain pardons for herself and her team from the Emperor. It is refreshing to meet a heroine who can fight (and it makes sense that she can fight) who doesn't have to be an obnoxious bitch to everyone around her to prove that's she's badass. Amaranthe is a goody two shoes who is interested in justice most of all. Her biggest flaw as a person is that she is hell bent on trying to make her own mark in history- this is a believable flaw and that's why I like Amaranthe so much. She's a clean freak and leader of her own steampunk A-Team.
I enjoy the world Buroker has created and I enjoy that this book is steampunkish but isn't set in an alternative history of the real world.
Also I enjoy the different characters and their interactions and the dialogue between the team members a lot! These books have had me laughing at times, have had me upset about stupid mistakes and frustrations.
Oh let us get to the good stuff..Sicarius. Yeah- wow. He's one of the biggest reasons why I keep on reading this. I have your number Buroker, you really like stoic. Super amazingly statue like stoic men don't you? I feel like I'm cheering on my toddler for doing something like picking up a piece of trash and putting it in the trash bin- YAY GOOD JOB BABY! Sicarius, when Buroker decides to treat us to his moments of "weakness" with Amaranthe, I swear I read the paragraphs again and again. I don't know how Amaranthe is dealing with it. It's just as well since she has mission after mission and adventure churning up her entire life because any sane woman would have been on her knees begging for Sicarius to relent methinks.
The entire time I've been reading this series wondering to myself often and crazily- is it something you can condemn one for- that he is raised from birth and wholly created for one purpose only and molded cruelly into the perfect tool that he knows nothing else. I am a bleeding heart if there ever was one and I find myself unwilling to condemn Sicarius even though I know if I were more rational about it I would. I find myself being as crazy as Amaranthe.
I am relieved that Amaranthe really doesn't spend idiotic scads of pages mooning over Sicarius - but there are moments throughout the last book or so or more where you definitely see the patterns of her decision making being bent for her adoration and I love to see this.
This book ends with a whopping kick in the ass cliff hangar. Usually I'd berate an author for doing this- but oh I'm a fan and Buroker did leave a nice note to her readers about this. I am definitely going to read everything she has. I have already read her other two novellas. I like her characters.
So I want more Buroker, I want it NOW, gimme gimme gimme GIMME SOME MORE.