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Heart of Brass

(The Antipodean Queen #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets. She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.

She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is
Paperback, 300 pages
Published July 25th 2016 by Odyssey Books
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Joanne Harris
This is a terrific bit of steampunk, lifted above the average by excellent line-by-line writing, great detailing and some truly ingenious concepts (I was particularly taken by the idea that metals are in some way not only alchemical, but sentient, with different powers and personalities). Emmeline is a cracking heroine: tough, sensible and resourceful, and her continent-spanning story is immensely engaging. I could have done with just a few extra pages right at the beginning, perhaps a little mo ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
How could I resist steam punk set in colonial Australia? Felicity Banks’ debut novel Heart of Brass, was everything I was hoping it would be and more. I love steam punk novels and Banks has put her own twist on the genre in this one. From the novelty of the book being set in colonial Australia, to the notion that the metals are in some way sentient, this was a refreshing, fun, rollicking story.

Emmeline’s family fortunes have taken a nosedive and she has been slowly selling the family’s more val
Deborah Sheldon
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
*Gratefully received via a Goodreads Giveaway from the publisher, Odyssey Books.* This was my first exposure to steampunk, and I'm not sure if it's my kind of genre. That said, I enjoyed the magical sentience of metals, and the "Choose Your Own Adventure" bonus story at the end was a terrific idea.
Cassandra Page
I nabbed this last month, partly because it’s Australian-set steampunk by a Canberra author but mostly because it’s a seriously beautiful-looking paperback. (Yes, I am that shallow!) Happily, Heart of Brass was worth the gamble.

In the space of a couple-hundred pages, we get to see Emmeline go from proper society lady who conforms to (most) social expectations while chaffing at the restrictions they impose to convict and criminal rebelling against an unfair system. For the most part, her transiti
Carolyn Denman
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh, now that was a fun story! Took me places I never expected to go, and really enjoyed exploring. This novel embraces the true heart of Adventure, and that is something that I didn't realise I'd been missing in everything else I've read lately. Emmeline Muchamore is a spunky young lady with a more compassionate heart (and a very unusual one) than she seems to know she has. Like her physical heart, her metaphorical one seems to take unexpected turns throughout her journey, and that is a delightf ...more
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Heart of brass is a book that hits you on a few different angles. As an Australian, there's the angle of the country's history, related in such a way as to make it exciting again after years and years of boring history classes. As a writer, there's the portrayal of characters each as developed and robust as each other, working together. And as a reader, there's a great story that, while starting off slow, brings you in with a fun excitement that had me fail to notice I'd just spent 2 1/2 hours a ...more
Mawson Bear
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
"Society doesn't allow young men to marry science experiments".

Straight from that first line we steam into enormous fun. Emmeline Muchamore needs to marry and fast to save her family from penury. But ..

Mrs Dawes was unlikely to appreciate the sight of her perspective daughter in law steaming violently from between the breasts.

Our heroine must take action to prevent this, understandably, as any well-bred young lady would, but what she does is disastrous. In just one day she plunges from the eligi
Emily Wrayburn
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-books, fiction
Review originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind May 18, 2017:

I have a rather hit-or-miss relationship with steampunk, which I think is my main reason for not engaging with this book very much. It did pick up for me in the last quarter, but up until then, I unfortunately didn’t really feel connected to the story.

When Miss Emmeline Muchamore’s brass heart malfunctions and she is forced to steal the materials she requires to survive, she refuses to reveal her secret and destroy her family’s

This is another steampunk series that I had heard good things about and was interested in reading. This was a decent read. I liked the world and the characters were okay. I felt like the writing was a bit stiff and didn’t flow all that well, this kept me from fully enjoying the story.

Emmeline is trying to marry well to provide for her family but her enormous secret causes issues (she has a mechanical heart and torso). Because of issues surrounding her mechanicalness, she is accused of theft and
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Banks promised an adventure with this novel, and that was most certainly delivered.

Heart of Brass is a lighthearted read that is enjoyable from beginning to end. The prose is light, easy to follow, and at time both comical and endearing.

The magic of metals is highly intriguing and a fantastic concept that is seamlessly integrated into the world.

I most enjoyed the dynamic between "civilised" Emmeline, "would-be Knight in shining armour" Patrick, and (my favourite) bold and "plays by her own rule
Ash Oldfield
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't read steam-punk very often, so I wasn't sure how I would like this story. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the magic system in this tale, as well as the strong backbone of Emmeline. I loved how she stayed true to herself despite the chaos around her. I found it refreshing to read a story set so close to my own home and felt that the setting was particularly well described, especially for international readers. After some confusion at the start (most probably because I am unfamiliar wi ...more
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
It was a fun steampunk adventure set in gold rush Victoria.
Emmeline is the protagonist with a mechanical heart, an unfortunately time malfunction has let her to being transported to Australia. Through her adventures, her narrow upper class British worldview changes as she interacts with the miners and the oppressive British troopers.
Paige Bernard
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was the first time I read a steampunk book and I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed relating to the Australian culture and the ending - the ending I'm still getting my head around. So much yes! Won't lie - it took me a bit to get into but I think that was mostly due to my rookieness to the steampunk genre.

Thank you Felicity Banks!
Laura Goodin
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The action never stops in this breathless adventure. The characters -- satisfyingly complex and ambiguous -- face genuine problems based on actual Australian history, but placed within a context of an intriguing magic system in a steampunk world.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Has some very exciting moments in the story, and the Australian colonial setting is one I appreciated. Quite a lot going on in this book.
Vic Eyles
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting premise. I've never read anything steampunk before and I didn't mind it. I also liked the choose your own adventure at the end.
Dion Perry
Emmeline is high born and has been raised in accordance with the expectations of her class. She is, however, quite different to most women in that she has a brass heart which was installed by her father. An operation for which he was executed and which cost the entire family fortune to bribe the law to keep secret. In order to save the good name of her family, Emmeline must marry a rich man. During tea with her preferred suitor and his mother, her heart malfunctions and Emmeline is forced to ste ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was received from the Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is the first steampunk book that I have read that mostly takes place in Australia. It was interesting I can not say how much was fantasy and how much was based on fact when it comes to Austrialia during this time. I really need to look it up.

This was an very easy to read book especially for being the first book in a series. There were some places that seemed to drag along but as
Rebecca Bowyer
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heart of Brass is a fabulously madcap adventure set in an alternative Gold Rush Victoria where metal has slightly magical properties.

We start off in England where Emmeline Muchamore's family has fallen on hard times after her father's death and is trying to marry her off to make keep a roof over their head and a good reputation to their name.

The only problem? They need to try to hide the fact the Emmeline's father replaced her dodgy heart with a brass, steam-powered one when she was a child.

Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was such a fun read! Heart of Brass, by Australian author Felicity Banks, is a compulsively readable steampunk-infused fantasy. Upperclass Emmeline Muchamore is a keen inventor with a talent for metalwork, who possesses a remarkable brass heart. When she is transported to colonial Australia for a minor offence, Emmeline ends up traversing the Victorian countryside with other outlaws, torn between the strictures of her high class background and the freedom she tastes in Australia.

I grew atta
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
This book is an entry in the Aurealis Awards for 2016, for which I am a judge. Any review will be withheld until the results of the awards are announced.
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