The Aeronaut’s Windlass
The Cinder Spires Book 1
By Jim Butcher
Number of Pages: 640
Date Started: August 2, 2016
Date Finished: August 19, 2016
Synopsis: (From Amazon)
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity. Within their halls, the ruling aristocratic houses develop scientific marvels, foster trade alliances, and maintain fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. 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 damaged in combat, Grimm joins a team of Albion agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring his ship.
And as Grimm undertakes this task, he learns 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…
This book was truly amazing. This new series is what Jim Butcher was born to write. While the synopsis might lead one to believe that Captain Grimm is the main character, there are a multitude of different people that make up the main force of protagonists, all very different. Every character introduced has a great level of depth and backstory. I really enjoy that this book series has multiple main characters that grow as the story progresses. Given the amount of main characters, a reader is bound to resonate with one, while the majority are all likable (except, of course, the antagonist).
This is truly a coming of age story from the perspective of several different characters, though Grimm and his crew do play a large part in the overall plot. While some characters are learning how to live in the adult world, others are learning how to deal with problems from their pasts, and all work in conjunction together, despite their apparent honorable or dishonorable ranking.
I will say that this book, while labeled “steampunk”, really doesn’t have any steampunk elements in it, unless you count the air ships (which the main one mentioned, it can be noted, does not run off steam). That being said, I think this is a brilliant piece of fantasy in a wonderful imaginative new world, and I cannot wait to see what happens to everyone as they reach the end.
The Dresden Files are the first books that Jim Butcher managed to get published. He is also the author of the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, Cinder spires. He is a gamer, including tabletop, video games, as well as LARP. He still lives in his hometown, Independence, Missouri.
For a detailed biography of Jim Butcher, and a way to purchase his books, see his Amazon page.