Saintcrow, Lilith: Bannon and Clare (2012)


All The Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can't Afford to Miss in AugustI’m trying to decide what I thought about The Iron Wyrm AffairIt took a while for it to get off its butt, but once it did it really got going. This is my first experience with Lilith Saintcrow. Looking at her website, I see that she writes to a different audience than myself. That might be why I didn’t get wowed by The Iron Wyrm Affair.

Saintcrow’s Bannon and Clare world is an alternative Victorian one. The queen is Victrix who is also a vessel for the spirit of Britannia. London is Londonium. All the names are changed in minor ways like this. The world shares a similar yet different history to our own.

For one thing, it is a world run on magic. Magic is everywhere and in general the world works on different rules to our own. Machines run on magic and not all machines are only machines. Sometimes there is a mixture of animal and machine or person and machine. I guess kind of like magical cyborgs.

In this world there are (among lots of others) sorceresses/rors and mentaths. Bannon is a sorceress (of the Black, no less) and Clare is a mentath. To reach the rank of sorceress one must have a high degree of affinity to magic. Mentaths are addicted to logic. If they do not get puzzles to solve, they usually end up going insane.

We meet both Bannon and Clare as Bannon is trying to save Clare from being killed. It seems unregistered mentaths are being killed for who knows what reason. Saving Clare from murder, just happens to save him from insanity as well. Being bored just does not suit a mentath. Now Clare gets to join in on solving who is killing off mentaths.

There is plenty of action and some humorous interplay between the various characters.

The Iron Wyrm Affair is probably going to be a good fit for Saintcrow’s target group.

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