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Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
Monday January 23, 2012 at 1:01 am |

Publisher: Berkley
Copyright: 2010
Published: October 5, 2010
Pages: 378
Form: Paperback
Series: Iron Seas (1)
Author: Meljean Brook
Buy The Book: Book Depository | B&N

Seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas, where nanotech is fused with Victorian sensibilities-and steam.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however.  Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society.  Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans-and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

My Thoughts:

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, intense characters, and great story-telling, then The Iron Duke is your book.  I tend to have a soft spot for books that take their characters on a dangerous journey, and the fact that the chemistry between the leads was so electric makes this one all the better.

Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth is sent to investigate the death of a man who was dropped onto the Iron Duke’s front steps.  But when the identity of the mystery man is uncovered, she and the Duke find themselves on a journey through dangerous skies and treacherous waters.

I liked this story because the author took her time and built up all aspects of the story.  The preliminary investigation served to give the reader the background information necessary to understand the world the characters live in, and to begin getting to know just who the characters are.  But thankfully once the action got going, it didn’t let up, making this an exciting read to say the least.  I also appreciate that the author took the time to build up the chemistry and friendship between Mina and Rhys.  Though the way they related to each other was anything but typical, it was perfect considering their interactions with one another.

As a heroine I love Mina.  She is a woman of principle and action, and is loathe to wait around to let a man to a job she is capable of doing herself.  But despite that she is still a lady, and will act as such if she is treated with love and respect.  Rhys is a formidable figure.  He is hard and unyielding, and unbelievably persistent.  He will stop at nothing to have Mina and tries everything to persuade her into being his woman.  But I love that as Rhys gets to know her, he is no longer driven by lust, but becomes excited about who she is, her principles, and her mind.  The chemistry between the two was tangible and made for some explosive love scenes.

The secondary characters in this one were awesome too.  The red headed Constable Newberry was sweet and protective of Mina, and thus quite swoon-worthy to me.  I hate that he’s married because I would have loved to read his story.  Scarsdale, The Duke’s trusted friend, is a hoot and Lady Corsair was a colorful straight shooter.

This is my first steampunk novel (that I know of) so I’m still getting used to some aspects and figuring out what it’s all about.  I was confused about the buggers and bounders and the overall gist of the Horde.  And for the life of me couldn’t figure out the whole deal with the frenzies.  I wish the author had explained these parts of the novel a bit more thoroughly, but overall I felt the story was solid and the characters engaging.  Definitely a good book to read if you’re into steampunk, or want to try a steampunk novel.  This one’s a go!

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Filed in: Fiction, Paranormal, Reviews, Romance, Steampunk Tags: , , , ,


Written by Jade

Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. SortofBeautiful.com was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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10 Responses to “Review: The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook”

  1. Ahhhhhh, this series!!! <3 I've read so many awesome reviews for these books and I'm honestly too excited to read it for words! I'm a huge steampunk fan (although I actually have no clue what buggers and bounders are either LOL), and I think that the whole world and characters sound the most fascinating about this series!

    Awesome review, Jade! A thrilling adventure with intense characters and great story-telling? It's like you're pitching this story directly to me!! 😉

    • Jade Jade says:

      MiMi if you like steampunk then this one should be right up your alley. It was a good story with characters you’ll remember. Even the secondary players are worth remembering.

  2. I haven’t heard of this book before. I think the cover would have turned me off. I haven’t read much steampunk either. Glad that you enjoyed it.

    • Jade Jade says:

      From visiting your site so often I have to determine that I don’t think you’d like this so much. But it might be a good read if you wanted to try something different.

  3. Missie says:

    I love, love, LOVE this review Jade. You summed up the important parts so well. Mina is amazing and you’re so right about Rhys and his evolving lust/love for her. And Newberry made me swoon a bit too, that part when he described the crew having to hold him back from going back to rescue Mina. Oh, My Swoon! LOL

    I’m so happy you enjoyed it! I want to say it was my first Steampunk too, at least I think it was. And I loved it!

    • Jade Jade says:

      Thanks Missie! I worried over writing this review, but once I got started it all just kind of flowed. I see we have another Iron Duke fan! Kidding, I actually picked this book up because of you.

  4. Lena says:

    Never heard of the author or the book. But I do enjoy Steampunk. Generally old ones, like The Time Machinge and Clockwork Prince. I love watching films based on Steampunk. Those are my favorites.

    • Jade Jade says:

      Lena I haven’t read the time machine yet, but I want to. And I don’t have Clockwork Prince, but I did just finish Clockwork Angel last night. Now I’m curious about Clockwork Prince b/c there are so many unanswered questions from CA.

  5. Brie says:

    OMG Jade! You’re one step closer to the Guardian series, now you know the author is awesome so you should read it! LOL I f you decide to read it keep in mind that the first two books are quite different from the rest, those are her first books and it shows. The world building in that series is fantastic! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Iron Duke.

  6. I’ve yet to read a steampunk novel but it is on my to do list. This is on my wishlist. I’m going to look into getting it if I have a good steampunk experience. I’m worried about being confused but I’ll figure it out I’m sure.