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Review: Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook

Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #2)

bought

Synopsis from Goodreads
The Iron Duke introduced the gritty, alluring adventure of the Iron Seas. Now, Meljean Brook returns to the world where nanotech fuses with Victorian sensibilities—and steam.

As the mercenary captain of Lady Corsair, Yasmeen has learned to keep her heart as cold as steel, her only loyalty bound to her ship and her crew. So when a man who once tried to seize her airship returns from the dead, Yasmeen will be damned if she gives him another opportunity to take control.

Treasure hunter Archimedes Fox isn't interested in Lady Corsair—he wants her coldhearted captain and the valuable da Vinci sketch she stole from him. To reclaim it, Archimedes is determined to seduce the stubborn woman who once tossed him to a ravenous pack of zombies, but she's no easy conquest.

When da Vinci's sketch attracts a dangerous amount of attention, Yasmeen and Archimedes journey to Horde-occupied Morocco—and straight into their enemy's hands. But as they fight to save themselves and a city on the brink of rebellion, the greatest peril Yasmeen faces is from the man who seeks to melt her icy heart.


Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK(£2.99) | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond

8.5/10

* * *
Beautiful, intricate world-building and refreshingly honest characters, - I loved Heart of Steel, peeps!



The world of Iron Seas is absolutely stunning, and in book #2 we are finally starting to see how Horde became such a powerful force. How they bred their brilliant scientists and released their war machines. How they created their Royal Guard, a squad of inhumanly strong women based on an old legend in their rich, colourful culture.

Both Archimedes and Yasmeen are gorgeous characters. If in the first book there was a great imbalance of power between Rhys and Mina, a lot of prejudice to deal with, here we see completely different dynamics.

Mr. Fox is fascinated by Yasmeen and openly says that he intends to fall in love with her. He is a great adventurer, a thrill seeker and really doesn't have time and patience to delude himself about his own feelings. He knows that Yasmeen most probably will break his heart, but he has to take his chances with her like he does with everything.

Yasmeen on the other hand is full of secrets, she is not afraid to kill, she rules her airship with an iron fist and she doesn't trust men at all. And for a good reason. There is great betrayal and heartbreak in her past.

So, she freely tells Archimedes not to expect anything from her, she's got a heart of steel.

Th plot goes all over the world in search of Da Vinci's sketch first and his hidden clockwork army second. We go through Venice, Vienna and Rome, fly to Morocco and Scandinavian outposts. There are plenty of zombies, evil conspiracies and assassins. There are also scorching and tender love scenes and one stupid captain who meets his end, trying to teach lady Corsair a lesson to which Fox replies something along the lines "For God's sake, woman, can't I save you just one time!" *grinning*

It's humorous, it's dark, it's exciting and full of action. Fabulous read, strong characters with plenty of juicy steampunk. Very much recommended.

The Iron Duke (Iron Seas #1) - 9.5/10

* * *
Прекрасный стимпанк, как того и следовало ожидать от Мелджин Броок!

Книга напичкана приключениями, ассассинами, зомби, интригами и путешествиями по всему миру в поисках набросков Да Винчи и его запрятанной часовой армии. Здесь также наконец-то более подробно описана Орда, так как поиски главных героев неминуемо приводят их к одному из ханов Орды, и мы узнаём больше  о её богатой культуре, выращивании гениальных учёных, создании генетических чудовищ и о секретной королевской Гвардии модифицированных женщин, основанной на старом ордынском мифе.

Сами главные герои - Архимед Фокс и Ясмин, Леди Корсар показывают совершенно отличную от Риса и Мины динамику отношений. Во-первых, они более равноправные партнёры, тогда как Рис был доминирующей силой в отношениях с Миной.

Архимед - необычайно колоритный персонаж, исследователь, охотник за приключениями, учёный и любитель ярких жилеток. Он сразу же говорит Ясмин, что намеревается в неё влюбиться и только когда она ответит на его чувства, они могут запрыгнуть в кровать.

Естественно в ответ на это Ясмин только смеётся. Известная наёмница, бесстрашная пиратка и беспощадный капитан, она известна своим сердцем из стали. Ясмин полна секретов, стремится найти кто предал её и уничтожил её команду и корабль, и в её прошлом находится настолько тяжёлое предательство, что понимаешь, - у Фокса практически нет шансов.

Однако отношения между ними постепенно меняются от компаньонов к партнёрам, друзьям и наконец-то паре любовников. Архимед понимает её и ведёт себя соответственно, поэтому защитные стены Ясмин рушатся. Именно их отношения, несмотря на полноту и яркость сюжета делают книгу такой увлекательной!

Советую всем, хотя начинать нужно с Железного Герцога.
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