From my perspective, you can’t beat starting with the legends from Camelot and when you mix in steampunk elements it then becomes something that I MUST read! Kathryn Rose retells the Arthurian legends with her own additions of steampunk and alchemy while keeping and adding to the magical elements already in place. The stars were all aligned to make for a captivating read, and it did deliver on nearly every count.
Vivienne is the key character, a lady in waiting to Guinevere; she is integral to the plot contrived to defeat Morgan le Fay. She was a delightful character; well developed and clever with great interactions and ideas to help the Knights of the Round Table to defeat their nemesis. Her love interest, Marcus is also well developed and their interactions are sweet, adding to the love threads that are already in place.
Secondary characters are well developed and defined, and they are developed with new additions as well as keeping the flavor from the original story that informed this retelling. Solidly defined, the world building is stunning with prose utilized to best descriptive effect to give readers a true visual understanding of the scenes and settings.
This was a reasonably well-paced story: my only difficulty was the addition of alchemical elements that were, in my opinion, better refined for a single purpose, or left out entirely. With so many new elements and explanations, there was lots of information to process. The detail required to grasp the alchemy and it’s use was one set of elements too many and did require a slower read through to grasp the elements: reading through quickly will require you to go back and re-read the explanations for clarity and to best understand the chain of events and actions that are being put into play.
A debut offering, Camelot Burning from Kathryn Rose shows great promise and does present the author’s skill in presenting a unique twist to a well-known story and giving it a freshness that is wholly unexpected. With a few adjustments to tighten story arcs and learning to limit complicated explanations, she could fast become the next must read young adult fantasy author.
Title: Camelot Burning
Author: Kathryn Rose
Series: Metal & Lace #1
Genre: Science Fiction / Steampunk, Teen Reads
Published by: Flux
Source: Corvisiero Literary Agency
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
By day, Vivienne is Guinevere's lady-in-waiting. By night, she's Merlin's secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It's a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.
More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn't include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur's sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn't have Merlin's weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.
A copy of this title was provided via Corvisiero Literary Agency for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.