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Guns of the Dawn

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,367 ratings  ·  205 reviews
The first casualty of war is truth . . .

First, Denland's revolutionaries assassinated their king, launching a wave of bloodshed after generations of peace. Next they clashed with Lascanne, their royalist neighbour, pitching war-machines against warlocks in a fiercely fought conflict.

Genteel Emily Marshwic watched as the hostilities stole her family's young men. But then ca
Paperback, 658 pages
Published February 12th 2015 by Tor UK/Panmacmillan (first published February 1st 2015)
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,367 ratings  ·  205 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I killed my first man today


Yes, the cover is what pulled me in but the blurb sounded good so I went for it. The beginning started out good and then it switched to telling the story of how it all began. I thought it was a little bland during those parts.

Emily and her family are upstanding citizens in their town. Their father owned a printing shop until he (lets just say, died.) They have a large home and Emily lives there with her sisters, Alice & Mary, Mary's husband, Tubal and their baby
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Guns of the Dawn, originally published in 2015, was my favorite fantasy of 2016 … and I read a lot of fantasy. But I'll admit to a huge soft spot for anything that reminds me of Jane Austen, though this book is a lot more hard-hitting than hers.

Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

The story begins in media res, as gentlewoman Emily Marchwic fights her first battle in muggy, oppressive swamplands, as a new conscript in the Lascanne army. There’s a brief, inconclusive battle with their
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it

Buddy read with this champ.

Okay, so I'm going to start this review by saying this book is a hidden treasure. Seriously, if you haven't read it I suggest you do, if that gorgeous cover isn't enough to get you to purchase this book then you deserve a punch in the face. The book is set in a fantasy world in the late 19th century, if your a hardcore fantasy fan and only like EPIC fantasy or grimdark this book will not be for you, it is a low fantasy with only a tiny bit of magic. We follow our ma
Mayim de Vries
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Imagine Elizabeth Bennet who goes to war with a musket in her hand. The Austenesque milieu (and dry wit) meshed with the gloomy heroism of Napoleonic wars will give you Guns of the Dawn.

Words of adequate praise escape me when I’m trying to write a review of what has, without a shred of doubt, been one of the best reads this year. But before I start, two things that will immediately let you know whether this beautiful and smart book is for you.

Firstly, it is a fantasy-lite; surely you will find
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Lascanne is a country at war.

The neighboring country of Denland has assassinated their own king. With a parliament in power, the battle for the land of Lascanne has ravaged both countries & their resources. So much so that a draft conscripting women sends gentlewoman Emily Marshwic directly to the front lines to fight for Lascanne's last hope of maintaining its sovereignty.

This novel is a mash-up of Military Fantasy & Classic Romance. But don't let the mention of
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-sff-faves
Honestly, I am shocked how much I enjoyed this. I have never read a book which is focused as much on warfare and death, tragedy and sorrow, and come away from it with a smile and a love of the book. This is the first one I can say I've read, cried over, and enjoyed throughout.

I will note, I audiobooked this, and Emma Newman is the narrator (one of my all-time favourite authors and narrators) and also that this was my first Tchaikovsky book (I am glad he has a long back catalogue now as I intend
Scott  Hitchcock
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Daniel Abraham or Michael J Sullivan fans
What a phenomenally entertaining and well written story. I think this series favorably compares best to Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham. Both are just amazingly smooth story writers who build their world and characters through subtlety and amazing prose. This is my first book by AT it will not be my last.

If you're an action junky you're probably going to complain that the start is slow. AT builds the characters like Abraham and Sullivan first so you've fallen for them. Then puts them in co
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-books
I loved Children of Time so much but this book not so much. Now I just need to work out why. The writing was just as good and there was an interesting story there but somehow things just missed the mark for me.

It may be that I am not really interested in battles and fighting in general. Guns of the Dawn (and there's a clue there in the title) contains a lot of both. I actively disliked Emily, the main character, so that did not help either! For a supposedly sensible woman she was very easily swa
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Buddy read with my Chum Sarah who's choice it was to read this book. It was our first time reading any Tchaikovsky and was pleasantly surprised at his writing skills. He weaves a great world building/ character development skill that has you immersed in the story and feeling a lot of the tension and horror of battle.

After reading the first chapter I was looking forward to settling down with the book. But that chapter was a teaser. Chapter two takes you back a year and leads you toward our hero
I am baffled, I mean genuinely and deeply baffled, that this book was published two years ago. That a book this good, (and I want you to know I typed the word good with extreme fervour just now, you shouldn't read it as just good but as GOOD), a book this elegant and passionate and exciting and, ugh, just so damn good could have been published two years ago with a barely a whisper. I don't know who to feel worse for, this book for being criminally underread, or the people who've never heard of i ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Im not sure why this didnt excite me as much as I was hoping. It had the elements, cool world building, great action/battle scenes and decent characterisation. There was very limited magic which is interesting for a fantasy novel. Emily was charming as the protagonist and provided a great portrayal of a female in the military. I think the dense story telling and the depth was at times too much. I also feel like the pacing was off at stages. The battle scenes were amazing but the dramatic general ...more
Emma Newman
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I stayed up until the small hours to finish this as I couldn't put it down. It is... just let me say that you need to buy this book immediately. I loved it so much I can't actually write a coherent review. It made me laugh, cry and think about giving up writing for fear I'd never be able to write anything as good as this. Magnificent.
Twerking To Beethoven
I'm giving up on this one. Really not my cup of tea, way too slow. DNF.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 Stars!

Imagine Elizabeth Bennet (yes, the one written by Jane Austen) is called to war...find this idea exciting? Then this is the book for you.

This is not your usual fantasy. Yes, there's some magic and a few warlocks but overall the supernatural is not the focus of the story and only plays a minor role. It may as well be historical fiction, with the history part totally made up. It's also a slow book, with gorgeous, elegant and witty prose. A bit in the style of Jane Austen, but still very
Sherwood Smith
Sep 19, 2016 added it
Shelves: fantasy
I saw this book referred to in a few places as Jane Austen meets the French Revolution.

Okay, I can kind of see the Jane Austen part in that I imagine the author putting down, say, Pride and Prejudice and musing: what if, in 1803 when Napoleon was poised to send a flotilla over to conquer England, George III had put out a call to draft one woman per household, to bolster the kingdom’s flagging numbers of soldiers out in the field?

Elizabeth Bennet, though very well brought up, was exactly the sort
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Buddy Read with the great guys from FBR.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easily one of his best. Top 3 probably
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
read this one fairly fast (long but easy read) and overall I would rate it as ok but not great the way the Kinden series was; like in the Aethernet serial novel Spiderlight to which this one compares in some ways, the author wants to turn the corresponding tropes (here "good English/Royalists/orderly, bad French/revolutionaries/disrupting society) upside down and while the smooth prose makes reading the novel painless, the lack of sophistication - basically the whole book is a one note show - an ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A 4.5 stars really.

Such a good book. I did not expect to be so entranced with the story and the characters. Emily is certainly one of the heroines of fantasy. I do not find another way to define her.
I enjoyed all the journey although I found the book weak, almost rushed, in two plot points (the capture and the end). I thought the story deserved a little more content.

The magic system is almost incidental. I would love to learn more about the people in that world. I am hoping there will be more
Karina Read
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars - I really enjoyed this book! & it’s one i’ll read again and again. It will also stay in my mind for a while too.

This is going to be long, i’m not sorry. I’ll start with what I loved. (Which is pretty much everything!) This is my first Tchaikovsky and is not my usual fantasy pick. I like my fantasy feudal. Technology (including any sort of gun/grenade/canon) is normally a huge turn off for me when I’m looking to escape reality. Guns of the Dawn, obviously, contains guns. Lots and
A stand-alone, flintlock fantasy with a lead female character. Those qualities drew me to this book. The first chapter was so gripping I promptly allocated my money again to Amazon (for the 234th this year) and nominating it in no less two groups here in Goodreads (and won, yay).

I don't regret the decision despite the three stars. Not all books I buy and buddy-read have to be four or five stars, and the discussions are usually becoming more interesting. I have read already some dissenting opini
Peter Newman
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-things
This is one of the best books I've read this year, perhaps ever. Sharpe with a female protagonist, swamps, and warlocks. Go read it!
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books just check all of your boxes, and Guns of the Dawn certainly checked all of mine.

Guns of the Dawn follows Emily Marshwic, a young noblewoman whose family has recently fallen on hard times. In fact, the whole kingdom of Lascanne has fallen on hard times: after revolutionaries overthrow neighbouring Denland's king and threaten Lascanne's monarchy as well, the two former allies become embroiled in a long, bitter, sluggish war. This war swallows up most of the men in Emily's generation, t
Jennymort ♔ Dark Lordette

like why have i never seen this before?! gimme gimme!
Sonja (aka Yashima)
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Sonja (aka Yashima) by: Forbidden Planet
This is no fun book. This is a serious book. About war. And... by the end I loved it. (There was a part in the middle where I wasn't sure where the book was going...)

This is as heavy as the hard-cover looks and if you think the prologue where Emily - the hero and protagonist of the book - crawls through the swamp shooting enemies with a musket - is not for you, the rest of the book is going to be difficult.

The story starts out Jane-Austen-esque enough with an unlikable man - Mr Northway - who p
Ahdam Rana
This deserves all the stars WOW this was a brilliant book

I've heard a lot about the author and I always wanted to have a go at musket fantasy so what are the odds when this was brought up in a buddy read and oh boy was I glad it was brought up

Lets start of with the setting which I LOVE because the majority of the book is set in a war between two countries no darkness trying to destroy the world or an evil creature who wishes to see humans grovel before it and the humans must work together to def
Feb 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
The problem with this book is that it follows a certain path all too well. Without revealing much, the books has cliched characters lined up to bore even the most enthusiastic readers. There is the old but faithful handiman/War veteran/ Fatherly figure, the married older sister who is taking care of the house. The know it all middle sister and of course the spoilt and pretty younger sister who thinks everything is about her (Basically Sansa stark)

The book starts well with a war scene and even t
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s “Shadows of the Apt” series was one of my favourite epic fantasy series of recent years so I was looking forward to reading his first book in a different setting. Unlike his previous 10-book series, “Guns of the Dawn” is a standalone novel (although not a particularly short one) and rather than the Apt series’ sprawling set of characters this focuses on a single protagonist.

The first chapter introduces Emily Marchwic experiencing her first firefight while her military unit
Joely Black
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
In the commentary to Black Books, Tamsin Greig asks Dylan Moran at one point why long gags, where the punchline is obvious but takes a long time to play out, actually work.

It's like waiting for a bus you can see on a long straight road, Dylan says. You can see it for a long time, and it's very satisfying when it arrives. In a way, you're just relieved that it's all played out the way you expected.

I feel that way about Guns. After setting an initial scene featuring the protagonist in the middle o
Stefan Fergus
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My full-length review can be found here:
Short form: marvellous, and absolutely a must-read novel of 2015.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Guns of the Dawn [April 2019] 5 13 Jan 21, 2019 09:43PM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Guns of the Dawn [October 2017] 311 98 Dec 13, 2017 10:32AM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky 79 51 Oct 08, 2017 04:52AM  
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ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds. He is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.
“The past is no man’s clay for remodelling. It is fired the moment it is moulded, alas. I” 0 likes
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