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Under the Rushes

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  443 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
Ten years after Dorjan trusted a boy’s word over his superior officer’s, he and his best friend, Areau, are still living the aftermath—and trying to stop the man responsible. Locked in a careful dance to bring down a corrupt government, Dorjan struggles to balance his grief with Areau’s anger. Just when Dorjan reaches the end of his rope, he sees a familiar face in the sha ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published December 21st 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 20th 2012)
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Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Entertaining, funny, and possessed of a comprehensive fecundity that makes me slightly ill with envy.

More great ideas in 50 pages than some authors have in 50 books, and yet still poignant, and human, and terribly, terribly romantic.

As it turns out, that's more of a problem than a selling point.

Still; it's fun.

Waiting for Ms. Lane's bonus steampunk nanobot insect cybernaut vampire symbiont orgy holiday short will fucking kill me.

I'm not going to be finishing this one or giving it a rating. Sometimes I love, love, love Amy Lane's books and other times I find them harsh reading with the angst levels ramped up way to high. That's what happened for me with this one, I just couldn't read anymore about Dorjan's constant sacrifice and most especially Areau's never-ending need for sexual pain. I got to about page 50 and skimmed the rest of it.

Fascinating steampunk work-building but the characterizations were just too over the
I know others have liked this novel less than some of Amy's other novels, but honestly, I loved it.

This is a tale of man, Dorjan, who was raised from birth to accept the responsibility of his family's Keep and all those within it, as well as the family's mining business and the niskets that enable any mining to be done at all. So when his life implodes, and all that he has loved is either dead or changed, it is no surprise that he feels compelled to do what is right, no matter the personal cost
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: various-romance
3.5 stars. Interesting scifi/steampunk setting from an astonishingly prolific author (12 new books published this year). I found the hero Dorjan to be such a martyr. And I actually connected mostly with one of the secondary characters (view spoiler) so that was depressing. But it's still a good read.
Lisa Henry
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Why did this take me so long to get around to reading it? It's been on my kindle for a while, but I just kind of ignored it. Well, today I was home sick so I decided to stay in bed and read. You know, just a chapter...famous last words for me.

The world building here is phenomenal. So many wonderful, intricate details of a world that in many ways in familiar, but is also wondrous, and magical, and imaginative. I don't know what I expected when I read the blurb -- but it wasn't steampunk superher
Kaje Harper
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This book begins with a concatenation of cruelty, loss and tragedy that made me set it aside until I was in the right place for it. But in truth, the rest of the book, although it has dark moments, is never again as harsh as that beginning. Once more Amy Lane has given me some very appealing men to care about and root for, and follow though a dramatic adventure. The steam-punk fantasy elements were well woven into the story, and not so prominent that they had to be picked apart or ful ...more
¸. • * ° *❧Gwendolyn❧•°**★•°**★
3 plus stars~

That would be Madame Matiya❤Areau too.

I really loved everybody, but Madame M, stole the show in this, she made me laugh, smile, giggle and say * you go girl!

And Areau, the twisted discombobulated soul, gotta love him, too. At least I did.

The Book and my thoughts~

This is a really over-the-top outstanding stempunk noval Albeit sometimes tooooo over-the-top batman.

The MAJOR pissed me off factor~(view spoiler)
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Dorjan is a man on a mission. He is going to fix everything. He has his best friend Areau to help him, but because his relationship with him has turned into a twisted mess, along with the world, he’s going to shoulder Areau’s demons as well. It is a tall order for one man.

The way that Dorjan decides to save the world is by becoming two people. Like Batman, who is the Dark Night and Bruce Wayne, Dorjan is a mild-mannered forum master by day and at night he is the Nyx. He does this so well that e
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, read-again-maybe
Update -- I never did get a good cogent review written, so I'm starting a reread to see if I can get this thing put together so it sounds more logical.


I'm working on the review now, leaving my notes here til I get it finished -- in the meantime, count this as 4-4.5 stars over all --

Intriguing beginning. Perhaps a bit heavy on throwing in a billion unfamiliar terms all at once.

Hmmmm.....quite a time gap. It takes 10 years between the betrayal (I won't spoil it here) and the decision to
Dec 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable (and very creative) sci-fi/steampunk/historical adventure romance about Dorjan, who was kicked out of the military for standing up against corruption, and who continues to battle that corruption, whether through his work in the government during the day, or running the streets like a vigilante at night. While he’s being noble (and lonesome) in his solo mission to save everyone else, in walks a barnacle of a prostitute who won’t let go because he sees the very human, suffering man be ...more
Thomaidha Papa
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Ever wonder what heroes are made of? No? I had this question hammering my head while I was reading this book and every page, every paragraph answered that for me. Pain, Agony, Betrayal, Disappointment, Frustration, Anger, Unworthiness, Guilt, Loneliness, Hatred, Kindness, Unselfishness, Love… And this is how Nyx is born.
Yes, you got it right, this is the story of a hero; a story that will break your heart and then elate you, and then break it some more befo
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I never read an actual true steampunk novel before so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. Man, that was dark! But not dark in a bad way at all. While the beginning may have been a little hard to swallow knowing just how tortured both souls were and how depraved things got once things really got going it was just plain enthralling. I enjoyed the concepts that made this really steampunk and the unique qualities of the world that Ms. Lane created. Fascinating book and well worth th ...more
Fantastical, dark, and imaginative. This was a truly fascinating reading experience, full of intrigue and surprisingly sweet romance. Let's face it, Amy Lane can write anything and make me love it.

What kept it from a full five stars is the feeling of disorientation that never fully went away, but that's solely because of my own personal contemporary-loving preference, not any fault of the writing.
Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews by: Sammy Goode
For so long I was scared to try this book, because it was steampunk. My first in this genre and outside my comfort zone. But come on, this is Amy Lane. Not my favorite author by chance. When the audiobook came I had to try it. It was AMAZING!Dark, complex, heart-breaking, beautiful. <3
Lena Grey
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“Sometimes it is necessary to do the wrong things for the right reasons. The important thing is to be sure that our reasons are right, and that we admit the wrong.that we do and not lie to ourselves, and convince ourselves that what we do is right." Khader Kahn – Shantaran

As with many things in life, it's the intent of our actions, not the actions themselves that matter. Dorjan makes a decision when he is only nineteen years old which changes the course of his life forever. Even at that early ag
This is a different type of a book than what author, Amy Lane, usually writes. Under the Rushes takes you to a steampunk Victorian era with a whole new language. She created a very fascinating world with strange steam engines and clothing of olden eras, with a ruling political body (the Forum) that reminds you of the Roman Republic with Senators.

You are introduced to Dorjan (Dori), a young military professional on a training exercise. It is made clear that this military is, essentially, peaceke
Tali Spencer
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-sf, m-m
This book surprised me. I saw it mentioned as a fantasy and that genre is my favorite, not to mention I always enjoy Amy Lane's writing, though I associate her more with sweet angsty stories. But an Amy Lane fantasy sounded intriguing. Turns out this book is not a fantasy, though in many ways it reads like one. It's science fiction in steampunk clothes and it could not be more delightful. And better than that, it's an incisive portrayal of society at war and the lies leaders tell their soldiers, ...more
Main Characters: Dorjan of Kyon's Gate, Taern of Klamath Keep & Arneau Coreau
Key Themes: Dark, War, Superhero, In the Closet, Addiction, Self Abuse
Location: Some Planet in Outer Space

Mesmerizing and sometimes harrowing steampunk MM romance.

About 10% of the way into the book, I was convinced I was not going to finish it! It was too dark, too violent, I was repulsed by Arneau's addiction, and it seemed all the bad guys were winning. So early in the story and yet there was already so much deat
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Until I reached the half-way point of this novel, I was mentally writing a reflection on this book as being the one that not only *finally* taught me what steampunk is but, along with Ginn Hale's Rifter made a true fantasy/AU/world-building fanatic out of me.

UNTIL I hit the half-way point, that is. I'm going to have to re-read this what-should-have-been-a-series in order to figure out made me shift from page-turning, and burning the midnight oil, to feeling like I could pick it up and finish it,
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had a bit of a hard time getting over the first 5%. Why?

Steampunk is not my genre, I've read a few books and liked them but for me it's sometimes complicated to understand what is meant. For example..Dorjan's father has a rabbit ready when he comes home? Well, I thought it would be a was some kind of transportation. This is my personal hang-up, probably because English is not my native language. So..yeah...steampunk...but it's written by Amy Lane and yes, I read all her books, autobu
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, feel-good

Amy Lane, yet again you have produced a great read!

Think film 'League of Extraordinary Gentleman - Sean Connery' mashed with a Batman film of your choice.

By day, Dorjan (Dori) is a mild-mannered but deliberately dim-witted politician (to deflect unwelcome attention). By night he becomes Nyx, the people's hero. Noble, brave, selfless and self-deprecating, he is SO much more that his demeanour suggests. Vigilante does not do him justice.
In the world that this book is se
Sashu ~Sabine~
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
So - Amy Lane even pulls off steampunk (I'd love to see her tackle epic fantasy!)
I liked her setting: fleshed out and original, but not drowning in heaps of worldbuilding.

I fell in love with each of the three heroes - please can I get a Taern for christmas??
And this book didn't feature just one strong and likeable female but three!
I was glued to the pages and finished the book in record time.

And still: I don't think I will reread it in the foreseeable future. The abundance of darkness, angst, vi
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was difficult for me to rate. I love Amy Lane's writing. However, I got distracted by all the steam punk elements. The world building didn't really come together for me. Early on I became confused by the action, and I had a hard time visualizing the world and it's trappings.
The romantic elements were spot on though. The way she shows two characters connecting is beautiful. I always walk away from one of her books knowing that the two main characters are perfect for each other. In the e
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Barb ~rede-2-read~ by: Denise
I have never been a fan of alt-universe or steampunk, but this book was simply awesome, and I'm so glad I read it. Amy Lane built a fantastic world for this adventure which showcases Dorjan, a strong, solid, ethics-driven hero, and Taern, equally courageous, forthright, and solidly in love with Dorjan.

Booyah!! Amy Lane rocked the steampunk! Gotta write a proper review for this now...
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Amy Lane book ever! 4.5 stars but there is no way I can round down.
Sammy Goode
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I must admit that I have never read steampunk as a genre before taking on Under the Rushes by Amy Lane. There is a vast amount of world building that had to be done in this novel and to the author’s credit, a solid foundation for this world was laid within the first five or six percent of this novel…but then, we were left scrabbling for footing in a vast array of new terminology and layers upon layers of technology that sometimes left me scratching my head in confusion. But, let’s recap the stor ...more
Grammy 1
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh my Amy, Amy what you do to me. I just finished reviewing your charming Christmas story, Turkey in the Snow, a nice warm toasty cocoa and marshmallow fluff, light hearted, no tissues story, and now I am boggled between a political, fantasy Batman and Robin thriller, with angst, angst, triple angst. Get the tissues Martha, this one is gonna be a toughie.

I have been a fan of Amy Lane forever. On January 21, 2008 she released one of the most outstanding fantasy series I had ever read called Bitte
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Dreamspinner Press: Under the Rushes by Amy Lane 1 18 Dec 21, 2012 12:05PM  
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Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail u ...more
More about Amy Lane...
“If it feels good, enjoy it. If it doesn’t, adjust your position until it does.” 11 likes
“It takes a truly great man to see that he’s been wrong and to apologize for it, even in the face of the obvious.” 3 likes
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