Kat Sanders's Reviews > The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook
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's review
Apr 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: vaginal-fantasy-book-club, steampunk
Recommended for: Marsha Alterescu
Read from March 28 to 29, 2012 , read count: 1

Iron Duke
By Meljean Brook

The Iron Duke as a Steampunk novel is awesome, but as a romance not so much. There was so much more that could have been done with the emotional entanglements.


The Iron Duke starts in a post-apocalyptic style London. A body is dropped on the house of the Iron Duke, a war hero. The detective, Mina, who is assigned the case, is the daughter of an aristocrat. These are our two main characters. Mina is a strong, independent woman and the Iron Duke, Trahaearn, is a fierce, domineering pirate turned war hero. This makes for some interesting sparks.

As they go on this adventure to find out who threw the dead body from an airship (airship – so hot!) on the Iron Duke house, they find that they are very attracted to one another. They encounter zombies, pirates, and other interesting characters. They also explore their own relationship.

Mina is a strong woman who doesn’t want to be controlled by a man. I can get behind that. However, Trahaearn is so domineering he overpowers her as a character. She is constantly fighting him both as a character and as a woman. It leaves her to be seen as less than who she is or could be.

The romance and sexual tension aren’t as powerful as it could be. There are two sex scenes that stand out for me. The first is the almost “rape”. Both characters are drunk and things go further than Mina wants. Trahaearn doesn’t realize that she isn’t enjoying herself anymore. This scene is okay. It just doesn’t have the life that I would have expected in a scene of this nature.

The second is where Trahaearn gives up control. He lets Mina be on top. However, there are a couple problems with this scene. Mina doesn’t really take a lot of time to explore Trahaearn. If I had him under me, I would take hours exploring him. She also just gives up on the whole losing control issue that she has had all through the book. It is very anti-climactic. Also, the feel of the scene is that Trahaearn isn’t really giving up control, he is just humoring her. It just leaves the whole scene feel like it is missing something.

As for the romance, it didn’t really make much of an impression. I don’t really remember one scene or even instant of something romantic happening.

However, my favorite characters are Scarsdale and Captain Corsair. Scarsdale needs his own book and a man of his own. Captain Corsair’s story is book two, Heart of Steel, where she is seduced by Archimedes Fox.

The plot is good, fast paced and fun. It is a trip around this world chasing the killer of the dropped body. There is enough twist and turns to keep you interested and the conclusion isn’t predictable. It gives a lot of history and setting, so you can get to know this world without having it handed to you in a bunch of monologues.

The dialogue is great. There is a lot of give and take and no one is overshadowing the other characters. I really liked how we are introduced to the secondary characters. They are strong in their own right and are a great introduction to the world from another perspective.

This is a great adventure/travel novel. There is a lot that I liked about this book. I love the airships and other Steampunk gear infused into the story. I loved the action. I also loved how the zombies were part of the landscape but not a day to day horror. I gave it four stars.

Great first novel in a series!!!

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