Venturess

Please note that this review may contain spoilers for Mechanica. You can read my review of this novel [here].

Venturess was written by Betsy Cornwell and first published in 2017. It is a steampunk fantasy story that focuses on a gifted inventor and young prince as they try to unite two warring nations. As the novel follows on directly from where its prequel – Mechanica (2015) – left off, you really need to read the novels in order to have any idea of what is going on.

Following her success at the exposition, Nicoletta Lambton has become a household name. Every woman in Esting wants to buy her glass slippers and a line of fashionable dresses made by Jules and the Buzzers has proven equally as popular. She has fallen into a comfortable relationship with Fin and Caro, and she’s confident that she will be successful despite the difficulties that the embargo with Faerie has put on her business.

However, everything changes when Fin is shot during a speech. Old hatreds are ignited as the incised people of Esting begin to cry for a strike on Faerie. It is at this time that Nick receives a note from her old Fae housekeeper, Mr Candary, who invites her and Fin to the shores of Faerie to discuss a truce with their leader. Eager to prevent a war, Fin agrees at once to travel to the distant land for a meeting.

However, it may be too late for even the prince to be able to stop the war. Fitz has already begun work on an army of automaton soldiers and many members of the Fae resistance are unwilling to trust humans. It’s up to Nick and her friends to convince the sides to stop fighting, yet when Nick makes a sinister discovery her belief in what is right and wrong is shaken. How can she possibly put an end to the fighting when both sides harbour dark secrets?

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Mechanica

Mechanica

Mechanica was written by Betsy Cornwell and is due for release later this month. It is a steampunk take on the story of Cinderella and contains a mixture of science-fiction and fantasy themes. The novel is a stand-alone story and so you do not need to have read any of the author’s other work to fully appreciate it.

Following the death of her father, Nicolette Lampton’s life is utterly turned upside down. Overnight, her Stepmother fires her only friend – the household’s fae butler Mr. Candery – and announces that the ten year old will be taking over all of his duties. Quickly learning not to rebel, Nicolette – called Nick by her Stepsisters – settles into her new life as a slave and loses all hope that her story will ever have a happy ending.

On the night of her sixteenth birthday, a note is pushed under her bedroom door. It hints as to the location of her mother’s workshop – a place that Nick believed to have long since been destroyed – and soon Nick is able to resume her mother’s tinkering. With the help of her mother’s last machines, including a small army of insects and an intelligent miniature horse named Jules, Nick quickly devises ways to make her chores easier.

When the royal family announces a ball and cultural exposition in honour of the Heir’s coming-of-age, Nick knows that she has to somehow be there. The exposition is her one chance to get her work noticed and make enough money to buy back her home. However, the path to self-sufficiency is littered with obstacles. How will she get the materials that she needs and construct her entry without her cruel Stepmother noticing?

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