Monday, September 16, 2019

The Wonder Engine (Clocktaur War #2), by T. Kingfisher (author), Khristine Hvam (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, July 2019

Slate (forger, thief, and leader of a team on a suicide mission), Brenner (assassin), Caliban (ex-paladin with a dead demon rotting in his soul), and Learned Edmund (19-year-old scholar and divine of the Temple of the Many-Armed God), have now achieved the first half of their mission: They're now in Anuket City, source of the Clockwork Boys,enormous engines of war terrorizing the entire surrounding region and a major threat to the Dowager's city, from which they have come. Along the way, Slate saved the life of a gnole, a badger-like creature who goes by the name of Grimehug, who is now also a part of their group.

Now, of course, the hard part starts. They have to figure out who is responsible for the Clockwork Boys, which they quickly learn are called Clocktaurs, and figure out how to deal with them. That might be by killing someone, or by discovering how they're made so the Dowager's city can have their own to fight them, or...they don't know.

Learned Edmund has already had quite an education for a sheltered scholar of the Temple of the Many-Armed God, but he's going to have new challenges to face, as the best contact among the artificers, the one who can help him find and interpret the missing scholar's notes that they should be working from, turns out to be a woman. Slate has to deal with her past catching up with her, as Boss Horsehead, whom she really seriously embarrassed, wants revenge. Caliban discovers there are no demons in Anuket City, and wants to know why--and the answer turns out not to be irrelevant at all.

And Brenner turns out to have a secret he doesn't want to share with anyone, and which is going to be a major problem for them all.

This is a story that's understanding of human frailties, and respectful of the way humans keep going anyway, doing the best they can. There's a good deal of humor here, but a lot of it is of the gallows humor type--which, hey, is the kind that makes me want to repeat bits to my father, long gone now, but from whom I got my sense of humor. (My mother didn't appreciate it in either of us.)

Really, I love this book, and the duology as a whole. Buy it, borrow it, do whatever you need to to get a hold of it.

I bought this audiobook.

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