Review- The Iron Duke

When Meljean Brook used the word "fisticuffs" on page 2, I knew I was going to enjoy The Iron Duke. Enter a world of pirates, steampunk, zombies, and prejudice.  Sound like an intersting mix of themes? Just wait until you meet all the characters.  I loved so many things about this book, I'm not really sure where to begin.

To start, Brook's writing is beautiful. It's lush and rich without feeling heavy.  I settled in and became cozy with each line, not wanting to rush a single verse. Her descriptive style agreed with me. It was easy to visualize every scene, every setting.  
"Below, the Medway ran like a sparkling ribbon through the yellow fields. The sun dazzled her eyes, but she looked up and out, amazed by the blueness of the sky.  Even the clouds were a surprise, a faint wisp across the heavens and so incredible white. She'd never seen anything so white, not even bone."
I'm still amazed with how the author transported me to an entirely new place in time so completely. 

Mina & Rhys are two of my favorite hero/heroines.  Mina is intelligent, sharp, and vulnerable while still being ballsy.  She's got a sharp-tongue a strong will. 
"Of course I wear armor. I am sitting with a pirate, a mercenary, an adventurer, and a bounder.  If a shot is not fired tonight, I daresay that your reputations are nothing but lies."
And I love that Brook made her a police inspector.  When I think of Victorian London I envision women having little rank in society.  Here the women of status are referred to as "sir" and hold positions such as ship Captain and Superintendent. Rhys is everything you want/need from a hero.  He is headstrong and opinionated, but his determination and tenacity have you rooting for him. 
"When we return, I want the name of every man in Parliament. I want to know what he believes, why he believes it. The newsmen, too." 
"You'll have it." Scarsdale paused as the clank of the platform docking sounded through the night air.  "It might take all of your life."
That didn't matter. He didn't have much of one without her.

The ongoing story is constant and always changing.  And Brook never stops introducing us to new characters along the way.  A lot of the times, this can slow down the story or drag your attention away, but that was not the case here.  Each character was crafted as though they each have a story that should be written...and I hope they do. 

I will admit that I was a little nervous about reading a steampunk; this was my very first.  But Brook did a great job of making it a big enough part of the story to create an air of fantasy, but not too much that I felt confused about relevancy.  This also comes back to her talent in expression, never once was I not able to imagine the many gadgets and machines. Often, I'd wonder if I could actually construct one for myself....just wait for the butterfly. ;)

Bottom line: The world that Brook has created will never let you go, and the passion is electrifying.  A must read.

4.5 star


  1. great review. You have me wanting to read it!

  2. Sharon: The book is fantastic. I hope you do read it, and come share your thoughts with me. Have a great day.

  3. Your review makes me want to read this book right now! I love all the quotes you used. Wonderful review.

  4. Colette: Thanks! And you should. Right now. I'm obviously still feeling much like a captain barking out orders. :D

  5. I just finished this one! I really enjoyed it as well, like you, it was my firs steampunk book but I loved it. I did get a little confused with a term here and there, but it wasn't enough to detract from the overall story. And Rhys? *sigh* Fantastic review:)

  6. Jenny: I told Mandi from Smexybooks this morning that I might be naming my first born Rhys bah!
    Thanks for commenting :)

  7. It's waiting for me at the post office and I can't wait to read it! Nice Review Jess!

  8. Julie: I think you're going to love it!

  9. You know I have never heard of this book. It sounds like a great read. I'm not a big zombie person though. Are there a lot of zombie stuff? But it does sound like a great read. Thanks for the new book intro. :)

  10. Melissa: Zombies really remain in the background in this world. They aren't the bad guys nor are we ever fighting them off...if that makes sense.
    I think you'd enjoy it.

  11. Thanks! It makes perfect sense. :) I am going to add it to the want list now. Oh, that list... I'm never going to get all those books. But that's what retirement is for, right? Hmm, wonder if I could retire early... like tomorrow? :D