Many fantasy races have been written about: Elves, Dwarves, even Goblins, but Kenny Soward is the first I’ve seen to write about….. gnomes.
Tinkermage is the second book in his GnomeSaga Trilogy, published by Ragnarok Publications. The story picks up fairly soon after the events in Rough Magick, with Nikselpik Nur still unconscious after his battle with the City of Hightower’s First Wizard, Raulnock. His sister, the Tinkerer Niksabella Nur, is waiting for him to recover before leaving Hightower for Thrasperville, with her boyfriend, Termund. Precisor General Dale Dillwind is desperately trying to find allies to help Hightower to fight against the Ultraworld Invaders. To this end, he has commandeered Stena Wavebreaker, a sea captain, to command an aerostat in the hunt for the elusive Swamp Elves. The StoneKin Jontuk, himself an Ultraworlder, also needs to talk to Niksabella about her invention, a recursive mirror, which may hold the key to freeing his people from the same invaders that now threaten Hightower, and Sullenor.
I really like the world building in these books. Each city is it’s own state, with different laws and societal norms. While Niksabella is something of an outcast in Hightower, Termund has convinced her that her skills would be accepted and encouraged in Thrasperville. Termund is in Hightower to negotiate a trade agreement between the two City-States. Although the gnomes share their gods and goddesses, there’s a sense that each city has their own patron. The world itself feels like a real place.
The characters are well thought out. My favorites so far are Stena Wavebreaker (or maybe it’s just that I want my own airship!) and Nikselpik. Nik is foul-mouthed and dirty minded, but when his sister (and his city) needs him, he girds his loins and heads off to do what he can. Niksabella is an interesting character. Although she’s older than most of the characters in the book, her heretofore hermit-like existence makes her seem much younger. She’s growing in these books, and has some challenging times ahead of her.
This is a fun fantasy read, with an easy pace. Although we’re following (eventually) three storylines, they all work together as a cohesive whole. As this is the second book in a trilogy, there’s a lot of set up work for book 3, Cogweaver, but there’s also a lot of character advancement.
I was given an ARC in exchange for writing a fair review.