Book Review: The Courtesan’s Avenger by Kate M. Colby

31570429Author: Kate M. Colby
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Series:  Desertera (Part #2)
Genre: Dystopian, Steampunk
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 312
Publisher: Boxthorn Press

Preceded byThe Cogsmith’s Daughter

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

A courtesan on a mission. A brothel ravished by greed. A murder to avenge.
Dellwyn Rutt loves her life as a courtesan. For years, she has enjoyed the simple pleasures and lavish gifts of her trade. Now she wants more: the title of madam.
But Madam Huxley, the brothel’s current proprietor, refuses to name a successor—a problem that is amplified by the legalization of adultery. As the new law sends lusty clients flocking to the brothel, Madam Huxley’s greed grows unchecked at the workers’ expense. Only one outsider seems to care: a self-proclaimed prophet who won’t rest until the unholy institution is abolished.
After weeks of abuse, Dellwyn desperately seeks a way to subdue Madam Huxley’s tyranny. But when another courtesan is murdered, Dellwyn must set her struggles aside and solve the crime. The only problem? All evidence points to Dellwyn’s friends… and to her.
Driven by twisting turns, peppered with witty dialog, and shadowed by unrequited love, The Courtesan’s Avenger is a cozy mystery in a steampunk fantasy world.

REVIEW

The Courtesan’s Avenger is the second book in the Desertera series. As with any sequel, I had huge expectations from this one, especially because I loved the first book in this series, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, and I’m happy to say that this book turned out to be as good as I was hoping for.

I loved reading about Delwyn. She was already established as a strong character in the previous book and when I started reading this book I felt like I already knew her. So getting into the story and losing myself in it was really easy. And once I started reading I did not rest easy till I finished the entire book.

I liked the ending and can’t wait to read the next book in this amazing series. One of the best parts for me still remains the absolutely amazing world-building in this book. It is a really strong Dystopian setting and you can feel just how bad things are and the people’s desperation makes you feel grateful for all the life-giving water we have.

The writing was flawless, simple and easy to relate and it made reading this book an even more enjoyable experience.

I just had one issue with the book and that was more a matter of personal choice than anything else, I loved Aya so much that I had just a wee bit of problem seeing Delwyn as the lead in this book. I mean, it’s actually a compliment for the author on creating such a strong character as Aya that now I just want more of her and Will. I loved reading about her in this part, but honestly, I wanted the entire book to be about her and the King. Delwyn was no doubt an absolutely fantastic character, but for me, Aya will always be the main character and I do hope that the author will make her the main character int he next book or maybe even dedicate a series on her alone (I, for one, would definitely love that!)

As I said, there was nothing wrong with the story, it was just that I’m so hung up on Aya that I couldn’t bring myself to rate this book as high as the previous one, hence I’m settling for 4 +1/2 stars.

I’d recommend this book to all the readers of Dystopian and Steampunk stories and also to those who want to start with a fresh series worth their time.


Goodreads and Amazon

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Book Review: The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) by Kate M. Kolby

26499463

Author: Kate M. Colby 
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Series: Desertera
Genre: Dystopian | Steampunk | Fantasy
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 306
Publisher: Boxthorn Press
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

In a desert wasteland, one king rules with absolute power and unquenchable lust, until the cogsmith’s daughter risks everything for vengeance.

Two-hundred years ago, the steam-powered world experienced an apocalyptic flood. When the waters dried up, the survivors settled around their moored steamship in a wasteland they named Desertera. Believing the flood and drought were caused by a scorned goddess, the monarchs demanded execution for anyone who commits the unforgivable sin—adultery.

Today, King Archon entraps his wives in the crime of adultery, executing each boring bride to pursue his next infatuation. Most nobles overlook King Archon’s behavior, but when Lord Varick’s daughter falls victim to the king’s schemes, he vows revenge.

When Aya Cogsmith was a young girl, King Archon had her father executed for treason. Orphaned and forced to turn to prostitution for survival, Aya dreams of avenging her father’s death. When Lord Varick approaches Aya with plans for vengeance, she agrees to play the king’s seductress—even though it puts her at risk for execution.

Review

The Cogsmith’s Daughter is the first steampunk book I’ve read in a long time, and I must say that I’m really happy that I did. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Cogsmith’s Daughter has a brilliantly written and efficiently developed plot line that is set in a mesmerizing new world. Playful yet serious at the same time, author Kate M. Colby’s writing is simply outstanding!

As soon as I started reading the first chapter, I completely lost myself in the scary, although interesting, world of Aya. I was able to relate to her on so many levels that I still feel that she’s not just a character but a friend whom I know inside out. This only proves that the characterization is beyond perfect. It’s simply magical!

I fell in love with the male lead, just as Aya did, and felt every emotion in the deepest corners of my heart. I felt sad when Aya was sad and felt happy when she found even a tiny bit of joy. Most of all, I enjoyed Aya’s thought process, and her innocence and determination made her a very compelling character.
Other characters were also crafted finely and I loved them all (even the well-crafted character of the protagonist.)

I have NO words to describe the brilliance of the worldbuilding that was executed flawlessly by the author in this book. Kudos to a job well done!

The book ended on a great note and I felt completely satisfied after finishing the book, yet at the same time, I was left craving for the next part.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautiful book and I’d recommend it to all the readers who are looking for an EPIC new series to read.

Bookstagram

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Other Stuff

Opening Line: Aya Cogsmith awoke, as she did every morning, to the croaking of the mechanical frog next to her bed.

Highlights: Exceptional writing and worldbuilding.

Lowlights: None.

Memorable Quotes:

This was her chance to reclaim her life, get back her father’s shop, and finally attain justice for his death. She was going to take it or die trying.

Memorable Paragraph:

“You forgot, Varick. You live in an illustrious estate, have all the fruit and wine you can ingest, and receive every pampering from your staff. I live in a dirt-floored hovel, trudge miles for water, and let disgusting men penetrate me for the smallest coins in a currency. Do you really think death wouldn’t be a relief?”

Final Thoughts: A magical read that will leave you craving for more.


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.