The Clockwork Boys, Book 1, by T. Kingfisher Rothdas book review RSS
4.0 Stars

This was another "CJ Cherryh" incident, a shameless attempt by T. Kingfisher to pass herself off as a male author. Fortunately, I noticed that her story focused on romance, humor, emotion, evocative description, and interesting characters rather than on Thac0 and to-hit rolls. Based off these facts I was able to unmask her. The book is a fast reading and oddly light hearted fantasy adventure story about 4 mismatched characters going on a cross country suicide mission to find the source of the murderous, 10 foot tall golems that are rampaging through the land. The world is kind of bleak (Exorcist style demons! War! Plague! Unstoppable death machines! Farm animals stomped into jelly!) but it doesn't feel like it for the most part. The main character is a guerrilla accountant, her sidekick is a low-minded assassin, and their new teammates are a prissy polymath and a not so fresh paladin. It works well in an "enjoyable DnD group" sort of way, and is combined with a world that is fresh and avoids/rethinks a fair number of fantasy tropes. For example, the Gnolls in the book are something between a standard-fantasy-Gnome and a talking Great Dane. The book ends on something of an uncertain note, but I think the real treasure at the end of the quest will be the friends they made/banged along the way.