Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Clockwork Dagger (Clockwork Dagger, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Clockwork Dagger (Clockwork Dagger, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Clockwork Dagger

(Clockwork Dagger #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,809 ratings  ·  352 reviews
Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting su
ebook, 368 pages
Published September 16th 2014 by Harper Voyager
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Clockwork Dagger, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Clockwork Dagger

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,809 ratings  ·  352 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Clockwork Dagger (Clockwork Dagger, #1)
Octavia Leander is a gifted medician, so upon leaving school, she boards a dirigible for parts unfamiliar, where a terrible epidemic is reported to be raging. But sometimes the journey is what matters, and that’s the case here, as Octavia meets Alonzo, a handsome and perhaps overly helpful steward, and her roommate, Mrs. Stout, a kindly older woman. But not everyone is so nice, as Octavia discovers that there may be a plot to kill her.
I have to thank Orient for recommending this book to me (cli
Dark Faerie Tales
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: In theory, I should have liked everything about The Clockwork Dagger. There’s betrayal and political intrigue, romance and adventure. The unfortunate reality is that it felt flat. Cato’s descriptive writing made it incredibly easy to taste the dust of the war-torn world and feel the shadow from a dirigible floating overhead, yet her characters were bland and inconsistent. The story takes place in a creative and comprehensive Steampunk world but
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steam-punk
In this book the author introduces an attractive main character, Octavia and a well-constructed steampunk fantasy joined with some magic and political scheme. The book is a well-written murder-mystery story. It entangles spies from the eastern part of the country, spies, who were sent by the queen, a princess, who was thought to be lost, and the main character, Octavia, who realizes that she’s not just a simple magical healer. What I really liked is that there’s an adventurious fight combining s ...more
The Clockwork Dagger, what can I say about this one? There were elements that I did enjoy, but at the end of the day, I have to confess that it wasn't a notable read for me.

What I really liked in this one was the magic system. It was cool and I loved that it was at odds with those who believed in science and technology. This was a great theme: belief versus scientific fact, and I loved the contradiction of these two in Octavia’s position as a medician.

As a medician, Octavia has the ability to he
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Combining a steampunk airship adventure with nature and saint based spirituality, ugly/adorable flying gremlins, competing political conspiracies, a missing princess, various forms of magic, and the beginning stages of romance, Clockwork Dagger charmed and entertained me. Octavia Leander, orphaned in the war, has healing powers sought by all sides, so though she just wants to practice her craft in a quiet rural setting she's drawn into a dangerous power struggle.

Fortunately she’s quick thinking
Nick Cole
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Clock Work Dagger by Beth Cato is SteamPunk crafted with precision and heart. This clever romp by airship evokes a gilded age of pomp and polish while at the same time giving you the friendly feeling of a delightful cozy. The characters are rich and drawn with panaché as they explore a world you'll want to run away to. This is a novel that will find you imagining the grand trip by Airship as you find the last mooring tower on the right. A tale of the man with the monocle and the waxed mustache a ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this steampunk adventure by Cato. The story stands alone very well, but I was excited to find out there are more books planned for this series. The 2nd book in the series, The Clockwork Crown, is expected to release in Sept 2015.

Octavia Leander was orphaned at a young age, but her luck took a turn for the better when she was taken in by Miss Percival and trained as a medician. Years have passed and now Octavia is a medician of great power and being sent on her first assignment.
**I received this book free through Harper Voyager's Super Reader program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Steampunk
*Rating* 3.5

*My Thoughts*

The Clockwork Dagger ended up surprising me but in a good way. Why? Because I loved the world building. Most steampunk novels that I have read recently, have been set in a Victorian alternative era England. This story could have taken place in a high fantasy setting and it would still impress me. The world i
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
I loved this one. Read it in a few hours. Really enjoyed it. Fully fleshed characters, engaging (if a little predictable) intrigue, solid world building. I love regency style fantasy novels but generally hate steampunk. This novel was steampunk-esque and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Character responses were believable, scenes were action packed. It definitely worked for me.

Few quibbles-
* Would have preferred a more well developed romance
* Dialogue was too wordy and awkward at times.
* Hoping for mo
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it

This book passed an important test. I chose to read it out loud to my wife.

We read together pretty regularly. I don’t know how many other people do that — but for me, at least, it’s a way to enjoy a story physically, when I know it’s worth it. (Usually, i’ve read the book silently before we read the book together).

So this is a pretty fun book.

In the knowing what you’re getting into department: This is steampunk, ticking off all the usual boxes. Airships, clockwork golems, and other mechanical ma
Aug 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
Mon avis en Français

My English review

When I saw the cover I immediately thought of a steampunk novel and I love this genre. I did not know anything about the author, but it’s true that I love discovering new writers and it was a good opportunity here. But I think my expectations were perhaps a little too high…

Octovia is a Medician, a person capable of using herbs and incantations to save anyone harmed, whatever the reason. But her secret must be hidden because many people might use her for disre
Note to self- little to no romance. Safe for me. Verified by friend. Honorable hero.
One might reasonably ask why I keep reading steampunk when I'm almost always disappointed by it. The answer: sometimes I find something like this. The contrast between a fairly grimdark world and the idealistic protagonists is compelling, threading the line of neither promising her protagonists can somehow Fix The World and disillusioning them entirely. The religious magic does some things I haven't seen done before--the protagonist's faith is palpable and understandable, but at the same time, a ...more
I really liked this book! I'd heard good things about it on Goodreads and all over Facebook. Added it to my Nook and waited for the right time to be in the steampunk mood. Yes, I am a mood reader. I read what I read when I am in the mood to read it. Sometimes it's a cozy mood, sometimes it's a thriller mood, sometimes paranormal [ok, that's my mood most of the time]. Glad I was in steampunk mode for this one.
It's a really cool premise with the main character, Octavia, thrown into a situation tha
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mystery, treachery, magic and mechanics provides a compelling tale in The Clockwork Dagger.

Octavia Lender is breaking out on her own. Recently leaving Miss Percival's school for medicians, Octavia is making her way to a small town to help cure a plague. Octavia is an extremely gifted healer, causing many opposing factions vying to control her.

While traveling on an airship, the struggle to control Octavia turns deadly. Who is trying to take Octavia out and who is trying to imprison her.

I really
Amy Aelleah
DNF at page 13.

Does this even count as DNF? Does thirteen pages even count as 'started'?

I don't do this. I NEVER quit a book so suddenly. Maybe it's just me being overly sensitive but, when on page nine, a young girl announces that they are going to eat the cute little puppy that the main character just saved, it's time for me to leave.

I need to have faith that the author isn't going to write something that will make me sick. I honestly don't have that faith for this book. I don't care that some
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This book promised a lot before I started reading it. It had everything I potentially love: steampunk set-up, airships, pets embodied as flying machine gremlins, amazing costumes and scenery, adventure, magic and romance.
But as the pages rolled on, I realized I am incredibly bored. I am not quite yet sure why, perhaps the abundant descriptions tired me, but I could barely bring myself to finish this book. Neither the story nor the characters could compel me to continue reading until I ended it
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is very sad. I have had this book on my shelf for a long while. It was just staring at me begging me to pick it up and read it. I finally found a chance to pick up the book. First off I have to say that the whole reason I was really looking forward to reading this book is because it has been a while since I have read a steampunk story. I just have fallen in love with this world and am always interested to see how the different authors envision the world. Which I thought the author did a ver ...more
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book seemed YA to me, it was sentimental and naïve. For instance, the heroine, although keenly aware of her short supply of medicinal herbs, stops to heal an injured puppy with herbs. And when she finds out the puppy is destined for a cookpot, she just walks away. When she finds a young gremlin, of course she saves it too. She bewails her lack of herbs, her parents' tragic death, her lack of money too often. The relationships are shallow and immature. A teen reader might have enjoyed it mor ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really fun! Love the healing magic, the mystery, the war, the secondary characters!
May 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Reading Reality

The world of Beth Cato’s Clockwork Dagger is so enthralling that I started the next book, The Clockwork Crown, the minute I finished this one, and in spite of the TBR pile from hell. I just had to find out what happens next.

Not that this one ends on a cliffhanger. It doesn’t. It’s more that the ending comes to a nice interim conclusion but it is so obvious that Octavia and Garret (and Leaf!) have many more adventures to survive before they reach their goal.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Dirigibles and an unseen Earth Mother with deciduous powers fueled by bloodletting! What is there not to like?!

Bonus feature: some kind of green, sentient bat.

Heroine makes friends with a bold n brash, retirement-age, flabby lady.

Also, based on the author's name, I think she is secretly a secret agent. OMG, Beth, don't you have some crime to be fighting or something rn?

Very cool.
Madeleine Holly-Rosing
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
Review originally published at Fanboy Comics.

A steampunk fantasy from Harper Voyager, this is Beth Cato’s first novel in what will be a series in this universe. I was a little wary when I noticed that it was not only Ms. Cato’s first novel, but was 354 pages long. (Sorry, but all sorts of red flags go up in my head when I see long page counts on first books.) Fortunately, Ms. Cato knows what she’s doing as I quickly got caught up in the very rich and descriptive world she has created.

A medician’
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed the steampunk novels I've read, but admittedly haven't read very many: this one, Soulless and The Bookman.

This one's set in a secondary world, in a land that (per the map in the front of the book) looks much like the west coast of the US, although it's a monarchy. Things have gone downhill in Caskentia recently: there's been a war which has ended in an armistice, and a usurper has taken the throne. The present queen is much more concerned with self-preservation than with her subjec
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
This had a pretty slow start, where I wasn't entirely sure what was going on or if I liked the story telling style, but once the plot picked up a little more and the world and the magic were a little better explained I enjoyed it a lot more. The protagonist is kinda dumb, but I think (hope) it's meant to come off as naivete and not just a pretty, dumb, magical girl. Her power is very cool, but not fully explained (why is she SUCH a better healer than everyone else?). The romance is fun to watch ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is one of those books, whose author really did the very best they could. Everything is spic and span: the writing, the editing (for most of the part) and even the general premise. But it utterly lacks and is devoid of a soul. It falls flat on its dreary, boring, lifeless plot and characters. I do not recommend this book at all. It's a waste of money and more importantly hours of your time which would be much better spent, reading instruction manuals of various electric devices you must poss ...more
Sep 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
Hit the 30% mark on this book - and am done.
The h is too YA and inconsistent for my taste, punching a man out for getting too close but going all weepy/weak over a puppy and the baby gremlin.
The author also fed the world building to us in confusing fits and starts - the h talks about tending wounded on the battle field, but also says she never left the orphanage (huh?) and the names of good/bad/techs - groups or whatever/whoever they were and whatever they wanted was just too confusing and uncle
Talk Supe
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
CLOCKWORK DAGGER really impressed me and it's one of the most stand-out Steampunk novel that I've read in a long time. Now y'all know that I'm a big Steampunk pimper and since I've already recommended great books of this genre for romance lovers to try, CLOCKWORK DAGGER is something epic fantasy readers can get lost in. Or if you simply love reading unique, long spanning adventures set in a different time and place, then please check Beth Cato's latest series, it's a winner. ...more
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a really enjoyable first book about the adventures of Octavia. It combines steampunk elements with a unique magical system. Octavia is a spunky heroin and Leaf is an adorable gremlin. There is a missing princess, danger and intrigue. Why is Octavia so important to those fighting the war in the world Beth Cato has created? I will just have to wait and see how the story unfolds in the next book.
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Carlissa by: Barnes and Noble Readouts
I started reading this book via Barnes and Noble's Readouts serialization, but eventually checked out the ebook from the library. I enjoyed this steampunk story. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
TwitBookClub: April 2016 - 'The Clockwork Dagger' by Beth Cato 1 2 Apr 03, 2016 09:25AM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Apr 27, 2015 10:55AM  
The Sword and Laser: A steampunky giveaway! 2 88 Sep 06, 2014 07:02AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Deal with the Devil (Mercenary Librarians, #1)
  • Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery
  • The Becoming (Anna Strong Chronicles, #1)
  • Orange Marmalade
  • The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom
  • From London, With Love (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy #5.5)
  • Microcosmic Tales: 100 Wondrous Science Fiction Short-Short Stories
  • Dread Companion
  • Sixth Column
  • Blind Lake
  • Vår verden er dugg
  • Dragonshadow (Heartstone, #2)
  • Perfect Rhythm
  • Not the Marrying Kind
  • The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key, #1)
  • The Roommate Arrangement
  • Wounded Souls (L.A. Metro, #3)
See similar books…
Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and three feline overlords.

She's the author of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER (a 2015 Locus Award finalist for First Novel) and THE CLOCKWORK CROWN (an RT Reviewers' Choice Finalist) from Harper Voyager. Her novell

Other books in the series

Clockwork Dagger (2 books)
  • The Clockwork Crown (Clockwork Dagger, #2)

Related Articles

This May, as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to take an opportunity to shine a light on some of the...
250 likes · 44 comments