Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Series: Bannon & Clare, Book 1
Publisher: Orbit Books
Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn't help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon's Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.
In an alternate London where illogical magic has turned the Industrial Revolution on its head, Bannon and Clare now face hostility, treason, cannon fire, black sorcery, and the problem of reliably finding hansom cabs.
The game is afoot..
I'm kind of ambivalent about this book. I loved the idea. I thought the steampunk elements in the story were good and prevalent as well as the magic. But the characters fell a little flat. Or maybe they just didn't live up to my expectations. I was expecting a Holmes/Watson relationship; however, it ended up being two Holmes and no Watson. Unfortunately, what makes Holmes work is his relationship with Watson. I liked both Bannon and Clare separately but I felt that they didn't work together as a team. I do think this series has a lot of promise and I will read the next book. Hopefully, Saintcrow will figure out how to make that magic work between her two main characters.