ISBN: 9781847386526 Leviathan series #1
LibraryThing ; Author’s blog
Read for the Once Upon A Time Reading Challenge
The Austrian horses glinted in the moonlight, their riders standing tall in the saddle, swords raised.
It is 1914 and Europe is on the brink of war. In Austria-Hungary young Prince Aleksander’s life is suddenly in turmoil. His parents have been murdered and he is on the run and in disguise. His once-upon-a-time allies have turned out to be enemies and there are very few people he can trust. In England Deryn Sharp wants nothing more than to be an airman. The only problem is, she’s a girl, and airmen are.. well, male. In disguise she gets accepted and is soon serving as a Midshipman aboard the Leviathan. A huge airship built around a fabricated beast.
I really enjoyed this book. It has steampunk-esq machines alongside the fantastical fabricated beasts. Well, they are on opposite sides really, the Clankers are the German side, the godless-Darwinian beasts on the British.
Plus the two main characters are entertaining and well-written. It is a children’s book, but it isn’t way too simplistic, if that is what any adult out there might be fearing, there is plenty of depth & shading of characters, more than enough to keep me interested. Plus it means that we don’t get too bogged down in the politics surrounding the outbreak of World War I. Because that wasn’t really that clear-cut, more like an expansion of Empire-building. And when you think that the majority of those royal households were related… Family politics eh?
But back to the book, as I said I really enjoyed it, and thought it was an interesting take on the whole fantasy/historical genres. Looking forward to reading the rest in the series at some point. Book 2 is out in October, I think.
Oh, I almost forgot, there are also some wonderful illustrations in the book itself, done by Keith Thompson, you can take a look for yourself on his website.