marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Dead Iron

Dead Iron by Devon Monk

Takes place in a Wild West that never was, combining steampunk elements with a werewolf cursed by a god, a witch, a man who's already been killed twice by the opening of the book, and an exile of the -- ehem -- Good Folk.  (They're never called the Good Folk.  Or, for that matter, anything else, since he's the only one to appear, but you can work it out.)

Also, I advise against reading the back cover copy.  Not only inaccurate, but a bit spoilerish.

The bounty hunter Cedar Hunt goes to the rather hostile town and learns that a small boy has vanished -- out of his bed, it's rumored.  Despite it's being the full moon, when he won't be hunting by night, he resolves to hunt for him.  Out in the countryside, Mae Lindson breaks down and uses magic to find out what happened to her husband, and is therefore listening when Shard LeFel, who is trying to build a railway that will pass through the town, kills him.  Again.  He tells him that a man ought to stay dead the third time.  Once he's in his grave, LeFel will finally be able to get to his wife, and he will have the third.  He already has the boy, and a wolf that is a man cursed by the gods, but he needs her magic to get back to the land his brother exiled him from, three centuries ago, before he dies from being in this land.  And Rose Small, abandoned on a doorstep as a baby, tends her parents' shop, interacts with several of these, and hears things.

Both Cedar and Mae go to the Madder brothers, odd fellows who live by their mine, for aid in their quests.  And it all comes together in a plotline involving mantics (as they call the automata), plans for a wedding, a mule, a blacksmith, a witch hunt, a magical gun, a magical tunning fork, and a magical collar.  It all works together in the end
Tags: fiction reviews: historical fantasy, fiction reviews: steampunk

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