Picture military life in the 1800s with naval actions and duels – natural for me to do, since my “casual” reading consists of Patrick O’Brien novels. Now put that fleet in the sky, add some futuristic weaponry, powered crystals and other standard fantasy fare, and you have The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Also, there are cats.
This is the first in a new series by Jim Butcher. Despite the 600+ pages, after reading it I want to keep going to the next book. It’s very imaginative and very quirky. I have a weakness that makes me want to skim through action sequences when they get too long. I had no compulsion of that type in this book, and yes, there is plenty of action.
I usually hesitate to give away too much plot in this blog, but I’ll try to paint a small picture of the world here. The population of Earth now lives in spires, approximately 10 thousand feet high and 2 miles across. They are each ruled, if only nominally, by a Spirearch and dominated by upper class family Houses. Many of the inhabitants have never seen the sky, let alone been outside. Spire Albion has been attacked by Spire Aurora, and it’s up to a hodge-podge team of young guards, aeronauts and etherialists (think slightly mad wizards) to set things right. Also, cats. Butcher writes some of the best dialogue that I’ve read in recent history. Definitely recommend.
Side note: I don’t spend much time discussing the authors of the books I read, but can we take a moment and just bask in the majesty of this photo?
Rating = 4