The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1)
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The Iron Duke (The Iron Seas #1)

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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  9,455 ratings  ·  1,424 reviews
View our feature on Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke.

First in an all-new series where seductive danger and steampunk adventure abound in the gritty world of the Iron Seas.

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Berkley Trade (first published October 1st 2010)
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Soulless by Gail CarrigerThe Iron Duke by Meljean BrookClockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareChangeless by Gail CarrigerBlameless by Gail Carriger
Steampunk/Romance
2nd out of 224 books — 684 voters
Soulless by Gail CarrigerLeviathan by Scott WesterfeldBoneshaker by Cherie PriestPerdido Street Station by China MiévilleThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells
Best Steampunk Books
10th out of 641 books — 3,189 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat Kennedy
This is the third novel I've read belabelled Steampunk and so far it is the best.

Unlike Clare's rendition of Clockwork Angel, Brook's The Iron Duke doesn't nervously flirt with Steampunk but wantonly embraces it like a Steampunk addict chasing after its next hit.

Similarly to Carriger's Soulless, The Iron Duke is heavy on romance though with far more satisfying love scenes and lacking in the supernatural, paranormal element.

No, Brook understands Steampunk and she executed it well, creating a worl...more
Joel
Dear dad,

I know you follow and read my goodreads reviews, which I appreciate, really, but I just wanted to let you know that while this is a sci-fi/alternate history book that is pretty interesting in a lot of ways it is also a romance novel that I read for a book club and it has lots of VERY EXPLICIT sex parts that I might mention, explicitly, in this review. So it is ok if you don't want to read this one.

Sincerely, your son


The Iron Dukes sits at the intersection of everywhere and nowhere in...more
karen
zombies. kraken. pirates. automatons. marriage reform. nanotech. mongols. just another classic steampunk romance, right? or maybe not - this is my first one.

it was crazy - none of the other bodice rippers wanted to read the shapeshifter romance!! come on guys!!shapeshifters!!! romance!!! i am so curious about the mechanics of it, but i am not going to read one without the protective cloak of the rest of the rippers.

so -steampunk...

i mean, honestly, there wasn't anything wrong with this book; i...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I have to hand it to Meljean Brook. She created a wonderfully-detailed and fantastical world in this book. If a reader is wondering what 'steampunk' is, I will definitely point them towards this book. I was very impressed how she integrated nanotechnology into her world-building, and the nanotech fit very well in this universe. There are some aspects that seem rather dystopian, despite the fact that this is a Victorian-like setting. The use of robotic technology has some great applications, but...more
Catherine
I won this ARC in a contest at Dear Author.

I have a confession to make... I was afraid to read this book. I have a serious love affair with this author's Guardian series. I mean, how many of my Goodreads friends did I nag into reading it lately? Five? I know they finally broke down and read it just to shut me up, but that's okay, because they loved it anyway and I got more people to talk about it with. So, I was afraid something would happen and I wouldn't be able to get into the new series and...more
Felicia
I enjoyed it a LOT, just one thing brought it down from 5 stars, which I will specify at the end. (BTW Has VERY racy scenes as a warning to the non-smutty lovers, but that wasn't my -1 star point haha)

I would give worldbuilding: 5 stars. The first chapter is a bit confusing, but the world that is spun out over the novel is ENDLESSLY interesting, one of the few books that has made me read SLOWLY to see what all the steampunk stuff really is about. FASCINATING history with the Horde and the nanobu...more
Caris
All my life, I thought I liked pirates. I thought I found the romantic visions of them (stealing from the rich, burying treasure) appealing, as well as the more true-to-life accounts of the mutinies and murders. The romanticism of pirates, to me, made pirate romances seem romantic. But, as it turns out, pirate romances make me feel kind of ill.

Raping and pillaging is great when it is fictional and former never actually happens, but pirates in romances always have to stop themselves from raping....more
AH
Hordes! Buggers! Bounders! Frenzy, oh my!

What a world. It took a while for me to understand this extremely imaginative world, but I enjoyed every moment of this book.

The Iron Duke portrays an alternative history in a very different Europe. The Horde controls people through nanotechnology. People, especially those living in polluted London, are infected with these agents because they have healing properties. When certain radio frequencies are transmitted, the infected people, known as the Bugger...more
Ridley
Oct 08, 2010 Ridley rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of sci fi, alternate history and steampunk.
A few hundred years before the novel opens, the Asian Horde took over much of the Western world with a mix of force and superior technology. Lacking any navy of merit, they had to be a bit creative in their attack on Britain, choosing to smuggle nanoagents into the cheap sugar and tea they exported to the island nation. As the people ate and drank, they unwittingly infected themselves with tiny bits of self-replicating machinery. While the "bugs" made people stronger, hastened healing and allowe...more
Alisha
Oct 14, 2010 Alisha rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: romance fans who like multi-setting adventure. oh, and those that don't mind zombies. ^_^
Shelves: favorites
Initial reaction: This book was exquisite. If I could give it 6 stars, I would. :o)

All I want to know is, what kind of peyote was this woman smoking when she dreamt up this amazing world? ^__^ It is proving exceedingly difficult for me to adequately express what it is about this book that makes me love it so. In fact, I can almost guarantee I won't be pleased with this review. ^_^ But I'll make mention of a couple thoughts in broad strokes.

...beginning with the world. Brooks' world(building) was...more
Katie(babs)
My review of The Iron Duke won’t do enough of justice. The entire time I read, my jaw was dropped in amazement. The Iron Duke has wowed me in some many ways. Meljean Brook is an author I’m loyal to, through and through. It’s a great feeling to have started with an author since the beginning of their writing career and watch them evolve and continue to astound with every single book they’ve written. The Iron Duke is mind-blowing in such a way that it may just turn the romance genre on its ear, in...more
Eh?Eh!
Rbrs #9

This was a shock. I kind of liked this one! It's a decently written action book and for more than half the pages it has a real plot, mostly. There are phrases that make me think "steampunk," like this nifty one: ...they ran into the street, past a long vehicle that clipped along on dozens of narrow legs like a centipede, the seats loaded with children and guarded by hard-eyed nuns armed with scimitars. I guess there isn't too much that's steampunk about that sentence, but I like it.

Meljea...more
Miriam
This book was both lots of fun and quite disappointing.

The alternate history of a Mongol-dominated England with mind-controlling nanoagents, steampunk body grafts, and forced social reorganization was original and fascinating. Brook worked the steampunk elements into the story and the lives of the characters in a more intimate and plot-effecting way, and she also showed how the political and scientific changes common to this genre would not be superficial window-dressing on the same old Victori...more
Penny Watson
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

I was not prepared for this book.

My expectation for a steampunk romance was based on The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. Those books are light-hearted fun, filled with kooky inventions and a no-nonsense heroine. The steampunk part of Carriger's world provides an entertaining and funky backdrop for the story. The humor is very tongue-in-cheek, right up my alley.

The Iron Duke couldn't be more different. While Carriger's world is political, it's also quit...more
Audrey
This book rocks my socks.

Action. Adventure. Mystery. Humor. Romance. Sexytimes. Fiercely determined and protective hero. Smart, loyal and courageous heroine. Wonderful secondary characters. NIFTY GADGETS.

Seriously, this book has it all.

This was my first steampunk read, and I loved it for all of the wonderful things I mentioned above. I found myself at work, glancing at the clock and looking forward to getting home so I could finish this book. The first 5-10 pages kind of throw you right into the...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
Why does Germany get to have a cool cover???



@our cover: Dude! Put a shirt on!

I really have a problem with these typical shirtless dude covers. Could you get shallower than that? Buy a book just ‘cause a hot dude is on the cover. Book porn, that’s what this is…

My first thoughts when starting the book were (in this exact order):

A life without sugar!!! The horrooor!!!!

Pirates *droools*

Tahaeram or whatever wtf is that name?? I can’t even remember it! Why didn’t they call him Bob? That would be easy
...more
Fani
I'm not writing a review for this one; I'm just going to mention a couple of things that "bugged" me:

1. This was more adventure than romance at least for the first 2/3 of the book. And despite the fact that it's focused on the suspense/action, two out of four battles against the vilains took place in no more than a paragraph. Totally anti-climatic.

2. This was my first steampunk and I think it may be my last. For the first 150 pages I got sick of reading about people with hammers instead of legs,...more
Lightreads
Detective Inspector investigates a murder and uncovers a treasonous plot and fucks a pirate/duke/war hero/nanotechnology superman a lot in alt history England, also zombies.

I feel somewhat betrayed. I was promised terrible books on the level of Skye O’Whatsit and that one where the hero’s name is actually Fulk, and then you hand me this. And I found it inexplicably charming! I mean, it’s a weird post catastrophe England with functioning prosthetics and airships (and apparently vibrators), and it...more
MISS VAIN
Mar 04, 2012 MISS VAIN rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Steampunk Romance lovers
Recommended to MISS VAIN by: Cat Russell, Jamie
"You may continue to call me inspector,"
"And you may call me Rhys.""I won't."
"Even when I'm in your bed?"
Mina dropped her hand to her gun.

"I agree. That was too brazen." he leaned in toward her, taking up too much space she could hardly draw. Breath. "I should have said my bed, yes?"

Who knew Steampunk, Zombies, Kraken, a feisty detective and a brazenly golden earring wearing gorgeous pirate could make for such an exciting and sexy read? Well I sure didn't! I should have never waited so long...more
Jeaniene Frost
I almost didn't try this because steampunk usually isn't my thing, but this is a great book.
Jasmine
I'm going to give this book more stars than it deserves, probably because mostly i thought I was going to completely hate it and I didn't, plus it lead me to want to ignore a new genre, but more on that later.

Weird things people get to learn about me that relate to this book:

1. I'm a prude

Yes, yes I know, I'm a prude who has read a large portion of the french erotica writers, has a good knowledge of the early history of pornography (70s-80s my knowledge ends before I was born), and has no prob...more
Katyana
Wow wow wow! I reallllllllly loved this book.

Mina was amazing. Strong, brave, loyal, and amazingly good-spirited, given everything she had to deal with. And Rhys... I really loved him. It is hard to find the words. A reluctant hero, a guy who pulled himself up out of the horrible life he had as a child, but yet still managed to be a good man.

Both of these characters are people who don't handle emotions well. I don't want to get into the reasons why (except to assure you all that it is well done...more
Jessi
I have never done steampunk before and I don’t know if I will ever go back there again, it seemed a bit grimey.
Frank Grimes No not that “Grimey”
More like this
Burning London

With all the pollution, dirt and I did not quite get the rules of fashion either. Do the ladies wear pants or gowns? Is Mina a rule breaker for wearing pants ??? Did everything have ruffles?
Anyways there were zombies, airships/balloons and Krakens why the Hell am I asking about ruffles?? These components make for a very interesting and exciting ro...more
Laura the Highland Hussy
This book amazed me. I was reading an anthology called Burning Up and in it was a story called Here There Be Monsters and wow, did that writing rock my socks! I was a bit confused on a few points, but was so wow'd by the world and the characters that I immediately read The Iron Duke.

The world-building is complex, and intricate, and really really interesting. I think that the characters were really well-done, and I loved their romance. There was one scene where my eyebrows shot up, but I think it...more
Angela James
Short review: this book rocked my world. Meljean has written a well-developed world with incredible steampunk technology and details, as well as characters and relationships that go beyond the surface. The only drawback to this book? There's not another ready for me to read RIGHT NOW!

Side note: it's not necessary to have read the novella Here There Be Monsters, which is in the anthology Burning Up, first, but you're going to want to read it after you read this book, just so you can revisit the...more
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
His hand tightened in her hair, holding her still as he inhaled, as if drawing in her scent.
"You will accept me. And now I will know you, even if you come to me in the dark."

This was my first adventure into the world of steampunk and I couldn't have been more pleased. My imagination was gleefully thrown into overdrive.

Pirates and airships, flesh-eating zombies and iron-armored kraken. Could the Iron Seas have been any more impressive?

Brook has created a world that is truly complex and engrossing...more
willaful
I enjoyed this a lot, yet I still don’t feel like I really get steampunk. The worldbuilding seems largely based on “this is wicked cool and/or scary” rather than on a logical chain of events. I never did get how, in this obviously very sexist world, women get to be on the police force.

The book’s biggest strength is its heroine. Mina is brave, determined, caring, yet also vulnerable -- everything you would want in a cop, or a heroine. I found myself just a bit disappointed in Rhys, a fairly stand...more
Mandi Schreiner
Reviewed by Mandi and Tori

Two hundred years ago, The Horde hid nanoagents inside tea and sugar, and traded these goods with England. No one thought of anything – until the Horde activated the bugs. Using radio signals, the Horde was able to control everyone infected with these bugs – control their emotions and actions– their lust, anger, everything.

But a pirate by the name of Rhys Trahaearn had some tricks up his sleeve and took down the Horde by blowing up their signal tower. Now eight years la...more
Galla
I put off reading this one for a while because steampunk isn't really my thing, in much the same way that cyberpunk was never really my thing. I mean, sure, I read some William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, and I watched Blade Runner a good dozen times, but I can't shake a certain innate wariness about trendy sub-movements using "punk" as a suffix.

That said, a good book is a good book, and this book is amazing. The world-building is outstanding; Brook has given England a horrifying but coherent a...more
Misty
This is a long damn review. Sorry.

Oh, The Iron Duke. Where do I even begin? I guess first I should thank Velvet for being so amazeballs and sending this to me (thanks, V!). I overcame my loathing of "chestical" covers to read this due to its inclusion of steampunk zombies, and for all that it is flawed, I have to say I enjoyed (nearly) every minute of it.

Forgive me, then, for starting with the things I not-so-much liked. The titular character, the Iron Duke, is...rapey. If you don't read a lot o...more
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24009
Book info: I am the author of the Iron Seas steampunk romance series. I've written a guide to the world (including a map) on my website.

I also write a paranormal romance series, the Guardians. That series guide is also on my website, including a "The Story So Far" feature, which allows you to catch up on all of the books that previously released in the series if you start after the first installm...more
More about Meljean Brook...
Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2) Riveted (Iron Seas, #3) Demon Angel (The Guardians, #1) Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City (Iron Seas, #1.5) Demon Moon (The Guardians, #2)

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“He cupped her face in his hands, made her meet his gaze. Solemnly, he said, “I heard you say that when two people love each other, they fight through everything together. Every doubt, every challenge, every pain. Fight with me, Mina. Please. You are the only one for me, for as long as I live. And if you love me, fight with me.” 39 likes
“Aghast, Yasmeen gaped at her before looking to the duke. "It's worse than I thought. Not just the Horde, not just the police- you're keeping company with someone who has principles.” 31 likes
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