Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Rise of The Iron Moon
Third book in The Court of the Air cyberpunk series

by Stephen Hunt


If, like this reviewer, you have been waiting eagerly for the third book in this series, then the wait is over.  Here is the third installment of this exuberant steampunk series, following on from the buoyantly imaginative The Court of the Air and  The Kingdom Beyond The Waves (both also reviewed on this site).  If you don’t know what all the fuss is about then imagine a beautifully realized alternative early 19th century world, following on from writers such as Joan Aiken and Philip Pullman.  Young orphan Purity Drake thinks she is condemned to a life of misery in the Royal Breeding House.  When she accidentally kills a guard and goes on the run, surely things are going to get much better—or should that really be much worse?   For a terrible new menace is arising to attack not only the Kingdom of Jackals but everywhere else as well.  Some people mistakenly think that it is the cannibalistic polar barbarians invading, but these creatures come from a lot further away.

After the somewhat disappointing second novel I am glad to say that Mr. Hunt is back on form once again.  We even get to meet up again with the inhabitants of Tock House (Molly, Commodore Black and Coppertracks) as well as Oliver—how this author does like stories about orphans!  As before, you can expect a novel that hits the ground running, and keeps running all the way with surprises galore.  Just when you think you can see exactly what is coming next, the story tends to shift somewhat and the unexpected happens, something that is invariably a good thing in a novel.  I won’t spoil the story by saying too much more but you can expect to be thoroughly entertained by a trip to the moon in a sentient ship and have fun seeing how many influences you can see nods to all through the book.  I confess to enjoying this type of thing very much, and it doesn’t come much better than this.  Hugely enjoyable, and probably my top pick for fantasy and science fiction at the end of the year unless I am very lucky and can find something even better.

The Book

Voyager (HarperCollins UK)
5 February 2009
0007232225 / 9780007232222
Fantasy / SF [Fantastic Location]
More at US || UK
NOTE: Some fantasy violence
Amazon US link is to a forthcoming paperback edition, there is not a currently available book

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009