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The Cogsmith's Daughter

(Desertera #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In a desert wasteland, one king rules with absolute power and unquenchable lust, until the cogsmith’s daughter risks everything for vengeance.

Two-hundred years ago, the steam-powered world experienced an apocalyptic flood. When the waters dried up, the survivors settled around their moored steamship in a wasteland they named Desertera. Believing the flood and drought were
Paperback, 306 pages
Published October 15th 2015 by Boxthorn Press
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Garden of Eden
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the world building. It was well built and very detailed. The characters were indeed have their very own motives. Everyone, yes everyone. I have this sentiment when reading this, everyone seemed to have something under their sleeves. Some were predictable, some were possibilities or you might get your guess totally wrong.

Overall, I did enjoy reading this, though in the end... Well, I wouldn't spoil anyone but everyone should know the Prince was kind of sweet. The ending was a little disap
Heena Rathore P.
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Video Podcast link:

The Cogsmith's Daughter is the first steampunk book I've read in a long time, and I must say that I'm really happy that I did. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The Cogsmith's Daughter has a brilliantly written and efficiently developed plot line that is set in a mesmerizing new world. Playful yet serious at the same time, author Kate M. Colby's writing is simply outstanding!

"This was her chance to reclaim her life, get bac
Jan 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Aya Cogsmith was the daughter of the last cogsmith in King Archon's kingdom but when her father failed to make a repair at the request of the king he was sentenced to death. Losing her father Aya was subjected to turning to selling her body to survive even at her young age. But now years later Aya is approached by Lord Varick with a scheme for them both to obtain revenge against King Archon.

Lord Varick's daughter had been the previous wife of King Archon but she was also ordered to be executed
Sarah Wayne
Although The Cogsmith's Daughter by Kate M. Colby ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, it's not one that will leave you angry at the author for doing that, so don't let that keep you from reading this story, because you'll regret it if you don't read this right away.

Post apocalyptic, steampunk is not usually a favorite of mine, but I think this book might have changed my mind on that. This book is so incredibly interesting, it hooked me immediately and held me captive. Princes, rotten evil Kings, rev
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read, favorites
This is by far the most solid novel I've read from an debuting author.

Where to start? There is so much to talk about but I also don't want to spoil the book much for you. I really liked the concept of the story being set on a boat, It sure adds tension to this dystopian narrative. I only kept thinking: "What if it boat moves! They are so toast!"

Oh and miss Aya was the best protagonist ever! It's so refreshing to see a character with so much dept and layers to guide the narratives and I really l
Charles F.
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just finished The Cogsmith's Daughter by Kate M. Colby, and I loved this book. Ms. Colby's novel is a combination of steampunk, dystopia, and social critique. Her antagonist, Aya Cogsmith, is a well-drawn and rich character, full of the strengths and weaknesses of a human being. We see fully developed characters in this novel, in addition to careful plotting and a well-thought out world that not only shows the characteristics of steampunk but also illustrates the problems with class and privil ...more
Nina Arce
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Cogsmith's Daugher promises intrigue - and oh boy, are you going to get it! These are high-end conspiracies carried out with twists and turns around every corner. One was a little too transparent for my preferences, but on the other hand several others caught me entirely by surprise. Overall, the picture painted of Desertera, its court and the characters is a vivid and engaging one, and I hope to see more of it i
Zachary Chopchinski
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed The Cogsmith's Daughter. The steampunk world that the author creates is not only extremely well written, it is complex and beautiful.

Aya is our main character. She is an orphan who works as a sex worker in order to survive in a world where she feels like she doesn't belong. With her parents dead, she doesn't have a trade to learn and thus must work at whatever she can. I really loved Aya! She is e
Kara Jorgensen
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free ARC copy from the author in exchange for an honest review

I thoroughly enjoyed The Cogsmith's Daughter. Colby does a great job of creating a desert-based dystopian world filled with scheming nobles, a hulking ship turned palace, and a bored king out for sex and blood. Desertera is a land suffering from a cataclysmic drought following a Noah's Ark-like flood, which has led to a water shortage and classes divided by resource allocation and noble blood.

Colby's character
Margarita Morris
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Cogsmith's Daughter by Kate M. Colby is a well-written debut novel set in an imaginative post-apocalyptic landscape with an unusual story-line. The heroine is a feisty, independent, likeable character who engages in some very good witty banter with the other characters. Although, I believe, intended as young-adult novel, the content makes this book suitable only for older readers. I thought the book ended particularly well and left the reader anticipating the next in the series. ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
My heart is bursting from the beauty of this rustic novel. I would probably say that Aya is one of the bravest heroines that I've met in all dystopian novels that I've read (and I read only few hahaha!). On personal choice, I avoid books with heroines who are prostitutes or courtesans (not to discriminate or something) because I feel their stories are too dark, too heavy for my wooden heart. But this book is one of those exemptions. I was really intrigued by the plot and the characters that I re ...more
Anniken Haga
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got this book in a bookbox last summer, but I've been putting it off, because I'm not a fan of YA.
But while this book reads as a YA book, it has a lot for more mature content!
So, I think I like it.

As I said it reads as a YA, meaning it is a rather fast and easy read.
The language may not be the best I've read, but all in all it was rather good.

The story was a bit slow for me, I have to admit.
While it is an intriguing story of revenge, a lot of the story also focuses on Aya and her own roma
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
The overall concept was what drew me in in the first half place. It just wasn't executed well.

We have Aya trying to capture the attention of the big, bad, evil king even though she is useless at court .

The world building is lacking. We have a half-hearted attempt at some kind of mythology/religion with a generic Benevolent Queen and Almighty God, and the water shortage and privilege of the nobles is consistently mentioned throughout the book yet nothing at all is done about it at the end.

Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The first book I read in a day!

I started reading the book, by recommendation of Sara, in the airport, as I had a plane to take. It got me so enthralled that right from the start I just had to know how the story was going to end! And I didn't get disappointed. What made me able to read it so fast was the very fluent writing; I also enjoyed the complexity of the characters. I really look forward to reading the second volume.

It was the first book by an indie author that I read, and I will certainly
Whitney McGruder
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What I enjoyed:

You can tell by the 5-star rating that this book was very enjoyable. Colby’s debut novel is further proof that if you’re not reading indie or self-published novels, you’re seriously missing out.

To get specific, Colby’s world building is superb. Desertera is relatively easy to navigate and imagine thanks to her ability to describe the surroundings and the mysterious history behind how the people got there. The city basically surrounds a huge steamship that serves as the king’s cast
Emily Selleck
I devoured this book in three days, and I have no regrets. It was great! The plot was entertaining and fast paced, the culture and mythology were intriguing, and every character had at least one layer that I wasn't expecting. I'm so glad I signed up for the newsletter in time to get an advanced copy before it came out (Thanks, Kate! :D). I love Aya as a character, I love that she doesn't allow other people, her job, or her circumstances to define her, I love that she sticks with her gut and her ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book absolutely blew me away! The plot had a little bit of everything: romance, revenge, suspense, intrigue, betrayal, drama. The characters are all well-developed and interesting . However, the world Colby creates especially intrigued me throughout the entire book and even after I had finished reading. Colby did an amazing job describing this unique world her characters live in. So much so that I felt myself standing in that dry heat with the wind blowing sand in my face while I looked up ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-net-galley
This book was received from Net Galley in exchange for a fair review.

A thoroughly enjoyable read with an unusual heroine that is sure to make young people think about issues of morality, love, and sex.

The Cogsmith's Daughter is set in a dystopian somewhat Steampunk world. Taking place after an apocalypse that desertifies the world, we meet Aya and other characters living in a constrained realm. Specifically, constrained to a ship. The Starboardshire region is for the wealthy nobles. The Portside
Emily Schroeder
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was instantly intrigued by the plot of The Cogsmith's Daughter and pre-ordered the book a few weeks ago. I went into it with unusually high hopes, seeing as I've never read any works by this author before. I have to say, Colby's writing did not disappoint. As the reader, you are instantly drawn into a beautifully unique world. The blending of steampunk with desert wasteland seemed to work quite well. In fact, the setting was one of my favorite things about the book. Colby does a fantastic job ...more
Jonas Lee
Kate let me have an ARC for an honest review. That said, I was so into the story I bought myself a copy so I could have access to it on any device.

The Cogsmith's Daughter is now entering into my bookshelf of Gimme More! The story itself intertwines with an apocalyptic steampunk world alongside the dystopian royalty line of stories like Game of Thrones. Aya as the main character gives a genuine presence as we follow her journey to try and avenge her father while overturning a malicious king.

Kate Evans
I didn't think I was a fan of the steampunk dystopia genre, however, I am a fan of good story-telling and this is what I found in Kate M Colby's first novel. Aya, the main character, is a feisty independent young woman who grows in confidence during the narrative. There are enough duplicitous characters, intrigue and pace to keep me engaged and turning the page. I enjoyed the imaginative flair and skill with which I was drawn into an alternative reality and also the parallels created with our ow ...more
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm feeling a bit torn about this book. It took me more than half of it to really get completely immersed in it, mostly because of a lot of implausibilities that could perhaps be attributed to youth in the MC and, at least in part, because the world building pace was a bit slow. After the half way point the story really started to progress, but the climax happened pretty quickly and the end felt abrupt, and although it wasn't a cliff hanger it did leave me feeling like I have to read the sec
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read a lot, but it's been a while since I derived such pure enjoyment from a book. I started it one evening and was interrupted a few chapters in. Then I couldn't stop thinking about Aya, her fascinating world and her risky mission. When I sat down to read again, I didn't stop until I've finished it. Colby has found the perfect balance of description, suspense and emotion. This is a wonderful debut and I'm looking forward to future books in this series. ...more
Sep 24, 2016 added it
Shelves: arc-1st-ng
Steampunk fantasy with a serious revenge plot. Certain aspects unsuitable for readers under 17.

Author Kate M. Colby skillfully crafts a highly imaginative world of poor towns in the middle of a desert, complete with a cold and uncaring king. Main character Aya Cogsmith has a detailed backstory and compelling reason for seeking revenge. Creative steampunk inventions and clothing accessories included!

Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Head in the clouds
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sf
Not the best but not bad at all. I always like heroines who are not the 'pure, virginal snow flower' that must be protected - I think it is always more interesting when the characters have grit and depth and shows their courage in rising up again after going through a tragedy. Looking forward to more books by Kate M.Colby! ...more
S. Usher Evans
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm so happy this book found its way into my hands! An excellently built world, and a plot full of mystery, intrigue, and a bit of romance. I read it in one sitting, desperate to know how it all ended.

Highly, highly recommended.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: modern-fantasy
I have read some drivel in my time but this is right up there with the worst. One book comes to mind is my review on Specimen by Shay Savage. What Kate has done is managed to take a post apocalyptic fantasy and bring this back to the 1800 with masks and balls and nobles etc. making a romance novel out of a potential good subject. I would have never read this book if I knew this was a romance novel -what caught me was the cover. Need to change this to the usual boy girl clutching each other pictu ...more
David Adams
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent first novel that impressed me so much I have decided to stick with the series. I genuinely enjoyed the characters and the tension that existed between them. Colby immerses you into the world without making any of the world building feel dry or tedious. Instead, it was richly described in a way that appealed to the senses that did more than help me imagine I was there, I felt like I was there. Aya is a wonderful protagonist who I found myself willing on through the story to see her s ...more
Entertaining, but...

The premise for the book is interesting, even if it's odd to set a steam punk adventure in the desert where there is no water for steam to power anything...
The characters I expected to be more well rounded. Since the plot depends entirely on the heroine being totally naive and clueless, this creates a problem; there just isn't much depth even to her.
Still, certain lavish details of setting and costume make the story entertaining. I just wish the characters and the steam pu
Chasity Nicole
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed The Cogsmith's Daughter. It was the right amount of fun and suspense to keep you yearning for more. Though at times some things progressed slower than others and it was a little difficult to get in to.

I have to say my favorite of the whole novel is the alarm frog. And to be honest I want one of these things in real life. I'd also say the mask shop is next on my list because the description of all the different masks was phenomenal.
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Kate M. Colby writes paranormal fantasy novels that feature female antiheroes, dark magic, seductive monsters, and spooky locales. She has also written a steampunk fantasy series and occasionally dabbles in creative nonfiction and poetry.

Kate is currently pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts in Creative Writing and Literature at Harvard Extension School. She has won local awards for her short fiction

Other books in the series

Desertera (3 books)
  • The Courtesan's Avenger (Desertera #2)
  • The Tyrant's Heir (Desertera #3)

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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
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“Dellwyn: I will teach you everything you need to know to entice your father’s murderer into killing his wife to be with you.”
Aya: It sounds so disturbing when you say it like that.”
“While I think you were a rotten father and are still a horrid excuse for a person, I appreciate your ability to mix revenge and charity.” 0 likes
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