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The Wonder Engine: Clocktaur War Book 2 Kindle Edition
What could possibly go wrong?
In the sequel to CLOCKWORK BOYS, Slate, Brenner, Caliban and Learned Edmund have arrived in Anuket City, the source of the mysterious Clockwork Boys. But the secrets they're keeping could well destroy them, before the city even gets the chance...
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"I cried so hard my service dog started bringing me his toys to cheer me up." -- Andrea Chandler--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B079KX1XFD
- Publication date : February 27, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 2944 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 366 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1614504423
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #34,428 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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There are about eleven squillion fantasy novels out there; I haven't done a formal count but that is my estimate. Some of them are worth the read. The vast majority of them are not half so absorbing.
Kingfisher's work is funny without being forced, humane, grounded, and filled to the brim with the sort of casual worldbuilding that's done for the sheer joy of it as much as to support the plot and characters. The world always feels much, much larger and richer than can be glimpsed on the page for this reason.
Plus, gnoles. We learn a lot more about gnoles in this book and they are pretty much awesome. "Learned Edmund and the Gnoles" wouldn't be a great band name, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's something we might see more of in the future, as the author's note at the end suggested we might.
I'm looking forward to rereading Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine back to back, as I think they'll be even more enjoyable right on each other's heels.
The Clocktaur wars is what happens when an author has some very strong and spiteful feelings about how Paladin’s are portrayed in novels and really wants to shake it up.
***I suppose thanks must also go to the writers of fantasy paladins, lo these many years, without whom there would be no tradition to enrage me and force me to tackle the issue myself. Inspiration knocks now and again, but spite bangs on the door all year long.***
The Clocktaur wars duology reads like a part I/part II of a fantasy novel. It is more like one complete story than two separate ones. You must read Clockwork Boys in order to have any idea what is going on in The Wonder Engine.
Our traveling party of Slate, Brenner, Caliban and Learned Edmund, heavy one gnole, Grimehug are now in the city and after cleaning up they are ready to tackle who is making the Clocktaurs and who is controlling them. Each brings a certain skill to the table between being demon killer, assassin, forger, book smart kid and the creature who can smell things. Slate used to live in this city and can help the crew find who and what they are looking for. But she is also very wanted in the city by someone who has a particularity bad reputation. Good thing that Brenner knows a thing or two about bad men.
***“Nobody tortures people at home. It ruins the carpets.”***
Slate and Caliban are adorable together as they completely soft foot around the other waiting for them to make a move. Caliban so dense that he doesn’t want to put Slate in a bad position and Slate well she can’t decide whether to just kiss him or kick him.
***“The perfect gentle knight. She had a strong urge to kick him in the shins. Which would do precisely nothing and he'd look confused at me. And then probably offer to take his shin armor off so I could try again without hurting my foot.”***
Learned Edmund has also come a long way since leaving on the journey. He at least doesn’t think that his gentiles will wither and die by being close to a woman. But he is still so young and cutely naïve about the world.
I love the addition of Grimehug and the gnole community in the story. The way they speak and their caste system were really interesting. I also adore how he talks to Slate and is always calling her Crazy Slate, which is a bit spot on since they are on a suicide mission still. He is adorable and humans need someone there to tell it like it is and remind them that humans can’t smell.
I had a really great time with the story and finding out what was really going on with the Clocktaurs was surprising. I didn’t really see that one coming. I did guess something from the end of the last book that played into this story, but even it turned out differently than I expected so bravo to T. Kingfisher for that.
IMHO there isn’t enough good romantasy in the world and so I’m so happy to found an author who is balancing the fantasy story and the romance so well. I totally had a great time with this character driven fantasy that was interesting, funny, sometimes infuriating (Paladins) and really just a good time.
But it still got too lost in the journey for the plot to actually move toward our protagonist goal (like book 1), so the story does drag to the end to do so. There was too much focus on unnecessary things and not enough focus on what could really add some meat to the story and progress the plot at the same time.
The final fight with the big bad was...there too. It was boring but it happened. Like most of the conflict Slate, Caliban and Brenner faced it just seemed flat and the stakes didn't seem that high.
The last 5 chapters were just the worst drag ever, and too many things were neatly wrapped up for my liking.
Overall I didn't dislike this book and enjoyed it to a point. Despite the fact that you could predict the plot from a mile away it was still pretty interesting to read. But those last 5 chapters just really tanked this for me and I honestly like and was interested in the world, and wished we got more worldbuilding overall.
Top reviews from other countries
The two books are simply one continuous story. In the first book they were given their task and in the second they have to carry it out. There's a new character, Grimehug, a gnole (a badger-like being) who is crucial to the end game.
No spoilers. Just read the pair of books for yourself. You'll thank me for that advice. The characterisation is smart, the dialogue snappy, the internam monologues of each viewpoint character, crisp and revealing. I said the frst book was alternately funny and heartbreaking and this goes double for the second one. If not laugh out loud, the humour is wry and the characters self-deprecating. The final showdown is gut-wrenching and the aftermath shows that there are always consequences to every action. Everyone is changed by events.
The romance aspect, a very slow burn in the first book, is more to the fore here, and it works well with the main plot, adding tension. The end is entirely fitting and satisfying in a gruelling way. Highly recommended.
Instead I'll take these two as one. I was captivated by the wonderfully drawn characters the banter between them the tensions and human frailties. And... Gnoles. A human needs to read more about a Gnole, after all a human clearly cannot smell them. The other strength of this book is maintaining suspense. You know from the very start theses characters are assigned to die and the art is in keeping them close enough to the reader that we start to hope that they won't. To say more would be a spoiler.
These books are good for the soul. I expect to reread them often, when I have a bad day and need a lift.
Would recommend to anyone.