The Aeronaut’s Windlass – A Book Review

Books. They’re beautiful works of art that require nothing less than the life and soul of their authors. They are an invaluable part of my life and I’m confident they always will be.

At the very least that is my excuse for writing a post that has absolutely nothing to do with travelling while I am in a beautiful country nothing less than half way across the world from my home.

I haven’t written a book review in a while, but this particular example of fine writing and creativity deserves one so much that I am willing to make an exception.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to a new series called The Cinder Spires and its debut novel The Aeronaut’s Windlass.


Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…

It’s not just a streampunk novel written in a modified version of the past (not that there is anything wrong with that whatsoever); this is a fantasy novel with its own complex environment, government, political structure, creatures, and characters, which happens to read as a steampunk novel with less steam-tech and more ether powered! It’s new, it’s different, I hated putting it down and most certainly did not want it to end.

I know it’s only the first book of the series and as such, I cannot judge it as a whole yet; however if the following novels are as richly told, I think this might just be the best series Jim Butcher has written to date. High praise considering how much I have enjoyed his previous works.

Part of the reason I gave up reviewing is that I find it too difficult to share details of the books I love. I don’t want to give a single thing away, I always want the reader to be as surprised as I was! I want you to be psyched about a book, but I don’t actually want you to know anything about it except that you should read it. So, in the effort to not give anything away, the only thing I’m going to tell you is that it is full of adventure, unique characters, men and women who like this genre should fall in love with it equally and… there is a cat.

Read it or not, the choice is yours. But really, you should read it. ;)

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