Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato


Octavia Leander is about to start her adult life.  An orphan, she was rescued from the streets and raised in Miss Percival's school for healers.  It turns out that Octavia is extremely gifted in her service to the Lady of the Tree and one of the most successful healers to be found in decades.  She is off to her first job in a village that has many victims of a recent war and famine.  

Octavia boards her first airship in order to get to her new location.  She is given a cabin with a middle-aged lady who is cordial but a bit mothering and nosy.  Octavia is uneasy with the airship technology but fascinated as well.  She meets an airship employee, Alonzo Garrett, who seems interested in her and who wants to help her.  There are several other men on the ship who are also interested and Octavia is not sure their interest is positive.  

That feeling is right.  As the journey progresses, Octavia is attacked as is her roommate.  Someone wants to prevent her from reaching her destination.  With Alonzo on her side, Octavia is able to avoid the attacks.  Can she find out what is going on?

This is the first novel in the Clockwork series and is written for a young adult audience.  Octavia is a feminist and her abilities allow her to avoid disaster and make her way in a threatening world.  The novel was a Locus Award finalist for Best First Novel in 2015.  Readers will be interested in Octavia and her message of strong feminist power.  This book is recommended for fantasy and young adult readers.

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