Steamsworn by Eric R. Asher : Review

Steamsworn_Amazon_iBooksThe world dies in war only to be reborn. It is the way of things, and always will be.

Forged in the Deadlands crucible, and armed with the knowledge of their true enemy, Jacob, Alice, and their allies bring the fight back to Ancora. They’ll liberate their homeland, or die trying.

The wounds cut deep in their darkest hour, but in the end, vengeance will light their path.

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, so I was a bit worried that I may have set my expectations too high for this, the final book in the trilogy. I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed at all, Eric R. Asher is a fantastic author and Steamsworn is everything I was hoping for and more — It’s everything I look for in a good steampunk novel. While it may have taken me almost a week to start this book once I had received it, I managed to burn through it in a single sitting, and I’ve already started rereading the first book in the series so that I can do it all over again.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about this book, but I think what I enjoyed the most was the author’s ability to find the balance between the characters, plot, and technology. I find that steampunk novels tend to leave off character and plot development in favorite of focusing heavily on the technology. Eric R. Asher has done a great job of giving just enough attention to all three aspects to make Steamsworn really stand out. The story is well plotted with just enough twists and turns to keep you guessing what’s coming next, and the characters are fully fleshed out and not just the cardboard cutouts you see all too often. Jacob and Alice, in particular, have an emotional depth I don’t think you see all that much in the genre, and watching them interact and grow together was the best part of the entire trilogy for me.

In addition to the plot and characters, Asher gives us some truly amazing steam-powered creations and I think he showcases them in the best way possible. Instead of huge info dumps full of technical jargon, we are shown how the technology works through the actions of the characters. Whether it’s airships or body modifications, it’s nice to have the world explained through actions rather than words.

The only real complaint I would have about Steamsworn is the pacing, I thought it was inconsistent at times, and the fact that I wish it had been longer. Though to be fair, I probably wish every book I finish had been longer. I would recommend this book to just about anyone who enjoys steampunk or fantasy in general, though I would strongly suggest that people start off with Steamborn, the first book in the trilogy. Enough information is given throughout the book that you could enjoy it without reading the previous two, but you’d miss out on a lot of fun in doing so. While this may be the last book in the trilogy, I hope it’s not the last book in the series. I would love to read more about Jacob and Alice and the adventures they are sure to have following the events of this book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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