Crown and Key series, by Clay and Susan Griffith

crownandkey

artemisiconSorry I didn’t get a review out last week, I’ve been trying to power through Stephanie Meyers newest book because I have other book obligations but it’s taking everything I can to finish that book. I was hoping to have it finished for this review …but that last 100 pages is just too daunting.

That aside, I am reviewing an entire series again. I picked this book up on a whim while my boyfriend and I were at Chapters (he keeps letting me loose with a ‘pick three books’ so I always come home with new series) because …I will admit, the cover was pretty and it sounded interesting. I’m a sucker for good cover-art.

The series started out with a bang and for a few paragraphs I was afraid this book only had it’s pretty cover-art going for it, but once the story caught up to itself I no longer felt like I was missing a huge chunk.

I’ll let you in on a little secret …I’m a HUGE, GIGANTIC fan of steampunk, so one look at the first book’s cover and it hit all my little peaks. Victorian, Magic, steampunk-esque. Done. I only picked up the first book and cursed myself until my boyfriend took me back to Chapters for the other two.

Simon, our main character, is a type of Magician known as a Scribe, because he writes spells on his skill for quick and fast access. Simon is your standard play-boy who carries scandalous stories and a mysterious family history like a cloak. He and his partner, Nick, a Jack-of-all-trades Magician come across a werewolf stalking the streets of London in the first book. And that’s just the beginning of the fast paced story.

While hunting the werewolf they come across the very talented Alchemist Kate. She is also introduced with a bang, by taking down the werewolf with a potion. I should have known any couple who meets over an issue of X-Men would know how to write strong women. Kate is unmistakably female (not the over used ‘strong-female’ trope which is basically a man with boobs) and does everything she can to look after her sister and carry on her fathers name. She comes from a well-to-do family but does not look down on anyone (unlike her immature sister) and goes out of her way to save people. She never belittles other women for their decisions, and just flat out doesn’t judge anyone. She gathers facts before she makes a deduction. I’m a sucker for a bad-boy, but even more of a sucker for a damn well written female.

The other characters in the story are just as phenomenal and well written. Penny the mechanic (enter steampunk machinery!) and the Scottish werewolf hunter Malcolm. Every character has a rich backstory, without having to spend chapters and chapters on it, and they all grow and develop as a team (and then some) throughout the series.

Romance in any book is inevitable, but in this one I was actually rooting for Simon and Kate. The romance (uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu – cat decided to say hello) built slowly and believably, and even at that there was no ‘love-at-first-sight’ B.S. It felt natural and real and took all three books to really develop.

The books easily flow from one to the other because what they think is just a werewolf infestation turns into a much, MUCH bigger problem. The things that are locked away in a magical high-security prison are probably supposed to stay locked away. But what fun would that be?

When people ask me about this series, I usually only get out ‘Werewolf, magic, steampunk” before devolving into full blown fan-girl. I just love this series that much. If there was ever a book that would make an awesome TV series, This is it!

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