Series: THE CINDER SPIRES
Plot Type: Steampunk Fantasy
Ratings: Violence—4; Sensuality—2; Humor—3
Publisher and Titles: ROC
The Aeronaut's Windlass (9/2015)
|This photo gives a |
general idea of what
a spire looks like.
The series is set in a world in which an unexplained event made the world's surface uninhabitable. The enormous black spires that now house all of the Earth's population were constructed from Spirestone (obsidian) two thousand years ago by the mysterious Builders, who "had taken the secret of its working with them when they vanished from the world." The nearly indestructible stone spires provide safety and security from the mist-shrouded surface, which is a hellish land that is overrun with monstrous predators. Each spire is a separate kingdom, and within each kingdom are groups of habbles (city-like divisions). All communication among the spires is conducted by airships. Each spire is ruled by a Spirearch. The Spirearch of Albion is His Majesty Addison Orson Magnus Jeremiah Albion (aka Addy), who is considered by many to be irrelevant because the Council pretty much runs things.
|Map of |
"While the Builders had created Spire Albion in the shape of a perfect circle, each habble was laid out as a square fitting within that circle. The extra spaces, at the cardinal points of the compass, were filled with a variety of supporting structures—cisterns, ventilation tunnels, waste tunnels, and the like."
In contrast to Butcher's DRESDEN FILES, these books are written in the third person voice from multiple viewpoints. Like DRESDEN FILES, the events take place within a compressed time space.
Here is a list of the main characters who are introduced in the first book:
The "steampunk" part of this world shows up in the usual gadgets, goggles, and weapons. For example, the most common weapon is the gauntlet, a blasting weapon that's like (in Butcher's words) "a Tony Stark Iron Man gauntlet, only way steam-punkier." It consists of a weaponized crystal held in the palm of the hand and connected to copper wires that form a cage on the forearm. The user fires blasts of energy at the enemy through the crystal. In this series, the goggles actually have a purpose: to protect human eyes from the sun and from the etheric currents. Most of the gadgets involve crystals and etheric currents in some manner.
To date, Butcher is committed to a three-book series, but he hopes to write six or nine. To take a closer look at maps of the CINDER SPIRES world, click HERE to go to Priscilla Spencer's Map Store. Click HERE to go to the Cinder Spires Wikea where you can find information about this world and renditions of the spires. Click HERE to read the TVTropes description of the series.
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.
Click HERE and scroll down slightly to read substantial excerpts from The Aeronaut's Windlass.