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The Burning Sky (Halcyon #1)

3.45  ·  Rating Details  ·  186 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Taziri just wants a quiet evening at home with her family, but when the entire Northern Air Corps is assassinated, Taziri is the only pilot left to help the marshals chase the killers across the skies of Marrakesh. Together they uncover a vast conspiracy of deposed aristocrats, wealthy industrialists, and xenophobic warmongers plotting against the Queen.

The case becomes t
Nook, 0 pages
Published February 5th 2011 by Joseph Robert Lewis (first published January 15th 2011)
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The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon)
3.5 Stars

Steampunk! Aiee! Vivala Steampunk!

The Burning Sky, book one of the Halcyon trilogy, was my first foray into steampunk outside of classics like Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The story started fast with lots of explosions...always a plus when you have explosions... The action slowed a bit, but the mystery took over and what started like an action/adventure turned into a mystery/espionage novel with a Noir-ish detective hot on the trail of a domestic terrorist!...oh, yea, there was
Nov 23, 2011 Al rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-2011
Unlike many steampunk novels, "The Burning Sky" isn’t set in Victorian era Britain, but on an alternate version of the Earth, based on the premise that Europe didn’t emerge from the Ice Age and is mostly uninhabitable. Lewis gives a brief author’s note explaining this and setting expectations. Wikipedia calls steampunk novels with this type setting fantasy or fantasy-world steampunk.

My favorite things about "The Burning Sky" were the plot, which is a thriller, and understanding the alternative w
Douglas Bittinger
The Burning Sky was my very first encounter with a truly Steampunk novel. I read it more out of curiosity about the genre than anything. I’m glad I did, and I’m glad I chose this one as a starting point.

The Burning Sky, by Joseph Robert Lewis is the first book in the Halcyon Trilogy. I found it to be the embodiment of the old writing adage that says: to create suspense, place your protagonists in a very bad situation, then make it worse. The story starts out with a horrific act of terrorism swee
Kitty Honeycutt
Jul 12, 2011 Kitty Honeycutt rated it it was amazing

Joseph Robert Lewis has taken the best part of living in a Steampunk age and written two extraordinary novels full of excitement and imagination. Taziri Ohana is one of the best airship pilots around, struggling with home life and her job. When almost the entire fleet of ships as well as their crew is wiped out by an attack, it is up to her to find the ones responsible, discover the conspiracy at a higher level and save the day.

The second book con
Jan 20, 2012 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2012-reads
Excellent read! Steampunk!

Full review in progress ...
I thoroughly enjoyed Burning Sky. Lewis wrote a really action packed book, full of many different characters whose paths all intersect. They are all motivated by different beliefs, some are pastoralists, what we would call terrorists, some are law enforcers, and some innocent bystanders like the main character, the airship engineer who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The alternate history was cool. Lewis clearly knows history and was able to manipulate it to produce the world he wanted
The Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis is the first novel in the Halcyon Trilogy. And what a fantastic beginning it is! Lewis gives us a well woven story with brilliant characters and non-stop adventure. I found the story so well written and entertaining that I flew through it and was surprised when I came to the end...and dismayed as I want the next novel immediately!

The story is described as a historical fantasy, but I would describe it more as an alternative steampunk history with the steampu
In an alternate vision of history, the Ice Age has lingered in Europe, slowing down Europeans’ rate of civilization and allowing Ifrica (Africa) to take the lead. Add to this a disease in the New World that strikes down the invaders instead of vice versa, and suddenly global politics are entirely different. In this world, steam power has risen as the power of choice, and women are more likely to be the breadwinners. Taziri is an airship co-pilot whose airfield is attacked in an act of terrorism. ...more
Dec 12, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I want to start off completely honestly and say that I never thought I'd finish reading this book. It's not a terrible long book, but I am a reader who likes to get lost in the world of the story and this is one hell of a world. The "steampunk" fad always seemed interesting to me, but it wasn't even until I finished the book that I thought about whether or not this term applies. The thought of inflatable airships and a world where lights out is at sundown simply took my breath away.

This story be
Oct 16, 2014 Avry15 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
originally appeared on:Bookshelf Confessions

*I won a free copy of this e-book in a LibraryThing Member Giveaway*

i was first intrigued by the cover of this book, and now that i've read it,.the cover really stands for the contents of the's as awesome as how it appeared to be..

Joseph Robert Lewis brought his readers to a familiar but different world in The Burning Sky(Halcyon #1: A Steampunk Thriller)..i really felt lucky to be one of the few who win this.

the author mixes intrigued, action
Jul 12, 2011 Aimeekay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is a great start to what looks to be an amazing trilogy. It is a story of 4 days of conspiracy in the land of Marrakesh. These 4 days are told from the perspective of 6 different characters. Taziri-the electrical engineer from the Halcyon; Syfax-a major in the section 2 marshalls; Qhora-the exiled princess from across the sea; Lorenzo-famed swordsman;
Kella-an Arafez cop working for Lady Sade; Lady Sade-Governer of Arafez.
Steampunk altered history with a twist; what if Europe never eme
Apr 03, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading the Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis. The characters are very realistic. The plot is very suspenseful and adventuresome. It was hard to put the book down. The story begins with an explosion of an airship and the plot revolves around the interactions of the mechanic (who is also a pilot), Taziri, from the airship Halcyon who is the only pilot left alive at the scene to assist Major Syfax Zidane from the royal marshals in Security Section Two to discover who was behind the act ...more
SciFi Kindle
Mar 14, 2013 SciFi Kindle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Joseph Robert Lewis shares his love of "the amazing history of human civilization" by inviting readers into one exotic steampunk locale after another, across Northern Africa, in this fast-paced adventure. The setting alone sets The Burning Sky (Halcyon #1: A Steampunk Thriller) apart from most of the Steampunk genre, rooted as it is in the neo-victorian UK or US. Quite apart from the splendid abundance of airships, mechanically augmented villains, and steam-powered industry, Burning Sky h ...more
Charlotte English
Oct 24, 2011 Charlotte English rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
So. Mystery and intrigue, colourful characters, sinister science, marvellous machines and unlikely heroes. Um, and a lot of fire, shootings and death. Interesting mix.

The story is nicely complex, with a lot going on across the four-day period of the plot. It requires some concentration to keep all the plot threads and characters straight, though it's worth the effort. The one thing that let the book down a little was the number of POV changes with, frequently, very short chapters. It began to f
Linda Ghio
Oct 15, 2013 Linda Ghio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, steampunk
Refreshing. Addictive. A breath of fresh air. Innovative. It's not often that I fall completely, head-over-heels in love with a book, but when it happens - oh, when it happens it's the best feeling in the world.

This book hits all the right notes for me. A steampunk book where the entire power structure of the world as we know it is subverted? A steampunk book that's not focused on British or American white imperialism? A steampunk book where, in fact, the US and Britain - as well as the other m
Feb 29, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review, which in no way determined the outcome of my review.

I liked "The Burning Sky." If you enjoy action books, I'd recommend this one. I think that someone who wasn't an avid fantasy reader could still easily enjoy this book. There were a lot of characters and it did take me quite a few chapters to sort them all out as each character gets his or her own point-of-view chapter. Because of this, there are many many chapters, all of which are only
Vicki Forcina
Aug 03, 2011 Vicki Forcina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I truly enjoyed reading this book. The steampunk genre is not something that I am familiar with, and it came across as something fresh and new. Also, I thought the historical fantasy portion of the novel was fantastic. It would have been great to see a map of all the locations the characters were traveling, but the amount of knowledge of the past was very consistent and through. My only issue with this novel is that it was difficult for me to jump into it and took me a long time to read. ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Burning Skytakes place on a world that has many similarities to Earth as we know it. There are Europans not Europeans, Espani not Spain. So the world portrayed is familiar and at the same time different. The first thing that differs is the roles that men and women play. The height of technology is airships, telegraphs, and steam trains. The story starts out with an act of terrorism, the airship field is attacked. The heroine of this story, an electrician and pilot of an airship are commandee ...more
Zac Wood
Apr 28, 2011 Zac Wood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was given to me as a free ebook on the condition that I would post a review. I will have one up in the next few days...

This book was very good, though not quite as enjoyable as Heirs of Mars. "Steampunk" is a sub-sub-culture, and kinda hard to define. This book was touted as a steampunk story, and I guess it qualifies. It is alternate history where electricity seems to be strange and new but an industrial revolution is/has happened. The alternate history (Thriving Incan culture meets the Sp
Apr 05, 2011 Rhonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. The characters were varied and well developed. the action kept going from one point to another. I also found out that I am more of traditional than I thought with roles of women versus men. The opening shows a piolet Taziri playing with her daughter and husband wanted to go back to working full time. Taziri said maybe later. Women were the ones in power for the most part. their was bombing, terrosts conspiracy against the queen. Marshalls trailing the ambassodar who was ...more
Steve Wales
I've liked the idea of 'steampunk' historical fantasy settings for a while but not really got around to reading anything from that sort of genre but this, with its steam-powered airships, certainly counts and I really enjoyed it.

Set against the imaginative backdrop of a world where the northern hemisphere never really emerged from the last ice age, Taziri Ohana flies her airship in the skies above Marrakesh. After a huge explosion destroys the airfield, she is the only pilot left. She and marsha
Shyleen Studley
Aug 18, 2012 Shyleen Studley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a bit of steam punk or sci-fi
Recommended to Shyleen by: librarything
Shelves: library-thing
Very good read. I received this in a member giveaway and I am so glad I did. I loved the airships, the electronics. I loved that it was set in our world so some things were familiar yet it was so different. At first there seemed to be too many characters, but it was quickly resolved and I learned to love all of them. It's so easy to get attached, the characters were all so developed and complicated. They all gave you information, but it was jumbled with their own thoughts, emotions, and problems ...more
N.M. Martinez
Mar 23, 2011 N.M. Martinez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, indies
This book happens over the course of days. It literally starts off with a bang and then keeps moving forward with multiple story lines that carry the momentum along and make the book difficult to put down.

But it is never exhausting. The action and adventure is perfectly balanced by strong and interesting characters. One of Lewis' strengths are these multidimensional characters that have opinions and motives no matter what side of the conflict they're on. No one is truly good or bad although thei
Dove Harbour
The Burning Sky is an interesting and action-packed story. I found it a little more difficult to get into than Heirs of Mars, but that may be because a lot of the cultural and historical references went over my head. Being set in a kind of alternate timeline, to appreciate the story you really need to understand how history has happened differently. However, the different cultures were quite interesting, being very different from our own. And all the characters had their own complex issues to de ...more
Really enjoyed this indie steampunky fantasy. Similarly to Kate Elliot's Spiritwalker series (which I am totally *loving*) and S.M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers, Europe gets very, very cold. The action here is in Africa, and the book is very enjoyable - Incan princesses, steam-powered flying machines, and a plucky engineer - who writes articles in scientific journals! - and more. An interesting element which so far seems to be continued in book 2 (it's a trilogy) is that the band of adventure ...more
Review of member giveaway eBook
This is a thrilling adventure set in an alternate North Africa. There are dirigibles; extinct beasts; matriarchal societies; sinister plots and that new technology ‘electricity’.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in this world.
Sep 12, 2011 Jacque rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first steam punk book I have read and I found it very enjoyable. At first, the many parallel story lines were at times confusing, but as the story developed, you could see how they tied together. Lewis has created an intriguing world populated by interesting characters.
Feb 09, 2012 Misanthropist rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really fun and interesting book, that caught my attention from the beginning, delighted me with a myriad of nice and lovable characters and a complex, captivating plot. :) Absolutely recommended!

Read my full review:
An alternate world view, Europe as yet undeveloped due to the ice age and Ifrica the reigning power. A world where it seems women are the ones who are the power holders of nations, jobs, etc. and the men are coming up the ladder (the opposite of our reality). Steam being what powers the nations, travel and so on. Quite a different take on the steampunk genre, and a pleasant one at that. Wordy at times, but an enjoyable read.

Lots of action, explosions, airship flight and acrobatics, steampunk gad
Erin Bell
May 17, 2013 Erin Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read. It was comparatively light, but it was entertaining, and I enjoyed the speculation about how civilization might have developed if much of the planet's surface was uninhabitable.
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Joseph Robert Lewis enjoys creating worlds in which history, mythology, and fantasy collide in unpredictable ways. He also likes writing about heroines that his daughters can respect and admire. Joe was born in Annapolis and went to the University of Maryland to study ancient novels, morality plays, and Viking poetry.
More about Joseph Robert Lewis...

Other Books in the Series

Halcyon (3 books)
  • The Broken Sword (Halcyon #2)
  • The Bound Soul (Halcyon #3)

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