“As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airship technologies and the dawning Industrial Revolution, but magical forces still rule. And the cousins are about to discover the full ruthlessness of this rule.“
That’s what I knew about this series when I started it. That sounded pretty good. That covers the first few chapters of this book only. I don’t want to give too much away because not knowing where the book was going was part of the fun of it for me. I listened to this on audio and got fairly obsessed. I was walking around with headphones on all the time.
I loved the world building. In this world the Romans and the Phoenicians fought to a draw at Carthage. The Romans retained control of the land and the Phoenicians kept their sea trading empire. As the Roman Empire weakened (but did not fall), the Celts gained power and now have Princes ruling in the areas they control.
Meanwhile, a mining operation in the Kingdom of Mali unleashed ghouls on the world. The people of the Kingdom fled north. The sorcerers of the Mali and the druids of the Celts shared their magic and their descendants formed the mage houses that control people with powerful magic.
Explorers went to South America but North America was left to the native species – trolls who seem to have evolved from birds.
It is now the 1800s and the industrial revolution is taking place. The mages work with cold and can’t stand the idea of a world based on power from combustion. They are determined to stop it.
This is the beginning of a trilogy. This is ok as a stand alone book. The central problem was resolved (but not in a typical solution) but the ending is obviously leading into the next book.
Featured image from here.