Cyndi's Reviews > Heart of Steel

Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook
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's review
Feb 05, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: romance-addiction
Read from January 31 to February 05, 2012

Maybe it had been too long since I read The Iron Duke, but much of this book confused me. I love books with historical details. In fact, one of the reasons I'm such a fan of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles is not so much a love of vampires, but rather of the interesting historical settings of her books. However, despite my interest in history, I had a hard time keeping track of Brook's historical details. Obviously she has created her own history of the 19th century, but it did not come across as clearly this time as it did in her previous novel. Between the mentions of the French and Libre war and the Horde control in Constantinople and Temur Agha, it was everything I could do to keep the plot straight. Brook did a much better job of explaining her world in The Iron Duke than she did in Heart of Steel. This is definitely not a book a reader could pick up without having read the first in the series. Even after finishing it, I'm not fully sure I understood the political aspects of the novel, and this was the part of the book I was most interested in keeping track of. After having read The Iron Duke, I was looking forward to this book, not for the romantic story of Archimedes and Yasmeen, but to learn more about the world Brook had created. In this aspect, I felt she fell a little short.

The relationship between Yasmeen and Archimedes Fox was actually more interesting than I was expecting. Fox's desire to fall in love so he could feel the emotion that was taken from him when he was briefly under Horde control was unique. Yasmeen continued Brook's tradition of strong female leads. She kicked ass and made no apologies for what she did to stay alive and protect those under her care.

The romantic relationship did not compose as much of the novel as the search for a sketch and revenge for Yasmeen. I would have been happy with this had the plot of the novel been more clear. I concede that maybe I read the novel too fast and maybe I should have reread The Iron Duke before starting, but overall I was a bit lost and wished I could have kept track of the political nuances of Brook's world a little more. The saving grace for me was that, despite my confusion, she still kept me interested to learn more about the world of the Iron Seas.
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Reading Progress

02/04/2012 page 122
39.0% "I don't hate the book but I'm not as invested as I was with the Iron Duke. There doesn't seem to be much chemistry between Archimedes and Yasmeen. I'm hoping we will find out more about yasmeen's past and the Temur Agha guard."

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