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Desertera #1

The Cogsmith's Daughter

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In a desert wasteland, one king rules with absolute power and unquenchable lust, until one woman risks everything for vengeance.

When Aya Cogsmith was a teenager, King Archon executed her father for treason. Orphaned and destitute, Aya turns to prostitution to survive and spends years dreaming of vengeance. So, when a mysterious nobleman asks Aya to join his coup against the king, she agrees—even though it means risking her life.

In this tyrannical kingdom, adultery is punishable by death. For years, King Archon has entrapped his wives in the crime, executing each boring bride to pursue his next infatuation. Aya must seduce the king and expose his criminal behavior, without getting herself executed in the process.

Will Aya avenge her father’s death? Or will she become King Archon’s next victim? Join her quest for revenge and read The Cogsmith’s Daughter today.


Packed with all the court intrigue of The Tudors, The Cogsmith’s Daughter marries steampunk styling with a ravaged dystopian world. It is the first novel in the Desertera series.

Other books in the Desertera series:
The Courtesan's Avenger (Desertera #2)
The Tyrant's Heir (Desertera #3)

306 pages, Paperback

First published October 15, 2015

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About the author

Kate M. Colby

18 books76 followers
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, and her first novel, The Cogsmith's Daughter, has been taught in college courses.

When not writing or studying, Kate enjoys traveling, wine tasting, playing video games, and giving amateur tarot readings. She lives in the United States with her husband and their feline familiars.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 69 reviews
Profile Image for Garden of Eden.
76 reviews
January 31, 2017
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 disappointing. But I did hope to read more Aya & Willem story. Aya deserved someone to really love her.
Profile Image for Heena Rathore Pardeshi.
Author 1 book252 followers
June 11, 2016
Video Podcast link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1FAN...

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 back her father's shop, and finally attain justice for his death. She was going to take it or die trying."

As soon as I started reading the first chapter, I completely lost myself in the scary although interesting world of Aya. I was able to relate to her on so many levels that I still feel that she's not just a character but a friend whom I know inside out. This only proves that the characterization is beyond perfect. It's simply magical!

I fell in love with Wilhelm just as Aya did and felt every emotion in the deepest corners of my heart. I felt sad when Aya was sad and felt happy when she found even a tiny bit of joy. Most of all, I enjoyed Aya's thought process and her innocence and determination made her a very compelling character.
Other characters were also crafted finely and I loved them all (even the well-crafted character of the protagonist.)

"You forgot, Varick. You live in an illustrious estate, have all the fruit and wine you can ingest, and receive every pampering from your staff. I live in a dirt-floored hovel, trudge miles for water, and let disgusting men penetrate me for the smallest coins in a currency. Do you really think death wouldn't be a relief?"

I have NO words to describe the brilliance of the worldbuilding that was executed flawlessly by the author in this book. Kudos to a job well done!

The book ended on a great note and I felt completely satisfied after finishing the book yet at the same time I was left craving for the next part.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautiful book and I'd recommend it to all the readers who are looking for an EPIC new series to read.

You can also read this review at The Reading Bud.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,090 reviews1,508 followers
January 3, 2017
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 on the grounds of adultery as were the King's previous wives. Varick has now decided that Aya is the perfect person who through her profession could seduce the King and turn the tables upon him to get revenge for the both of them.

The Cogsmith's Daughter is the first book in the Desertera series by Kate M. Colby. The world building within this one was rather interesting, a sort of mix between a steampunk and dystopian read. There had been an apocalyptic flood that had caused the water in the land to dry up so the survivors had moored their steamship in a wasteland they named Desertera but now the King ruling the land has become a tyrant.

With the story within the book I found that some things were rather predictable in nature when it seemed like it should have been a surprise. I also found Aya a bit all over the place as a character, she was incredibly naive even with how she had spent her time since her father's death making her seem younger than she should. The story started feeling more of a young adult type of read due to Aya but with the sexual situations involved even though not overly graphic it still is definitely not young adult so it all felt a bit off at times to me.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....

Profile Image for Sarah.
585 reviews6 followers
June 14, 2017
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, revenge, plots of distruction, prostitution, regal courts, various classes of wealth, romance, love, betrayal, murder...this book simply has it all. I will be looking to get my hands on the second book in this series, Deserta #2, as soon as possible.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Sara.
251 reviews18 followers
April 21, 2019
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 liked how they where no easy ways or last minute saviors. She did had to get save herself. I did like the ending she got even if I was shipping the couple until the last minute.

As a bonus, all the characters were fenomenal even the despicable King Archon. What else can I say? The plot was great, entertaining and always kept me guessing even if I had a hunch that turned out to be true in the end. I so fangirling at this point I have to shut up, this review is super long already.

Need to be convinced? The Cogsmith Daughter is one of the best dystopian novels I've read. The authors writing is phenomenal and poetic. And you have to because it's awesome! So please check it out.

I'm so pump up that I will have to get the second one! (Please.. Let my OTP happen...)
Profile Image for Charles F..
Author 3 books15 followers
September 27, 2015
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 privilege in our society.

The pacing of the story moves quickly, and the plot holds together very effectively. At no point did I think--that wouldn't have happened; rather, I was delighted with the deftness of hand that Ms. Colby used in crafting this excellent tale. In many ways, I was reminded of the novels of Charles Dickens as well as contemporary authors.

Ms. Colby has a singular authorial voice and uses it to enrich her themes in this novel but never at the cost of the pleasure of reading this book. I give this book my high recommendation. Read it, and enjoy the time you spend in its world!
Profile Image for Nina Arce.
Author 3 books93 followers
April 11, 2016
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 in future titles in this innovative and entertaining series.
Profile Image for Zachary Chopchinski.
Author 20 books129 followers
October 20, 2015
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 everything you could want in a strong female roll. She is strong and determined with a clear goal but yet she is also soft and delicate. The king is easily hated. He is annoying and disgusting and I found myself wanting to punch him in the face multiple times.

Dellwyn is Aya's best friend and fellow sex worker. She helps Aya through her troubles and is there for moral support. I would have maybe liked to see a little more development of Dellwyn. We know little of her past, but this is possibly something that will come out in the rest of the series. The prince is sweet and caring and a good choice as a male hero.

I did figure out who the prince was shortly after he was presented in the story but that didn't take away from the suspense and honestly, I did second guess myself several times throughout the story. I really enjoyed all of the the foreshadowing, I have a soft spot in my heart for authors who use strategically placed hints in their writing..and if you can do it successfully (which Colby did), thats even better!

I am not a huge fan of romance plots but I found the love scenes to be not too over done. There is enough detail to understand the heat of the moment without going overboard, which I find to be an extremely difficult balance to achieve!

I would say my biggest issue (although I have not read the final product and this could have been changed) is that In the beginning you are kind of just thrown into this world without any explanation of what things are. I will admit (maybe because this isn’t a genre I read) that it took me a few pages to start to understand the terms and get a good picture of the area where it all takes place. However, once I did, I really enjoyed the story.

Overall I really enjoyed the book. I thought it had the right balance of suspense and excitement with romance.The book ends with a few unresolved issues and some hints about what could take place should a second book arise! I really look forward to reading what the author plans to do in her future works, with this story and more!
Profile Image for Kara Jorgensen.
Author 17 books119 followers
October 1, 2015
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 characters fit perfectly into this world with our heroine beginning the story as a sex worker after becoming orphaned following the execution of her father. Aya Cogsmith is a smart, and at times sassy heroine, who fluctuates between self-doubt and confidence in her mission. Each character has a distinct personality of their own that compliments their motives perfectly (I won't say more to keep from revealing the plot).

While I loved the characters and the plot and am looking forward to the second installment in the Desertera series, at times I wished the reader was given more details. I was never certain if there was a world beyond Desertera or how exactly certain aspects of the technology were powered since steam is no longer an option in this world. As a person who loves detail, I was aching for more descriptions of characters, places, and history, but I do understand that for a YA audience detail isn't always wanted. My only other quibble was the at times crude language regarding sexual matters. Knowing the main character is/was a sex worker, I understand that she would be much more frank about it than the average person, but knowing the setting had a Victorian ring to it (in terms of morals, class, clothing, etc), I found it jarring.

Overall, The Cogsmith's Daughter was a lovely read with fleshed out characters, an intriguing setting, and lots of potential for book two. I look forward to reading more of Colby's work.
Profile Image for Margarita Morris.
Author 10 books55 followers
October 23, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Melody.
1,314 reviews29 followers
April 4, 2017
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 read this in one sitting. I work in a library and I want to announce to everybody not to bother me because I was having an intense intercourse with the novel (hahaha).

The story is pack with suspense, intrigue, dust, engaging characters, rust, revenge and dirt haha. The ending though...

"We both stop living in the past. We need to be who we are."
Profile Image for Anniken Haga.
Author 10 books77 followers
March 17, 2017
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 romance, and there aren't much action at all. Mostly court intrigue and love.

What I did like though, is that the story takes into account a lot of real life problems that other YA books don't focus on.
Sex is a normal part of life in this book - which I like, 'cause it is normal in our lives as well - both between actual lovers and couples, but also between customer and product, as well as forced sex.
The way sex is portrayed in media today, it is a sin, so I liked that this book made it so natural!

The characters were also interesting, although there were a lot of stereotypes int his book, and I would like to get to know a lot of them a bit better before passing judgment.
Profile Image for Tas .
36 reviews4 followers
August 10, 2020
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.

It's hard to really understand the timing of the world; we have a monarchy and nobility but at the same time have use of metalwork and machinery from the past but the clothes are described in such a generic manner("gown""suit") it was hard to picture the setting or people. The attempts at banter often didn't make sense(I did have an example but honestly, I can't be bothered to go back and find it) and while the higher classes attempted to speak with some eloquence, some words and phrases were a little bit too modern and anachronistic and didn't fit in.

It's hard to really call this a steampunk; I understand that the lack of water makes it difficult for metal forging and other areas of work needing a lot of water, yet the only semblance of knowledge on Aya's part is her marvelling over clocks in the palace. She says she was taught a little bit by her cogsmith father, but we're only told that, not shown. She "tinkers" with things, but we're not given any supporting knowledge with this or what she even does. The author had the opportunity to research more about steampunk and clockmaking and machinery or even how to repair machinery, but it doesn't appear as if she did.
Aya insists on having her father's shop and machinery back, and I totally understand her wanting to be part of the merchant class again, but if she only has a very limited knowledge and her father barely wrote down what he knew, and he was literally the last cogsmith in the city, how on earth does she think she'll manage her shop?
Let's not forget that she was meant to hide the fact that she's the cogsmith's daughter from the king. If you stare and wonder about clocks and machinery to the point that the king thinks you'd totally love a tour of the engine room, you are not doing a great job of hiding your identity. The king and the nobles are morons. It's shocking that it took so long for anyone to say anything about all the deaths of the king's wives and their alleged adultering. I almost thought the extent of the king's corruption and power and the illegality of adultery ridiculous, until I remembered real life and thought yeah, it's pretty plausible.

The actual story of vengeance was interesting to me, and the drying up of water and the ship being the palace was rather original. Dellwyn was a great poc character, smart and able to make the best of her situation.
We don't see much of Queen Zedara but I thought she was wonderful. Her beauty is described to us at first and it's easy to brush her off as a very secondary character until Aya's first encounter with her alone. This was a character who truly thirsted for revenge, and I would've loved to have known more of her and Isadora's story. In fact the story would've been much more interesting from her point of view.

A lot of elements let this book down, the plot needed more complexity, the world building needed more depth and detail and the dialogue needed work, but its basic ideas and premise were alright.
Profile Image for Filipe.
5 reviews13 followers
February 25, 2017
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 pay more attention to the indie community, so thanks a lot to Kate Colby for that.
So kudos for Kate Colby, for her first series book! o/
Profile Image for Whitney McGruder.
Author 4 books93 followers
November 4, 2016
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 castle, and all the directions and sections of the city are based off of nautical terms for directions (hence the brothel’s name, The Rudder). If you love steampunk and all its glory, you’ll love what she’s contributed to the genre with the steampunk technology incorporated throughout the novel.

The suspense was also satisfying. As a courtesan/prostitute, Aya’s life doesn’t mean much to the rest of the characters, so her attempts to seduce the king to expose his treasonous acts could lead to her demise if she missteps. It’s frustrating that as a round, complex character, she still lives in a world where she is paid and scorned for her line of work; even as a witness of a crime, she knows that not many people will believe the word’s of a strumpet, nor care if she succeeds.

My Final Thoughts:

Kate M Colby’s debut novel is worth reading and rereading. Do yourself a favor and read this novel so you can immediately enjoy her sequel, The Courtesan’s Avenger and anticipate whatever Colby presents next in her Desertera series.

Just as a note of warning, sex and intimacy are discussed and described (off-screen) frankly and often—as you might expect from a novel focused on a courtesan. However, I found it tastefully done to give background to the gravity of Aya’s mission, rather than gratifying garnish. Overall, you might merely blush at Aya’s frankness and openness about her source of employment.
Profile Image for Emily Selleck.
Author 1 book12 followers
November 19, 2015
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 instincts (even when it doesn't seem to make sense), and I love that in the end she still chooses to be her own person. I just love her :)

The only minor complaint that I have (and it really is incredibly minor) is the dialogue is a little jarring sometimes. It jumps back and forth between incredibly formal and incredibly lax (with no discernible reasoning behind one or the other), with occasional modern slang thrown in that felt odd or out of character. Like I said, it's an incredibly minor thing, but it's the only thing that kept this review from being five stars, and I felt it was worth mentioning.

This book is definitely worth your time and I can't wait for the next one.

Profile Image for Jess.
3 reviews2 followers
December 6, 2015
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 at the giant anchors separating the vastly different Sternville and Starboardshire. Moreover, the concept of a world built to run on steam that has found itself without any abundant sources of water was a creative and unique twist. I still find myself having serious anxiety over how wasteful the nobles are with the water. Colby has done an excellent job of getting the reader invested in several of the different characters in the book and left the story line where the reader got some immediate closer but definitely wanting more. I cannot wait to read the next installment of this series.
Profile Image for Marzie.
1,118 reviews92 followers
October 10, 2016
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 is for the middle-class merchants. And the Rudder, where we first meet Aya, is for the poorest to subsist in. And Aya subsists as a prostitute*, which I found rather stunning for a YA novel.

This book strains credulity in some respects but when you place it within the narrow confines of those stranded on a large ship (imagine a cruise ship) you can kind of accept the interaction between royals, nobles, and the lower classes. Colby poses non-facile takes on morality, sexuality and attachment. This book is a rich start to a series. I hope Desertera #2 lives up to its promise. Beautifully edited and formatted for ebook readers, this book is wonderful.
Profile Image for Emily Schroeder.
Author 2 books2 followers
February 18, 2016
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 of drawing you into the web of her storytelling. From moment one, you can almost feel the gritty desert winds sweep you along on Aya's journey of growth and revenge. With all the intrigue, you won't want to put the book down till it's finished, and probably not even after that! The only issue I have is I really wanted to know what was behind that blasted door, and I thought for sure a certain important item would open it. Oh well. I suppose I'll just have to wait for the next book to see where it leads!
Profile Image for Jonas Lee.
Author 4 books86 followers
February 7, 2017
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's way of blending words into a world is astounding and I cannot wait for the next one... I hope I will still be on her good list when ARC's go out next time.
Profile Image for Kate Evans.
Author 7 books29 followers
November 19, 2015
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 own dysfunctional society. The Cogsmith's Daughter left me wanting to know what next for the characters and I look forward to the next instalment.
Profile Image for Suz.
2,243 reviews66 followers
October 4, 2016

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 second to get the rest of the story - which always frustrates me a bit.

Profile Image for Christina.
Author 13 books85 followers
November 23, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Dreamer.
499 reviews7 followers
September 25, 2016
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.
January 23, 2017
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!
Profile Image for S. Usher Evans.
Author 38 books377 followers
September 19, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Neil.
533 reviews3 followers
November 14, 2017
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 picture. Don't read this if you are expecting a fantasy but if you're a Mill's and Boon fan - this is for you.
Profile Image for David Adams.
2 reviews
February 5, 2018
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 succeed. If this is what Colby is capable with her first novel I suspect she will fast become a favourite for many.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
686 reviews13 followers
January 2, 2017
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 punk world were more believable.
Profile Image for Chasity Nicole.
Author 27 books53 followers
October 23, 2017
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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