Series: Chronicles of Talis #1
The City of Talis is a fragile beacon of civilization on the edge of the Faërie Lands. Beyond lies a wilder world of dark enchantments and terrible wonders, but behind the city walls humans and faëries live together inuneasy peace—until an explosion rocks the city and long smoldering tensions threaten to ignite.
As the Commandant of Police, Baron Hessing has maintained stability for decades. But with a murderer on the loose, an anarchist bombing the city, and rumors of a faërie uprising, he is starting to loose control. Hessing finds himself caught in a web of interlocking conspiracies and he may need to choose between saving his city or his family.
Into this maelstrom appears the Countess. Trained from birth for a single purpose—vengeance—suddenly she's everywhere from secret catacombs to the halls of power. Beset by enemies on all sides, it will take all her training to succeed in a city on the brink of revolution. Plans are in motion centuries in the making that will change the fate of Talis forever.
Irons in the Fire is the first novel in the Chronicles of Talis.
The story doesn't start with a bang, rather has a lot of political maneuvering for the reader to understand the problems that affect the city. It could be tedious at times though in the background there was a serial killer called the "Ripper". The moment this dark twist hit the storyline it had my undivided attention. Suddenly, characters that I was familiar with had some serious problems and I needed to know how they'd solve them.
The climax to the end begins with 25% left to the novel and everyone's carefully plotted plans come to a head. Some are turned upside down, and some are playing out as they'd hoped. I thought the hints and build up were well done. There were frightening characters like Mr. Nix, and curious ones like the Countess that were fun to learn about and see how even the most carefully thought out plan went awry. It's hard, for me, to know which might be the side to root for, but seeing them battle it out with wits, bayonets and magic is neat to read.
I originally thought this might have more "steampunk" qualities, but aside from an airship, it has few of those elements.
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