Fantasy magic meets Steampunk, can it work?
In the hands of an author who writes to a professional standard like Lita Burke, an airship manned by homunculi becomes a natural consequence of a well-thought-out magical world. Add to that some brainteasing logic:
"Wizardry is a contradiction. I cannot explain it logically.”
“That makes sense to me.”
“Truly? Then we are progressing.”
And you get an intriguing short story that sets the scene for a longer novel to follow that shows a lot of promise, Ephraim’s Curious Device.
Lita Burke has a talent for creating magical systems that work in a logical manner, with a price to expend for every act of magic. This strength is shown well in this prequel story, which also manages in a short time to establish several strong characters and to come up with some classic lines like;
"Wizard’s work was a pleasure and a madness. No wonder the university magicians rambled at times like daft bastards."
Clockwork and an airship are worked into this new word of wizardry quite neatly so that the mixture of traditional Fantasy magic and newer Steampunk references melds into a captivating story. I was particularly impressed with the point of view of the Forever Boy himself as a creature who started life as a dog and saw everything from that perspective as his magical nature was being established. This shows great promise for the story to follow and I am looking forward to reading it when it is released.
(reviewed 68 days after purchase)