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Clockwork boys von T. Kingfisher
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Clockwork boys (2017. Auflage)

von T. Kingfisher

Reihen: Clocktaur War (1)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
3011468,424 (4.06)53
A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town. It's not the start of a joke, but rather an espionage mission with deadly serious stakes. T. Kingfisher's new novel begins the tale of a murderous band of criminals (and a scholar), thrown together in an attempt to unravel the secret of the Clockwork Boys, mechanical soldiers from a neighboring kingdom that promise ruin to the Dowager's city.If they succeed, rewards and pardons await, but that requires a long journey through enemy territory, directly into the capital. It also requires them to refrain from killing each other along the way At turns darkly comic and touching, Clockwork Boys puts together a broken group of people trying to make the most of the rest of their lives as they drive forward on their suicide mission.… (mehr)
Mitglied:ringman
Titel:Clockwork boys
Autoren:T. Kingfisher
Info:[Oklahoma City] : T. Kingfisher, 2017.
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek, e-books
Bewertung:
Tags:fiction, e-book

Werk-Details

Clockwork Boys von T Kingfisher

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Summer 2021 pandemic resurgence/Delta variant read. Recommended by a friend, who has yet to fail me. thanks to her, I've found a great author and an interesting series! My order is in for book two. ( )
  bookczuk | Sep 5, 2021 |
{First of 2, [[[Clocktaur War]]] duology; fantasy, steampunk, YA} (2017)

We meet Slate as she is sneezing her way through the Dowager's prison. Slate is a forger but she has inherited a vague sense of magic - she smells rosemary (sidenote: I keep wanting to call her 'Sage') whenever her magic wants to warn her of something important but she's allergic to the scent (amongst other things). And she never seems to be able to hold on to handkerchiefs.

Slate tried to say, “Excuse me,” snuffled, and sneezed twice.
An eyebrow went up, but he didn’t say anything.
I suppose “Bless you,” is a little much to ask under the circumstances.
“Are you—damn—urrrggghhkk—” Her tongue pressed itself to the roof of her mouth as rosemary stormed the castle of her sinuses. There were no survivors.

The Dowager's kingdom (which doesn't seem to be given a name throughout the whole book) is at war and in imminent danger of being attacked by the clockwork boys being sent out of Anuket City. Slate and her erstwhile companion Brenner have been chosen for a mission to get to Anuket City to discover how to fight them; but they're no heroes. Slate is a forger (specialising in accounts) and Brenner is an assassin and this will be the third such mission being sent out, since the first one was destroyed and the second one has disappeared.

“Anyway it’s a suicide mission. You—and I, and a…coupla other people…will be going somewhere, and doing…err…something. Which is probably impossible, and we’ll likely all die.”

Joining them are Caliban, a failed paladin of the Dreaming God (currently in possession of the dead demon that previously possessed him), and the Learned Edmund, a monk of the Many Armed God, to whom the sight of women is anathema. Which could be a problem, since the Dowager has chosen Slate to lead the mission.

“Why are we bringing a woman?” he asked, peering down his nose at Slate. “I will not travel with one of their sex.”
Slate’s jaw dropped. The Captain put a hand over his eyes.
“I beg your pardon?” said Slate, clearly unable to believe what she had just heard.
“It is granted,” said the scholar, flicking his fingers outward in an abbreviated gesture of blessing. “Go forth and sin no more. Captain?” He turned away. “I believe I asked—”
Caliban and Brenner, acting with rare unity, reached out and grabbed one of Slate’s arms each, before anyone could learn what her sudden lunge in the scholar’s direction might mean.


Fortunately, he is only nineteen and has time to learn the error of his ways.

The clockwork boys are constructs (which may be organic or artificial or something in between - but nobody knows) which are eight feet tall, covered in cogwheels (which may or may not move them) and just about indestructible.

Down the road, three abreast, a column of Clockwork Boys came marching.
They were huge. They were horrible.
There were a great many of them.
The basic shape was centaur-like. Some had four legs, some had six. They stood between eight and ten feet tall.
...
The Clockwork Boys were the color of old ivory. Their heads—if it was anything so normal as a head—were blunt wedges, like a squared-off horse head. Slate caught a glimpse of what looked like inlay—carving—something.
Gears. They’re covered in gears, like barnacles. It’s how they move, somehow—but it doesn’t make sense. They’re alive, but they’re a made thing, but nobody could have made that, surely—

The story is told, in the third person, mainly from Slate's point of view, but sometimes from Caliban's, with the occasional interjection of their thoughts. A lot of the story is the snarky banter and interaction between the characters which I enjoyed. This particular passage, after their first day on horseback, has the power to get me giggling.

Brenner bounced by, stiffly, an expression of frozen horror on his face. He hadn’t been able to get down, either, and apparently any attempt to control his horse had failed utterly. The mare smelled food, and was roaming the yard looking for it.
Learned Edmund looked at Brenner. Brenner smiled horribly at him. His mare made another circuit of the yard.


Brenner and Caliban are both obviously potential rivals for Slate, although otherwise they seem to reluctantly admire each other.

I did find Caliban's demon confusing, though.

His own particular demon muttered down in the dark, ragged ends of syllables with no earthly meaning. Death hadn’t silenced it completely. It was a more familiar sound than the city, now, but not a comfortable one.
...
It was embarrassing that he’d spoken with the demon voice in the Captain’s office. He hadn’t meant to. It must have been the tattoo, or the tattoo artist. Magic made the corpse stir, as if something were walking past it and kicking up the flies. It took them a while to buzz and settle down again.


Although he asserted that it was definitely dead and its corpse was rotting in the back of his soul, it seemed to revive when confronted with another demon and seemed to act to protect Caliban.

I found some of the ideas (although not the story) reminiscent of Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls which is no bad thing since that is one of my favourite books. I enjoyed this book which mainly introduced the story and covered the group's journey to Anuket City with a few diversions and adventures along the way. It ends as they ride through the gates into the city.

I picked this book up on my Kindle, having been hit by quite a few LibraryThing book bullets, and read it first about eight months ago. And now I've gone and got the second book.

{3.5 (first reading)} 4-4.5**** (this reading)
Looks like I enjoyed it more on the second reading; overall rating:

August 2021
4 stars ( )
  humouress | Aug 30, 2021 |
Written in response to overly broody video game paladins, this story features a wonderfully lovable variety of characters... most of them criminals. As with the other T. Kingfisher books I've read and enjoyed recently, this one has a wonderful blend of action and humor. It is solidly in the realm of fantasy (complete with carnivorous tattoos and mysterious magic and demons and other non-human characters) but the character growth feels completely real.

I highly recommend this book! Just be ready to grab the second book in the duology right away. This one doesn't end on a cliffhanger exactly, but the plot doesn't get resolved in book one. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 31, 2021 |
Hmm. It's good, a nicely done quest story with squabbling teammates. Rich and complex characters - there's a lot we don't know, only hinted at, but even what we know is well done and well rounded. But...so far, it's not as good as I expect from Ursula Vernon - insufficiently twisty. She does say, in an afterword, that this is half a story - that what was published as two books was written as one and split up to keep it from being too heavy to lift. Which is good, because this ends in...not a cliffhanger, just sort of in the middle. They reach the city! End. They've had plenty of adventures along the way, but still...the point of the quest is still ahead of them. Fortunately, I have the second book and can go immediately on. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Feb 25, 2020 |
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“Would you like to go on a suicide mission?” she asked instead.
He smiled. It was the first genuine smile she’d seen all day.
“I would be honored,” he said.
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A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town. It's not the start of a joke, but rather an espionage mission with deadly serious stakes. T. Kingfisher's new novel begins the tale of a murderous band of criminals (and a scholar), thrown together in an attempt to unravel the secret of the Clockwork Boys, mechanical soldiers from a neighboring kingdom that promise ruin to the Dowager's city.If they succeed, rewards and pardons await, but that requires a long journey through enemy territory, directly into the capital. It also requires them to refrain from killing each other along the way At turns darkly comic and touching, Clockwork Boys puts together a broken group of people trying to make the most of the rest of their lives as they drive forward on their suicide mission.

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